Buyer Agreements

There are many stages in the real estate process, all that have their own forms, contracts, disclosures and helpful inforamtion. We’ve tried to compile all of the resouces available to Berkshire REALTORS and their clients in the order that you would use them in the field, and guidelines for when and how you should present each form. This is only a guideline and you should ALWAYS defer to your office policy, your broker of record and your legal counsel.

When a Buyer Hires You:

  • Mandatory Consumer-Licensee Disclosure:  Formerly the Agency Disclosure form, this form MUST be presented to all consumers at the first personal meeting to discuss a specific property. More on completing a Mandatory Consumer Licensee Disclosure Form can be found on under ‘Transaction Topics / Agency.  (note, many brokers in the business call this form an “agency disclosure form”.)
  • Buyer’s Exclusive Right to Buy Agreement: Completed to secure the right to represent a buyer in the purchase of a property for a fixed time period, or for a specific property.  This establishes the right to compensation, duties that will be performed by the agent, and methods of payment.  Buyer agency agreements are not required, but are recommended to protect your rights, and to ensure that the buyer has a clear understanding of the fiduciary duties and services you will provide.
  • Buyer’s Consent to Dual Agency:  If your office is a traditional firm, this addendum should used if your office represents both buyers and sellers and has chosen to operate as dual agents when a conflict occurs. It must be provided and consent must be obtained so that in the event that a dual agency situation occurs, you have previously received buyer’s content and can then proceed to limited representation of two parties, with notice, as a disclosed dual agent.OR
  • Buyer’s Consent to Designated Agency: This addendum should be used if office represents both buyers and sellers and has chosen to operate as designated agents when a conflict occurs, where the broker acts as a dual agent and designates agent(s) in the office to fully represent the buyer and other agent(s) to fully represent the seller. It must be provided and consent must be obtained so that in the event that a designated agency situation occurs, you have previously received buyer’s content and can then proceed to operate in a designated capacity, with notice, as a disclosed designated agent.
  • Consumer Guide to Representation:  A helpful fact sheet you can use to explain agency representations, outline your fiduciary duties and let seller and buyers know what to expect when working with you in a real estate transaction. This is an optional form that is great to use when explaining the Mandatory Consumer-Licensee Disclosure.
  • Dual Agency Roles:  This outlines for the consumer exactly what duties are limited in a dual agency situation. This is an optional form to help you present the concept of dual agency to clients, and can be provided at any time. It is most commonly used when first getting the Seller’s Consent or Buyer’s Consent form signed when first agreeing upon representation, or when presenting he Seller and Buyer Notice of Dual Agency form used when a dual agency situation occurs.

If Your Buyer is Interested in a Home Your Firm Listed:

  • Seller & Buyer Notice of Dual Agency:  This form must be provided after dual agency consent is obtained (usually obtained in the Exclusive Right to Sell or Buy Agreements), as soon as you determine a conflict has arisen on a specific property with specific buyer and seller clients. When consenting to dual agency, you promised to provide notice to both parties if a dual agency situation arose. This is that notice.


  • Seller & Buyer Notice of Designated Agency:  This form must be provided after designated agency consent is obtained (usually in the Exclusive Right to Sell or Buy Agreements), as soon as you determine a conflict has arisen on a specific property with specific buyer and seller clients. When consenting to designated agency, you promised to provide notice to both parties if a designated agency situation arose. This is that notice.

Before Your Buyer Makes an Offer:

  • Home Inspector Facts for Consumers:  The Massachusetts’s home inspector licensing law took effect in May 2001and requires real estate agents to present the “Facts for Consumers” information sheet to buyers PRIOR to an offer or Purchase and Sale Agreement. It should be understood that the “list” of home inspectors to be made available to consumers is the list produced by the state Division of Professional Licensure and is accessible via the link
  • Sex Offender Registry Fact Sheet: This is optional information for buyers who have expressed concern about sex offenders, and offers the availability of police resources for buyers seeking information about known sex offenders.   It is important that all prospective buyers understand that must rely on their own inquiry with the local police department and not on the seller or any real estate agent involved in the transaction, since this information can change at any time and the scope of the search for offenders should be based solely on the buyer’s determination of acceptable distances from home, school and/or work.
  • Lead Paint Property Transfer Notification: Under Massachusetts and federal law, owners of homes built before 1978 must complete the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification for prospective buyers or tenants with an option to buy. The buyer’s agent MUST always obtain a copy of the seller’s completed Lead Paint Property Transfer Notification form and have the buyer execute it, PRIOR to making an offer.  Many times this form is included in the listing documents in the MLS system.  You should not have a buyer sign a blank form, as that defeats the purposes of DISCLOSURE, if the seller hasn’t completed it first.

When a Buyer Makes An Offer

  • Lead Paint Property Transfer Notification:  Confirm that you have the seller completed Lead Paint Property Transfer Notification in hand for the buyer to initial and sign before the Purchase and Sale agreement from the buyer.P & S Agreement:  The master Purchase and Sale agreement offered by the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS has been approved by legal counsel as it is written. Additions or deletions are not sanctioned by the Board and should only be undertaken at the advise of legal counsel or express direction of the client. Please note that each paragraph marked with an arrow represents a section of the contract that has options or fill-in fields that MUST be completed and change the terms of the standard agreement. Take a look at the Purchase and Sale agreement and see how much easier it is to peruse the ‘changes’, knowing that the rest of the language is standard! The only caveat is that you should always make sure that your clients go through the entire contract to understand the obligations that they are agreeing to before signature.

