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FAQ’S

WHO DOES THE REAL ESTATE BROKER REPRESENT?

The broker must state who (s)he represents in the first meeting.  Historically, brokers have represented property owners, however, tenant representatives and buyer brokers are now just as common.

WHO PAYS REAL ESTATE BROKER FEES?

Unless otherwise agreed, the property owner pays all brokerage fees.

WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE REAL ESTATE BROKERS IN A DUAL-AGENCY SITUATION?

The broker that represents you is required by Massachusetts State Law to maintain  responsibility, accountability, confidentiality, loyalty, and full disclosure of all matters relevant to the real estate business at hand, to you.  In fact, any broker involved with any real estate transaction in Massachusetts, whether they represent you directly or not, is required by State Law to be honest, fair and in full disclosure of relevant matters, including any hidden fees or known defects.

HOW DO I EXCHANGE REAL ESTATE TAX-FREE?

This is a complex matter, but the short answer is that a seller may arrange a 10-31 exchange as follows:

  • The property being bought, sold or traded must be held for business or investment
  • The purchase and sale agreement should state each party’s intent on exchange proceeds
  • All proceeds of the sale must go into the account of a “qualified intermediary”
  • The seller has 45 days to identify up to 3 properties (s)he wishes to purchase
  • The seller has 135 days to purchase a replacement property of similar or greater value and proceeds are tax-free/deferred

This process can become far more complicated where, for example, more than three properties are involved, and sometimes in reverse order.  The parties involved should have highly qualified accounting and legal advise to conduct a tax-free exchange.

CAN I SELL/BUY CONTAMINATED PROPERTY?

Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 21-E, requires environmental testing and reporting for lender involvement in commercial and industrial real estate transactions.  A failed report should, in theory, allow a buyer to receive back the deposit and allow a transaction to be canceled; however, purchase offers and/or purchase and sale agreements must state clearly, including all contingencies, when, why and how deposit money is handled.  This is a very complex matter and sellers and buyers of environmentally tainted sites should know what they are dealing with and have expert legal and engineering advice.  There are many attorneys and licensed site professionals that specialize in transactions involving environmentally tainted land and structures.

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