Are you wondering what a real estate agent does?

Simple as it sounds, real estate agents in Massachusetts do more than sell properties. They perform a variety of roles, from advising clients on market conditions and contract matters to coordinating open houses and negotiations.

One essential duty you may not immediately think of is property valuations.

Much of their work involves determining property values using market data, comparative analysis, and local expertise. It’s all part of their day’s work before they even put up a ‘for sale’ sign.

In Massachusetts, real estate agents assist with buying, selling, leasing, or exchanging properties. They provide services such as examining property valuations, negotiating agreements, maintaining escrow accounts, and advertising. Additionally, licensed agents must disclose who they represent in a transaction regarding specific properties at the first personal meeting.

From almost forty years of selling real estate in Massachusetts, it is clear that many consumers don’t know what agents do. It is essential to know the value that any real estate agent brings to the table. All Realtors provide different levels of services for their clients.

This sheds light on the importance of a careful interview before hiring any agent. Skipping this vital step could lead to disappointment. Knowing exactly what they agent will be doing for their commission is vital. Whether buying or selling finding a top local agent is imperative.

Before we examine some of the services you should expect, let’s look at how representation works in a Massachusetts transaction.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do in Massachusetts?

Client Representation in Massachusetts Real Estate Transactions

People usually hire a real estate agent when they buy or sell a house. However, agents can have different responsibilities depending on their employer. As a consumer, it is vital to understand agency disclosure and who represents whom.

I will explain the various roles agents take when representing clients in Massachusetts.

Seller’s Agent

A seller’s agent works for the person selling their house. They are also called a listing agent. This means they’re loyal to the seller and keep their information confidential. They are a fiduciary in every respect.

They work diligently to secure the best deal for the seller while maintaining honesty throughout the process. When dealing with a seller’s agent, remember that they are lawfully required to prioritize the seller’s interests.

Their top goal will be to provide the best home-selling tips while acting on their advice.

Buyer’s Agent

Conversely, a buyer’s agent works for the person trying to buy a house. They advocate for what’s best for the buyer and assist them throughout the process. A good buyer’s agent is akin to having a real estate expert in your corner. They become a guide who’ll steer you of bad deals while leading you toward the best one.

The best buyer’s agents care less about how quickly you buy. They are there to provide expertise and guidance so you make the right buying decision.

Disclosed Dual Agent

Occasionally, an agent might work with both the buyer and seller simultaneously, with permission from both parties. If both sides agree, the agent helps ensure everything progresses smoothly but remains impartial. They are obligated to be fair to everyone involved.

Frankly, dual agency is one of the worst things in Massachusetts real estate. Whether buying or selling, you should avoid dual agency. When you allow dual agency, the agent NO LONGER REPRESENTS you. They become a neutral party. By law, they cannot provide the services they did as a buyer’s or seller’s agent.

Advice is out the window. The agent cannot provide any. Sounds great, right? The only party who benefits is the real estate agent who double-sides the sale. The practice of dual agency has been banned in several states.

If a real estate agent doesn’t explain the downsides of dual agency, run the other way. You have found someone who cares more about a real estate commission than doing what’s best for their clients.


Lastly, some facilitators don’t exclusively represent either party. Knowing the role of a facilitator in real estate is essential. They assist both sides in communicating and reaching an agreement. However, it is necessary to note that they can’t guide like an agent would.

These different roles aim to ensure everyone involved in buying or selling a home is treated fairly and receives the appropriate assistance.

The Difference Between Realtor and Real Estate Agent

Potential buyers and sellers should also know the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. These terms are used interchangeably quite frequently but should not be.

A Realtor is a member of The National Association of Realtors®. Agents pledge an oath to follow a strict code of ethics when joining. In other words, they should always put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.

Whether buying or selling, you should always want a Realtor in your corner.

Buyer’s Agent Services

Here is a brief overview of what you should expect from a buyer’s agent in Massachusetts.

  • Property Search: Helps clients find properties that match their criteria and budget.
  • Market Analysis: Provides insights on the current market conditions and how they affect property values.
  • Property Visits: Arrange and accompany clients on visits to potential properties.
  • Negotiation: Negotiates price and terms with sellers or their agents on behalf of the buyer.
  • Financing Assistance: Assists clients in understanding their financing options and sometimes helps secure a mortgage.
  • Transaction Coordination: Manages the paperwork and deadlines involved in the real estate transaction.
  • Inspection and Appraisal Coordination: Facilitates the scheduling of property inspections and appraisals to ensure the property’s condition and value.
  • Closing Assistance: This service guides the buyer through the closing process, including reviewing the closing documents and ensuring all necessary steps are completed to transfer ownership.

Seller’s Agent Services

Here is a small sample of what a listing agent does in Massachusetts and what you should expect from them. This becomes especially important when selling a house for the first time.

