What’s a Buyer Agent?

What’s a Massachusetts Buyer Agent or Buyer’s Broker and why are they Different?

Because making poor choices can cost thousands of dollars or end in a bad purchase or sale, smart home or condo buyers and sellers should make it a point to understand how real estate agents and brokers work in Massachusetts. 

The words “broker” and “agent” are often used interchangeably. Even though most home buyers and sellers don’t realize it, they have different legal definitions in Massachusetts.

While licensed agents and brokers can show properties and negotiate offers, a Massachusetts broker can handle escrow money and have agents work under him or her.  The broker is then responsible for the actions of his or her agents.

Unlike attorneys that can never represent opposing parties at the same time, Massachusetts brokers and agents can legally represent sellers, buyers or both in the same transaction. When one agent represents both the buyer and the seller of a property that the buyer wishes to buy, that practice is known as “dual agency”. When different agents in the same real estate office represent both the buyer and the seller of the same property, they are practicing “designated agency”. In either case, ………….

MABA agents are unique because they represent only one party at a time.

Not all real estate agents are the same.  In Massachusetts there are different role designations and not all real estate agents play by the same rules!

Real estate transactions are not simple transactions, most buyers and sellers need honest advice. The key is finding a competent real estate broker in Massachusetts that will represent you, the home buyer and your interests exclusively.

A buyer agent is an agent working only for the home buyer in a real estate transaction.

The standards and definition of buyer agency have blurred over the years as national real estate organizations have successfully attempted to alter the definition of buyer agency. Unfortunately, it is confusing for the home buyer, the consumer, and the burden is placed on the consumer to be able to clearly differentiate who is a real buyer agent or broker.

The courts view real estate brokers as agents in the legal sense, meaning they are fiduciaries. Fiduciaries are individuals in positions of trust who act on behalf of others. Examples of other agents/fiduciaries are attorneys, accountants and trust officers in banks.

Does having a Buyer Agent Cost More?

No! There should be no additional cost to a home buyer if they work with a buyer agent. In fact, working with a MABA buyer agent typically saves clients time and money. When interviewing any real estate professional, make sure you understand their commissions and fee structures upfront.


This book is an excellent first step in a complicated process.

Buying a home is like buying a car, on steroids. It’s the biggest investment you are likely to make so the stakes are incredibly high. I knew that having an agent represent me was a good idea.

What I hadn’t grasped was how important it is to find one who is not connected with the selling side in any way—through an agency that also represents sellers, as most do, at least in Mass. In researching buyer agents, I found Tom through the Mass. Assoc. of Buyer Agents (MABA).

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Buyer Agency in Massachusetts Explained for the Consumer in this Must See Video:

Buyers Agent Boston Real Estate Websites

"There's one final thing we don't understand. Why WOULDN'T potential home buyers work with a MABA agent instead of a regular seller's broker?!"

Elizabeth and Jason

"Thanks to our MABA agent's knowledge, analysis, and guidance, when we found our house, we knew it was the house for us. During the negotiation, we felt confident and secure."

Samantha and Brendan

Massachusetts Home Buyers Save Time and Money with a MABA Buyer Agent Dedicated only to YOU the Home Buyer

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