Earlier this month , a state investigation found that only 6 percent of Massachusetts real estate licensees properly disclosed to consumers whose interests they represent.
The Division of Professional Licensure, the state’s regulatory agency responsible for assuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process, had individuals pose as consumers and visit 200 real estate offices around the Commonwealth. In only 12 instances, or 6 percent of the time, the real estate licensees disclosed whose interests they represented.
Yet another reason to shop for a home with an exclusive buyer agent.
In order to protect consumers, state regulation requires real estate agents to disclose who they are representing (the buyer or the seller) when discussing a specific property. Agents from over 40 cities and towns who failed to comply with these rules during the investigation will be receiving warning letters that threaten the termination of their license, if the unlawful practices continue.
“Adhering to these regulations is a simple task, but a very important one for real-estate brokers to follow,” said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “This disclosure is a fundamental piece of a transparent relationship between a broker and a homebuyer.”
It also is important for consumers to do their homework before starting the home-buying process. Simply deciding one day to start going to see open houses isn't a very good home-buying strategy.