  • Market Analysis: Provides a comparative market analysis to help price the property competitively.
  • Listing Services: Lists the property on various platforms to maximize exposure to potential buyers.
  • Staging Advice: Advises on staging the home to make it more appealing to buyers.
  • Photography and Marketing: Coordinates professional photography and implements a marketing strategy to attract buyers. When selling your Massachusetts home, I would never settle for anything less than professional photos.
  • Showing Coordination: Manages the scheduling of showings and provides feedback.
  • Negotiation: Represents the seller in negotiation with buyers to achieve the best sale terms and price.
  • Transaction Management: This position oversees the process from offer acceptance to closing, ensuring that all paperwork and deadlines are managed effectively.
  • Closing Coordination: This position assists the seller with closing, including understanding the closing documents and facilitating the final transaction steps.

Buyers’ and sellers’ agents aim to represent their clients’ best interests. They provide expertise and guidance throughout the buying or selling process.

Roles of a Real Estate Agent in Massachusetts

The Roles of a Massachusetts Realtor

What Are The Roles of a Massachusetts Realtor?

Real estate agents in Massachusetts manage numerous responsibilities. One of their primary tasks is providing property valuations. This involves determining accurate property values using market data, comparative analysis, and a deep understanding of the local real estate market.

For example, an agent might use information about recent sales of similar properties in the area to gauge the value of a particular house. This process involves understanding how different factors, such as location, size, and amenities, affect local property pricing.

Providing an accurate property valuation is crucial for sellers who want to set a fair asking price. It is equally essential for buyers who need assurance of making a sound investment.

Facilitating Transactions

Beyond property valuations, real estate agents in Massachusetts play a pivotal role in facilitating transactions from start to finish. They assist buyers and sellers throughout real estate transactions, including negotiations and contract signings.

Think of them as experienced navigators guiding their clients through the intricacies of real estate transactions. Negotiating the terms of a real estate deal can be daunting for most people. However, having a capable agent by your side can alleviate much of the stress and uncertainty.

Let’s say you’re buying a home. A real estate agent’s negotiation skills can make all the difference in securing the best possible deal for you. They understand how to effectively communicate with other agents and ensure that your interests are well represented during the bargaining process.

Marketing Properties

In addition to these responsibilities, Massachusetts real estate agents are responsible for effectively marketing properties by creating strategies to promote them for sale. They utilize platforms such as MLS (Multiple Listing Services), high-visibility real estate platforms, and social media to reach a significant percentage of buyers.

Provides Guidance

Lastly, real estate agents offer invaluable advice and guidance to clients about market conditions, property values, and legal requirements. Their sound advice ensures informed decision-making.

A comprehensive knowledge base equips them to provide clients with expert insights into both current market trends and future projections.

Understanding these dynamics can significantly influence a client’s buying or selling approach.

When selecting a real estate agent in Massachusetts, it’s essential to consider their track record for providing accurate property valuations, facilitating smooth transactions, executing effective marketing strategies, and offering reliable guidance to clients.

Understanding these crucial roles underscores the importance of engaging with skilled and reputable agents.

Let’s look at more specific services provided.

Services for Buyers and Sellers

Real estate agents wear many hats, and one of their primary functions is to assist buyers in finding their dream homes. This involves various services, including identifying suitable properties based on the buyer’s preferences and needs, scheduling viewings, and guiding them through purchasing.

But it doesn’t end there. They provide valuable insights into the local market and crucial advice about pricing, neighborhoods, and property value trends. They’re essentially your go-to source for everything related to buying a home.

From being in the business, I can tell a real estate agent’s commitment goes beyond just showing homes. It is one of their least essential functions. They are there for their clients at every step, from the initial exploration of listings to closing.

The best agents explain complex terms, offer guidance on financing options, or provide information about local amenities and schools. A reliable agent acts as an invaluable resource throughout the home-buying journey.

For instance, picture this: You’re a first-time homebuyer looking for a property in a particular part of Massachusetts. Your agent sets up viewings for various listings and considers factors like commute times, school districts, and nearby amenities. They help you make decisions that align with your lifestyle and budget.

Responsibilities of Listing Agents

On the other hand, listing agents play a pivotal role in helping sellers manage the sale of their properties. They bring substantial value by aiding in setting an appropriate selling price based on market conditions and property comparisons.

Agents also recommend staging a home to attract potential buyers. Their tips make it more visually appealing and enticing. Moreover, they handle the intricate sales process—from managing offers to expertly navigating negotiation—while keeping their client’s best interests at heart.

It’s worth noting that selling a property can be pretty daunting without professional guidance. Experienced real estate agents can leverage their understanding of market trends and buyer behaviors to ensure sellers get the best home value.

With insights into buyer and seller services provided by real estate agents in Massachusetts fresh in mind, it’s apparent that these professionals serve as invaluable partners throughout the entire real estate transaction process—offering support, expertise, and peace of mind to both parties involved.

Legal Boundaries for Agents

Real estate agents play a critical role in facilitating property transactions, but this role comes with significant legal responsibilities. In Massachusetts, agents are bound by specific laws and regulations to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in all their dealings.

Let’s explore some of these legal mandates that govern the conduct of real estate agents in the state.

