Understanding the difference between an exclusive buyer’s agency and a buyer’s agent agreement is essential when buying a home in Massachusetts.

An exclusive buyer’s agency is a real estate company representing only home buyers. They do not work with sellers.

On the other hand, an exclusive buyer’s agency agreement is a contract between a buyer and a buyer’s agent. The agreement lays out the role and responsibilities of the agent, among several other essential things.

Maximum Real Estate Exposure is an excellent resource on buyer agency agreements. Read their comprehensive article to understand it completely.

Exclusive Buyer's Agencies vs Buyer Agency Agreements

Exclusive Buyer’s Agencies vs. Buyer Agency Agreements in Massachusetts.

Understanding the Basics of Buyer’s Agreements

In the Massachusetts real estate market, it is crucial to understand the basics of buyer’s agreements when engaging in property transactions. These agreements establish the framework for the relationship between buyers and their designated agents.

Let’s delve into the different types of buyer’s agreements and explore the key differences between an exclusive buyer’s agency agreement and a buyer’s agent agreement.

Types of Buyer’s Agreements

Two primary types are commonly encountered in buyer’s agreements: exclusive buyer’s agency agreements and non-exclusive buyer’s agent agreements.

Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement

An exclusive buyer’s agency agreement designates the agent as the sole representative of the buyer. Regardless of who finds the desired property, the agent is entitled to a commission.

Even if the buyer directly purchases from the owner without the agent’s involvement, the commission is still owed to the exclusive agent.

Non-Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Agreement

A buyer’s agent agreement also designates the agent as the buyer’s representative, but the commission is only payable if the agent finds the property that the buyer ultimately purchases.

If the buyer independently discovers and buys a property without the agent’s assistance, no commission is owed to the buyer’s agent.

Key Differences between an Exclusive Buyer’s Agency and Buyer’s Agent Agreement

The critical difference between an exclusive buyer’s agency in Massachusetts and a buyer’s agent agreement is that exclusive agencies only work for buyers.

Conversely, you can go to a company that practices designated agency and work with an agent who will become your buyer’s representative.

The difference is these agents may also work with sellers as part of their business practice. Does that bother you? For most people, it doesn’t.

Most real estate companies throughout the US practice designated and dual agency.

Many agents will ask you for your loyalty by signing an exclusive buyer’s agency agreement.

Exploring Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement

When delving into the world of real estate transactions, it is crucial to understand the intricacies of an exclusive buyer’s agency agreement.

We will explore the definition, purpose, agent’s role and responsibilities, payment structure, and commission and weigh the pros and cons.

Definition and Purpose

An exclusive buyer’s agency agreement is a contractual arrangement between a buyer and a real estate agent, designating the agent as a sole representative solely working in the buyer’s best interests.

The agreement aims to ensure undivided loyalty and commitment from the agent towards the buyer throughout the home-buying process.

The Massachusetts Agent’s Role and Responsibilities

Under an exclusive buyer’s agency agreement, the agent works diligently to understand the buyer’s preferences, needs, and budget. They conduct thorough market research, identify potential properties, schedule home showings, and negotiate on behalf of the buyer.

Before writing an offer, a buyer agent will conduct a competitive market analysis to determine a proper offer.

The CMA is prepared to determine the property’s market value using “real estate comps” or comparable sales.

Additionally, the agent assists in coordinating inspections, appraisals, and closing procedures.

Payment Structure and Commission

In this type of agreement, the buyer typically does not directly pay the agent’s commission. Instead, the agent’s compensation is generally derived from the seller’s listing agreement.

The commission is usually a percentage of the final sale price and is negotiated between the listing agent and the seller.

Pros and Cons of Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement


  • Undivided loyalty and commitment from the agent towards the buyer’s interests.
  • Access to a broader range of properties through the agent’s connections and market knowledge.
  • Comprehensive guidance and expertise throughout the home-buying process.


  • The buyer may be limited to the agent’s network, potentially missing out on other opportunities.
  • There might be a financial obligation to pay the agent’s commission, even if the buyer finds a property independently.

Pros and Cons of Buyer’s Agent Agreement in Massachusetts


  • Buyer representation: A designated agent looking out for their interests can provide buyers invaluable guidance and support throughout the home buying.
  • Access to resources: A buyer’s agent often has access to a broader range of listings and market data, helping buyers make more informed decisions.
  • Negotiation expertise: An experienced buyer’s agent can negotiate on the buyer’s behalf, helping them secure favorable terms and potentially save money.


  • Exclusivity: By signing a Buyer’s Agent Agreement, buyers may be limited to working exclusively with that agent, which can restrict their options and flexibility.
  • Commission obligations: Buyers should know that they may indirectly contribute to the agent’s commission through the property’s final sale price.
  • Compatibility: Buyers need to find an agent they trust and have a good rapport with, as they will work closely together throughout the buying process.

Making an Informed Choice of a Massachusetts Buyer’s Agent

Several factors should be considered when choosing an exclusive buyer’s agency agreement.

Factors to Consider when Choosing an Agreement

  • Financial Situation: Assess your budget and determine how much you are willing to invest in a commission payment. Typically the seller pays buyer agent fees, so it isn’t an issue. However, if the agent found an off-market property or a for sale by owner home, you may need to pay a buyer agent fee.
  • Level of Involvement: Consider how involved you want to be in the property search process and whether you prefer the agent to take the lead or collaborate closely.
  • Time Constraints: Evaluate your availability and time constraints, as they can impact your ability to participate in the property search actively.

Understanding Your Needs and Preferences

Consider clearly defining your needs, preferences, and priorities when purchasing a property. Consider factors such as location, size, amenities, and budget. A clear understanding of what you seek will help you choose the proper agreement that aligns with your objectives.

Working with a Reputable Real Estate Agency

Working with a reputable real estate agency with a track record of successfully assisting buyers is crucial. Look for agencies with extensive experience, positive client testimonials, and a strong reputation in the industry.

A reliable agency will guide you professionally and represent your best interests.

Seeking Legal Advice Before Signing an Agreement

Before signing any buyer’s agreement, it is advisable to seek legal advice. It might be wise to find a real estate attorney to review the deal, explain its implications, and ensure it protects your rights and interests.

Taking this step will provide you with added peace of mind and help avoid potential legal issues in the future.

Final Thoughts

Some buyers work with an exclusive buyer’s agency in Massachusetts, while others have no issue with firms practicing designated agency.

Buyer’s agency-only companies often paint the picture unfairly that there are conflicts of interest because agents work with sellers.

What matters is whether the agent you hire is loyal to you. Will they fight for your best interests? Do they put your values over their wallets or pocketbooks?

Getting acceptable answers will lead to the best results.