When you decided to buy or sell Real Estate in Massachusetts, you often do this with the help of a Real Estate Agent. Sometimes you find the agent through a referral from a friend, family member, co worker etc, and sometimes you stumble upon them on the Web, sign call, open house or other.
At your first face to face meeting the agent should disclose their agency relationship with you. This is done on the Massachusetts Mandatory Agency Disclosure. There are 5 types of agency that can be established. Quite often single agency is established meaning that if you are a buyer the agent will disclose buyer agency, or if you are a seller the agent will establish seller agency. However if the agent does both buyer and seller agency, they should also let you know Dual Agency could become a factor. The proper ways to consent, notify, and establish dual agency is as follows.
1) Consent to dual agency~When meeting with the agent a buyer or seller may decide to hire the agent to represent them, and sign a listing or buyer agent contract. Quite often in the body of the contract it has a paragraph called consent to dual agency. In this paragraph it informs you that dual agency may be created if the agent has a relationship with both the buyer and the seller. Consent to dual agency is a written form that will be signed by the consumer.
2) Verbal Notice to dual agency~ When an agent makes the appointment to show a house that they have listed and is the seller’s agent, to a buyer they have established buyer agency with, they now become dual, and should give verbal notice to both parties at the time of setting the showing. This notifies the buyer and seller prior to the showing, that the agent is dual.
3) Notice to dual agency~ If the buyer decides they like the house and wants to write an offer, the agent should have the buyer sign a notice to dual agency form first before writing the offer. The agent will then present the notice to dual agency form first to the seller and obtain their signature prior to presenting the offer.
When the 3 step process is done properly, the consumers should be very aware that the agent is working with both parties, and is a dual agent.
Pam Crawford, ABR,e-PRO®,CRS,CDPE,LMC
Owner, REALTOR®, Managing Partner, MBA, BSBA
RE/MAX Professional Associates
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