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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:


  • Undivided loyalty

  • Lawful obedience

  • Reasonable care and diligence

  • Full disclosure

  • Confidentiality

  • 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. Historically, this commission has included a fee paid to the buyer agent in the transaction. This may not always be the case, however.


Recent lawsuits claiming that sellers are being unfairly required to pay the buyer agent fee may bring a shift in the way buyer fees are paid, with sellers seeking to shift that cost to buyers. As a result, most buyer agents (including me) are now working with buyer agreements, to ensure they are compensated for their services.

Continue to The Homebuying Process...

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