Because of clarifications in the law and regulations promulgated in 2005,many firms in Massachusetts now practice designated agency.
Q: If I work in a designated agency office, can I be a dual agent if my
buyer client wants to buy my own listing? I thought dual agency would
A: Yes, you may be a dual agent if your broker permits this relationship. Individual dual agency still occurs in a designated agency office when a listing broker has a buyer client who is interested in one of their listings. If you list properties and work with buyer clients, you should disclose to them when you enter into either your buyer agency or listing agreement that dual agency is possible and, if it occurs, you will need written consent. Written consent may be obtained at the commencement of the relationship as
well as consent to designated agency. If consent is obtained before you identify a transaction, you will be required to provide a written notice to both clients.
Q: Can another associate in my firm cover my open house if I am a
designated seller’s agent? If so, what is their relationship with my seller client?
A: Yes, another associate may cover an open house for you; however, you
will need to obtain consent from your client for them to become an additional designated seller’s agent. Once they become a designated seller’s agent, they remain in that relationship. Therefore, if one of their buyer clients wants to buy your listing, dual agency will trigger and consent must be obtained (or written notice given if consent was obtained up front). It is permissible for an associate to cover the open house as a facilitator; however,make sure that your seller client is aware of this and is comfortable with this kind of situation. Most sellers feel that the person holding the open house represents them.
Q: I work in a designated agency firm and I want to show my listing to
a customer; however, there doesn’t appear to be a way to disclose this to the customer on the new disclosure form. How do I disclose?
A: This is the one relationship that is not properly reflected on the new disclosure form. It will be corrected in the near future. Until that time, if you want to show your listing to a customer, refer to the “Relationship of Real Estate Licensee with the Consumer” on this page and make the noted change to the disclosure form on the check off for designated agency. (Note: this is the only time it is permissible to amend the state disclosure form.)
RELATIONSHIP OF REAL ESTATE
LICENSEE WITH THE CONSUMER
(check one) ____ Seller’s agent
____ Buyer’s agent
IF A SELLER’S OR BUYER’S AGENT IS CHECKED
ABOVE COMPLETE THE SECTION BELOW:
Relationship with others affiliated with (Print name of real estate firm or business and license number) (check one)
____ The real estate agent listed below, the real estate firm or
business listed above and other affiliated agents have the same
relationship with the consumer named herein (seller or buyer
agency, not designated agency).
____ Only the real estate agent listed below represents SELLER (strike out) the consumer named in this form (designated seller or buyer agency). In this situation any firm or business listed above and other agents affiliated with the firm or business do not represent you and may represent another party in your real estate transaction.