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Exclusive Representation FOR BUYERS ONLY with over three decades of Martha's Vineyard Real Estate knowledge and experience.

Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions

What is a true Buyer's Agent?

When a buyer engages the services of a real estate buyer's agent, then the buyer becomes that agent's client. This means the agent represents the buyer. The buyer's agent owes the buyer undivided loyalty, utmost care, disclosure, obedience to lawful instruction, confidentiality and accountability. The buyer's agent must put the buyer's interest first and negotiate for the best price and terms for his/her client, the buyer. Having said all of this, in the event a non-exclusive buyer's agent transitions to Disclosed Dual Agent or Designated Agent status, I cannot believe it is possible to maintain a neutral unbiased relationship where confidential information already disclosed will be safe-guarded. This will be further explained as you read on. (Full Story here)

What is an EBA?

Any licensed real estate agent can receive the ABR® designation; however, only a licensed real estate agent who is an exclusive buyer's agent and member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents (NAEBA) can receive the EBA designation. EBA's are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics EBA Code of Ethics. To find an EBA, go to and the 'find an agent' section. When interviewing a buyer's agent it is important to ask two questions: 1) Do you or your firm take listings? 2) Do you practice dual agency? If the answer to these questions is 'yes', you will not be represented by an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Agent. (More on this subject here.)

What is an ABR®?

ABR® is an acronym that stands for Accredited Buyer's Representative. ABR® is a designation attained through completion of an extensive classroom training program on buyer agency practices and procedures followed by a rigorous written examination. However, the designation is not rewarded until the applicant can submit evidence of practical experience as a buyer's representative --- that means transactions successfully closed representing buyers.

Why work with a CRS®?

The CRS® (Certified Real Estate Specialist) designation is indisputably the highest level Designation any REALTOR® can be awarded in residential real estate.

CRS® members have completed advanced training in residential real estate and have successfully completed the high volume of sales transactions required to earn the CRS® Designation. They excel in both experience and education; they are consummate professionals. There are less than 39,000 active CRS® designees nationwide with an average of 16 years full-time experience in residential real estate.

When searching for a CRS® to assist you in the purchase or sale of real estate, you can be confident that the agent displaying the CRS® designation will be an experienced professional. Here is how you can find a CRS®.

What does it mean to be a REALTOR®?

Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®, although they may refer to themselves as realtors. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

What is 'The HUD-1'?

The HUD-1 is the form commonly used to track all the various costs related to a property purchase and sale transaction. (Full Story here)

What is Title Insurance?

When you purchase a home on Martha's Vineyard, instead of purchasing the actual building or land, you are really purchasing the title to the property - the right to occupy and use the space. That title may be limited by rights and claims asserted by others, which may limit your use and enjoyment of the property and even bring financial loss. Title insurance protects against these types of title problems for Martha's Vineyard real estate and brings confidence and certainty to the parties at a real estate closing that the title of the subject real property is as represented and expected. The title insurer offers financial protection and will indemnify and defend against an attack on covered title hazards as insured, and will either perfect the title or pay valid claims. (Full Story here)

What is The Land Bank?

The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank is a conservation entity charged with the task of acquiring, holding and managing a diversity of important open space resources for the use and enjoyment of the general public. To accomplish this task the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank imposes a 2% real estate transfer fee which is levied against the purchase price on most real estate transfers on Martha's Vineyard Island. This is not a tax and there is no way around it. Only first time homebuyers are eligible for a nominal credit. (Full Story here)

Why have a Land Bank?

Martha's Vineyard has witnessed unprecedented change in the most recent decades. Farming declined; centuries-old pastures and fields were left to knot into vines and shrubs. The "freedom to roam" was curtailed as fences were erected across trails, beaches were gated off and hunting was restricted. Few of these problems could be solved by planning boards and conservation commissions only; the Vineyard needed a new type of land agency. (Full Story here)

What is 'Title 5'?

Title 5 of the State Environmental Code sets standard guidelines and requirements for the inspection, design, siting, construction, upgrade and expansion of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems in the towns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah. The onus usually falls upon the seller for compliance. (Full Story here)

What is the MIL rate?

A mil (tax) rate is the method used to determine the taxes that are to be paid on a property here on Martha's Vineyard. That tax rate when multiplied by your property value (assessed value determined by the tax assessor) equals your tax bill. (Full Story here)

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What is an Exclusive Buyer's Agent? | Is your Agent your friend?  |  Why use an Exclusive Buyers Agent?  | Who Pays an Exclusive Buyer's Agent?
Buyer-Client? Buyer-Customer?  |  What are Fiduciary Duties to a Principal Client?  |  Why you need a Home Inspection  |  Environmental Issues

The Financing Process  |  Understanding Your FICO Credit Score  |  Locking in the Loan Rate  | 

The Closing Process
Preparing for the Closing  |  Homestead Exemption  |  Owner's Title Insurance  |  The HUD-1 Form  |  The Real Estate Closing

Real Estate FAQ
What is the Land Bank?  |  Why have a Land Bank?  |  What is the Fair Housing Act?  |  What is a Land Survey?  |  What is Title-5?  |  What is the MIL Rate?
What is a Tax-Deferred 1031 Exchange?  |  What is a Buyer's Agent?  | What is an Exclusive Buyer's Agent?  |  What is an ABR®?  |  Why use a CRS®?
What is a REALTOR®?


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