Disclosure Requirements

One of the fundamental legal requirements that real estate agents must adhere to in Massachusetts is the disclosure of who they represent in a transaction.

According to state law, real estate brokers and salespersons must disclose in writing who they represent at the first personal meeting to discuss a specific property or property. This disclosure is essential to ensure transparency and avoid conflicts of interest during the transaction process.

By clearly outlining their representation from the outset, agents clarify all parties involved in the real estate transaction, fostering an environment of trust and accountability.

As I mentioned previously, all real estate agents should explain dual agency.

Licensing Mandates

Another pivotal legal boundary that shapes the operations of real estate agents in Massachusetts is the stringent licensing requirements. Only licensed real estate brokers and salespersons can assist with buying, selling, leasing, or exchanging real property in Massachusetts.

The licensing requirements are in place to safeguard consumers and uphold professional standards within the real estate industry.

Agents must complete 40 hours of pre-licensing education to obtain their license and pass a state exam. Additionally, Massachusetts law requires real estate agents to renew their licenses every two years and complete 12 hours of continuing education.

These rigorous licensing prerequisites protect against the possibility that individuals engaging in real estate activities do not possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical grounding to serve clients effectively.

Navigating these legal boundaries effectively demonstrates a commitment to professionalism, ethical conduct, and adherence to regulatory frameworks. By embracing these legal constraints, real estate agents not only uphold the integrity of their practice but also contribute to maintaining a trustworthy environment in Massachusetts.

Agents must diligently follow these legal parameters while executing their duties to guarantee the best possible outcomes for their clients.

Supervision in Transactions by a Real Estate Broker

What Does a Real Estate Broker Do in Massachusetts

What Does a Real Estate Broker Do in Massachusetts?

When it comes to real estate transactions, supervision plays a critical role in ensuring that everything runs smoothly. As licensed professionals, brokers are responsible for overseeing salespeople and negotiating transactions.

Brokers are often the guiding force behind real estate deals. Their expertise and knowledge enable them to supervise the salespeople under their wing effectively. It ensures that all transactions adhere to legal and ethical standards. They also provide invaluable mentorship to salespeople, offering guidance and insight gained from years of experience in the field.

In addition to supervisory duties, brokers are entrusted with holding escrow monies for clients.

The partnership between brokers and salespeople is fundamental to the success of real estate deals. It fosters an environment where individuals can leverage their unique strengths to deliver exceptional service to clients while upholding industry standards.

Todd Blair of Palm Beach Coastal Realty shares this on broker/agent relationships.

“As a broker, I do more than oversee transactions; it’s about creating an environment where our agents can excel in their careers. I offer support to each agent on my team, including training programs, monitoring legal compliance, and providing access to advanced technology and marketing tools.

Our agents thrive in an environment that promotes growth and learning, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet our clients’ changing needs. The key distinction between a broker and an agent lies in their responsibilities, liabilities, and capabilities.

While agents focus on property transactions like buying, selling, or leasing, brokers handle the aspects of the brokerage to ensure ethical and legal standards are upheld. In essence, while agents engage directly with clients to finalize deals, brokers ensure the transactions are conducted securely, legally, and beneficially for all parties involved. It’s a partnership where the broker’s infrastructure and assistance enhance an agent’s efforts, leading to success for both the agents and our clients.”

Industry Regulations and Standards in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, real estate agents don’t operate on their terms—they must abide by strict guidelines and regulations.

Ethical Guidelines

Massachusetts real estate agents must adhere to ethical guidelines emphasizing honesty, transparency, and fairness in all transactions. These guidelines ensure that clients are treated with integrity and respect throughout the process.

Real estate professionals cultivate trust, strengthen their reputation, and foster long-term business relationships by upholding these ethical values.

Ethical practices play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the real estate profession. Agents are bound by a code of conduct that demands transparent, truthful representation and prohibits any form of deceit or fraudulence.

Additionally, they must communicate openly with their clients. This ensures they are informed about every aspect of the transaction, including potential risks or concerns.

Gaining and retaining their clients’ trust is the cornerstone of a successful real estate career.

Professional Development

To uphold high professional standards, real estate agents in Massachusetts engage in continuous professional development. This involves staying informed about current real estate laws, market trends, customer service best practices, and other relevant industry updates.

By expanding their knowledge base, agents remain adept at addressing new challenges and meeting changing client needs.

Professional development is a formality and a critical aspect of an agent’s role. Staying abreast of legal changes ensures that agents remain compliant and well-informed when advising clients on property matters.

Furthermore, a proactive understanding of market trends equips agents with valuable insights that can guide clients in making informed decisions about property investments. Ultimately, ongoing professional development serves as an investment in both the agent’s expertise and their ability to serve their clients effectively.

Adhering to industry regulations and ethical standards benefits the clients and elevates the reputation of real estate professionals. Through honesty, transparency, continuous learning, and skill enhancement, agents in Massachusetts demonstrate their commitment to serving clients with the highest level of professionalism.

This dedication ensures that clients receive exemplary service and are supported through every stage of their real estate journey.