Understanding Buyer Agency
While you don't need to work with a buyer agent, almost 90% of home buyers do, and in a competitive market like ours, it is a huge advantage to have an experienced advocate to guide you through the process.
Designated buyer representation
When you enter into a buyer representation relationship, your buyer agent is bound by Massachusetts state law to work for your best interests and negotiate the best price and terms for you. Your agent owes you all of the following fiduciary duties:
Reasonable care and diligence
Accounting for funds
Remember that your buyer representation agreement is only between you and your designated agent(s)—other agents, regardless of their broker affiliation, are not representing you. However, they are still required to be honest and fair, and disclose any known material property defects.
How commissions work
When sellers list a property, they contract with their listing agent to pay a certain percentage of the sale price as a commission. The list agent, in turn, offers a portion of this commission to the buyer agent in the transaction, which is listed in MLS. Except in the very rare case that you find a for-sale-by-owner home where the seller does not want to pay a buyer agent fee, you are not directly paying your buyer agent.