Heath's Blog


If I didn't get the listing, Can I be a buyer agent on this property now?

When I go to a listing, one of the first items on the agenda is the disclosure form.  In MA you have to choose to be a Seller Agent, a Buyer Agent, a Facilitator, a designated Seller and Buyer agent, or a Dual Agent. 

So lets say the seller chooses for us to be a Seller Agent, because that is what the seller wants - someone to sell their property.  Then after interviewing a few agents, they choose another agent to list their property.  I now know the Seller's "private" information and perspective.  I have signed a paper that says I will give them undivided loyalty.  How do I show that property?  There is no longer any sub-agency in my area, so I have to be a a Buyer Agent, a Facilitator, a designated Seller and Buyer Agent, or a Dual Agent.   How does this process not confuse the public?   How does it not increase the liability problems these new agency designations were supposed to fix?  It seems like we have made the process more confusing and more open to problems.

Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / capegroup@capegroup.com
508-274-5613  Licensed in MA
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I don't know the rules in MA, but based on my personal ethics, I'd say you owe the sellers absolute confidentiality about what they might have disclosed (other than material defects of the house). That having been said, I see no reason why you should not be able to represent the buyer in the purchase of a home for which you have been interviewed as a listing agent.


Posted by Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor (Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.) over 12 years ago

I am glad I sell in California is all I can say.  Sounds absolutely confusing.  I have exclusive right to sell when I have  a listing signed and agreed.  I can also represent the buyer if one calls me to represent them. 

Posted by Kim Sellers, Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow (Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago

Thanx for the notes.  I agree about the personal ethics, but this is a Mass State form and disclosure.  The reason you can't really be a buyer agent is you already have pledged loyalty to the seller if you completed the disclosure process correctly.  Thus you have to become a disclosed dual or one of the others to be correct.  Try explaining that to buyers and sellers without them looking at you like you are purple.

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA (http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com) over 12 years ago


Very confusing.....I 99% of the time do not compete with another Agent for a Listing as I am 99% referral.....in fact I have never attended a Listing interview.....I will follow you post to see how others handle.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) over 12 years ago

Heath - I think you have to only talk about the house and not the owners.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 12 years ago

We still have "dual agency" and I always have them sign the "Consent to Limited Representation" form at the same time that they sign the agency disclosure. Then Larry's response would swing into effect.

Rules in MA, of course, may be different from AZ.

Posted by Ann Heitland, Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales (Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties) over 12 years ago

This truly is a fascinating question.  It challenges agency no matter what state we live it as all of us do listing presentations where we do gain personal knowledge but I am not aware of any laws that address this!

Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago

So, it is an issue in your state, Ann?  It seems like you have thought about it enough to create your own failsafe.  

I don't think there are any laws here yet, Diane.  Although, I think that is mostly because it hasn't been brought up in a case yet.

Posted by Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker, Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA (http://www.CapeGroup.com & http://www.REindex.com) over 12 years ago