    Companion Flyers for the Purchase and Sale Agreement

    • Private Well Fact Sheet:  This is information for buyers who are purchasing a property with a private well, with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection information on inspection, reports and requirements.
    • Waiver of Professional Home Inspection:  Since you’ve already proviced the Home Inspectors Facts for Consumers (required!), and you’ve explained the benefits of having a licensed professional inspect the home, this optional form that can be used if your buyer makes an offer on a property and DECLINES to engage a licensed home inspector during the inspection period.  It provides written disclosure of your encouragement to use an inspector and your proper disclosure of the Home Inspector Facts for Consumers.
    • Dispute Resolution System:  The Purchase and Sale contains an agreement that the buyer and seller will mediate their disputes related to the agreement before filing a lawsuit.  This fact sheet provides information on that agreement, and process.
    • Right to Farm Disclosure:  Twenty-one communities in Berkshire County have passed some form of Agricultural Farming bylaws, many of which include a ‘right to farm provision that requires agents to present a ‘Right to Farm’ disclosure form to buyers, no more than 21 days after the purchase and sale contract is entered into, or prior to the sale or exchange of real property. This form must be signed by the buyer and on file with the city or town before transfer or else a fine in the amount of $300 can be assessed.
  • P & S General Addendum:  The form is used when language needs to be added to the Purchase and Sale Agreement.  Remember that the addition of legal obligations to a contract remain the job of an attorney, and agent must never participate in the unauthorized practice of law.   In its most general sense, the practice of law involves giving legal advice to clients or drafting legal documents or contract terms for clients. The standard agreement has been drafted, reviewed and approved for use by counsel and any changes or additions should only be done at the direction of counsel.
  • P & S Income Property Rider:  In the event that a property that you are drafting a Purchase and Sale Agreement that contains income elements, this addendum is an easy way to identify those that are part of the sale.  Alternatively, a lawyer can draft riders or income addendum if this does not fit the circumstances of your sale.
  • P & S Condo Rider:  In the event that a property that you are drafting a Purchase and Sale Agreement for is a condominium with additional approval or term requirements.
  • P & S Instructions to Release from Escrow:  To be used if the Purchase and Sale is terminated and the escrow agent needs to release deposits as agreed by the buyer and seller.
  • P & S Termination of Contract:  In the event that a buyer terminates a Purchase and Sale Agreement based on financing or inspection issues, this form can be used to allow the listing agent to release the escrow deposits.
  • P & S Extension of Time for Contingencies:  In the event that a buyer is unable to meet the deadlines for financing, septic or inspection, this form allows the buyer to request and the seller to grant (via signature) an extension of the protection terms in paragraph 4 of the purchase and sale.
  • P & S Extension of Time for Performance:  In the event that the agreed upon closing date needs to be moved, you can draft and have the buyer and seller sign to agree to change said date.
  • P & S Agreement Land:  An alternative version of the Purchase and sale agreement where the provisions dealing with a structure have been omitted.

Environmental Fact Sheets

  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Asbestos:  Asbestos is used in a variety of products because of its physical properties, which make it resistant to heat, fire, and many caustic chemicals. Asbestos has been used extensively as fireproofing, an insulating agent, and for decorative purposes, among many other uses.
  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Lead Paint:  Under Massachusetts and federal law, owners and real estate agents must comply with Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification requirements when a prospective buyer or tenant with an option to buy is about to purchase a home built before 1978.
  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Radon:  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is produced in the ground through the normal decay of uranium and radium. As it decays, radon produces new radioactive elements called radon daughters or decay products. Radon and radon daughters cannot be detected by human senses because they are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Title 5: Inspections are necessary to ensure the proper operation, upgrade and maintenance of on-site sewage disposal systems. The Code, therefore, requires system inspections to be done in certain circumstances. Most inspections will occur as a result of property transfers when facilities are sold, divided or combined. In order to provide further guidance to the regulated community, this document is intended to clarify the regulatory intent of the Department.
  • Public Health Fact Sheet – UFFI: Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI) is a home insulation made of urea formaldehyde resin and a foaming agent, blown or pumped into the walls and ceiling. Formaldehyde in the insulation, even if properly installed, reacts with heat and humidity in the air. This allows formaldehyde gas to be released into the air of a UFFI-insulated building. This type of insulation, popular during the energy crunch of the 1970’s, was banned by Massachusetts in November, 1979.
  • Public Health Fact Sheet – UST: Fuel oil underground storage tanks (UST) are major obstacles to closings, often complicating and sometimes even stopping home sales. Residential USTs are an issue today because of publicity and regulations. But a UST is a manageable issue. Our experience is that the probability of a residential UST leaking is very slim. Federal Regulations exempt USTs used for storing heating oil for consumptive use on the premises. Massachusetts regulations do address these tanks, and some communities have enacted more stringent rules. Massachusetts UST
  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Wetlands:  The Wetlands Program ensures the protection of Massachusetts’ inland and coastal wetlands, tidelands, great ponds, rivers and floodplains. It regulates activities in coastal and wetlands areas, and contributes to the protection of ground and surface water quality, the prevention of flooding and storm damage and the protection of wildlife and aquatic habitat.
  • Other Fact Sheet:  Fair Housing:  When a person purchases or sells a home it is not just the most significant event of their lifetime. To protect against discriminating practices during this process, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was enacted to prohibit all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property. The United States Congress determined that all citizens should have the same rights as white citizens to sell, rent, hold, or convey any type of property. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was held to apply to all property, public and private, by the United States Supreme Court in Jones vs. Mayer, decided in 1968.