Massachusetts law about real estate brokers

A compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on real estate brokers' roles and legal responsibilities.

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Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.13, §§ 54-57 Board of registration of real estate brokers and salesmen

MGL c.112, §§ 61-65E Certificate of registration- suspension, revocation or cancellation

MGL c.112, §§ 87PP-87DDD-1/2 Real estate brokers and salesmen

Massachusetts regulations

254 CMR Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons


Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
State agency website includes frequently asked questions, applications, forms, license information, policies, continuing education course listings, and more.

Selected case law

Horne v. Vanni, 1 Mass. App. Ct. 841 (1973)
When buyer could not get financing, real estate broker was not entitled to a commission.

Huang v. RE/MAX Leading Edge, 101 Mass. App. Ct. 150 (2022)
SJC held that proof of the existence of a contract and breach, even if the contract was not in writing, can be used to recover a commission on a sale in which the broker was not involved.

Lewis v. Emerson, 391 Mass. 517 (1984)
If wrongful conduct by a seller prevents the completion of a sale, real estate brokers are entitled to a commission. 

Newton Centre Realty v. Jaffe, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 726 (2020)
The death of the seller terminates a real estate brokerage agreement. 

Tristan’s Landing v. Wait, 367 Mass. 622 (1975)
This case established the general standard for earning a commission by real estate brokers.

Web sources

Agency disclosure: a consumer guide to real estate representation, Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons.
Pamphlet for consumers that explains the relationship between consumers and real estate brokers.

Real estate brokers and salespersons consumer fact sheet, Div. of Professional Licensure.
Helpful information about what different types of brokers do and what buyers, sellers, and renters need to know when dealing with a real estate agent.

Print sources

LexisNexis Practice Guide: Massachusetts real estate litigation, Lexis, annual edition, chapter 11.

Litigating residential real estate disputes in Massachusetts, 2d ed., MCLE, loose-leaf, chapter 9.

Massachusetts real estate: principles, practices and law, Cengage Learning, 2009.

Methods of practice with forms, 4th ed. (Mass. Practice, v.5), West Group, 2000 with supplement. Section 3:66 Broker’s commission.

Procedural forms annotated, 6th ed., (Mass. Practice v.10A) West, 2009 with supplement. Section 47:1 Complaints- real estate broker’s commission.

Real estate broker disputes, MCLE, 2009.

The real estate legal desk book : a broker's guide to consumer protection, procuring cause, commissions, fair housing and more / by Philip S. Lapatin, 2012.

Residential real estate practice under the new broker law, MCLE, 2005.


Last updated: March 10, 2023

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