Massachusetts Mandatory Real Estate Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure

 

Always ask any real estate licensee you come in contact with to provide you with a copy of the Massachusetts Mandatory Real Estate Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure filled in before you provide any information to them or see any homes with them.  Do this at your first contact with them.  You need to know if they are going to operate as a True Loyal Agent or a dual or designated agent.  You are not required to sign the disclosure and even if you do it is not a contract.  A copy of the disclosure can be found here “expert-homebuying-help.com/disclosure”.

As the disclosure states, it is not a contract and even if the licensee/salesperson checks off the box, designated agent, you are not agreeing to it.  That takes place when they provide you with what is generally referred to as “Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement”.  Please don’t confuse this with true exclusive buyer agency.  As noted above true exclusive buyer agency is the practice of representing home buyers only and never taking listings or representing sellers.  The traditional real estate industry uses the term to apparently confuse home buyers into thinking they are being exclusively represented when they aren’t.  A listing contract with a seller is called an “exclusive right of sale agreement” not an “exclusive seller agency agreement”.

 

Anyway, we need to discuss what is in this agreement and what you need to watch out for.  The main issue to look for is the clause that states that if you are interested in a listing that the licensee/salesperson has or another licensee/salesperson in the company has, you agree to dual or designated agency.  That is a contract.  Do not ever agree to designated or dual agency under any circumstances.  You are giving up your right to true agent loyalty and having someone watching your back.  You are no longer being protected and are now pretty much on your own.  In other words, caveat emptor – Buyer Beware.

You should not trust your licensee/salesperson because if they really had your best interest at heart they would not ask you to accept designated or dual agency in the first place and instead they should agree to, just as a true single party agency does, refer you to a True Loyal Agent™ with another company so that you can get true representation.  If you decide to go ahead anyway, at least cross out that section or truly understand the consequences of you ending up using a designated or dual agent.

There are other issues with traditional real estate industry home buyer agreements which are beyond the scope of this book.  These agreements are legally enforceable contracts.  Please discuss them with an attorney before signing them.  They are generally used by traditional real estate companies to bind home buyers to the company even though a home buyer might realize their mistake later and want out of the agreement, it will cost them.  It can be a financial trap so be very careful.

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