See anything wrong with this picture? Too many brokerages in Massachusetts don’t; that’s why home buyers and sellers need to protect their financial interest by asking "their" real estate agency whom they represent. Yes, Massachusetts law requires real estate licensees to disclose their ageny relationship at the first personal meeting to discuss a specific property, but too often agents fail to comply with this mandatory regulation. Even when they do, those brokerages who see nothing wrong with designated agency have no obligation to explain potential conflicts of interest so buyers and sellers can make truly informed decisions.
That’s why The Real Estate Cafe has argued, for years, for a public information campaign at the start of the Spring homebuying season to protect real state consumers. Why not use the Ides of March to warn buyers and sellers that designated agents can betray their financial interests? Why not use April Fool’s Day to caution consumers not to fooled by designated agents?
Ten years ago, a state regulator participated in a consumer seminar at the "original" Real Estate Cafe to discuss a Wall Street Journal article entitled, "Will your agent become a dual agent?" With nearly 50,000 MLS listings on the market across Massachusetts and a changing — if not falling — housing market, it’s essential to ask "your" agent the same question, and understand the financial implications of potential conflicts of interest.
If your agent does not present an agency disclosure form to you, email us at RECafe@mac.com and we’ll send you one to protect yourself. Before you sign a designated agency consent form, download the consumer pamphet online and discuss the checklist of ten dual agency issues with "your" agent. If you’re not satisfied with their answers, The Real Estate Cafe can refer you to a brokerage firm with zero tolerance for conflicts of interest.