The Role of the Real Estate Agent
One of the most important issues in the real estate transaction is the role of the Real Estate Agent. Fundamentally, the role of the Real Estate Agent is simply to always represent the best interests of their Clients. So we have to start with whom the Real Estate Agent represents. Under the real estate laws of Maryland there are fundamentally two types of agents, with Maryland having created a third category of agent for unique situations. Maryland Real Estate Agents represent either the Buyer or the Seller, and no Agent can be an agent for both a Buyer and Seller in the same transaction. So if you are buying a property and you want to have a licensed Real Estate Agent represent your interests in the purchase process then you will work with your Buyer’s Agent. If you are selling your property and you want to have a licensed Real Estate Agent represent your interests in the sales process then you will work with a Listing, or Seller’s Agent.
Real Estate Agents Who Represent The Buyer:
A Buyer’s Agent is a Real Estate Agent who is contractually retained by a Buyer to represent the best interests of the Buyer. The written contract that creates this agency is called an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement and it sets out such terms as whom the Agent represents and the length of the agreement. The decision to engage a Buyer’s Agent is the single most important decision a person seeking to buy real property can make prior to the actual home purchase.
The Buyer’s Agent will interview the Buyer to help understand exactly what the Buyer is looking to purchase. The criteria of the Buyer can include such considerations as the Buyer’s budget, where the Buyer wants to live, whether a particular school system or transportation route important, what type of property does the Buyer want including the style, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, whether a garage is important, and other criteria that are important to the Buyer. The Buyer’s Agent will research the listings in the Multiple List and apply the Buyer’s criteria and the market knowledge of the Agent to prepare a list of homes that are actively on the market that meet the Buyer’s requirements. The Buyer can review this list and decide which properties the Buyer wants to see, and the Agent will set up the appointments to visit them.
Finding an appropriate home is only the start of the purchase process. The Agent will use the Agent’s skill and experience to assist the Buyer in creating an Offer that contains the terms under which the Buyer is offering to purchase the property. The Agent can provide information for recent “comparable” sales, which will assist the Buyer in determining the offer price, settlement date, types of inspections if any, type of financing, and other decisions that are important to the Buyer. In addition, the Buyer’s Agent has expertise with the relevant Maryland contract documents and can assure the Buyer that the desired terms are conveyed to the Seller. The Buyer’s Agent will assist the Buyer throughout the price negotiation, contract ratification, home inspection, appraisal, and settlement processes.
Real Estate Agents Who Represent The Seller:
A Seller’s Agent is a Real Estate Agent who is contractually retained by the Seller of a property to “list” the Seller’s property for sale in the Multiple List system. The written contract that creates this agency is called the Exclusive Right To Sell Brokerage Agreement. The Multiple List Service (“MLS”) is the database of residential properties for sale, and it is the single source for an Agent to find the current list of most properties that are currently in the sales process. Only licensed Maryland Real Estate Agents have access to the MLS, though many other databases do republish a portion of the listings from the MLS on public databases available to most Buyers.
Sellers Agents provide the Seller with an in-depth analysis of the current local real estate market for homes of the same type as the Seller’s. This analysis will assist the Seller in setting an appropriate list price for the property based on the unique positive and negative features of the property. The Seller’s Agent will assist the Seller is staging the property so that it will present the best image to the Buyers. The Agent will also manage the showing process, assisting Buyers as they seek to schedule appointments and visit the property. When an offer is made for the property, the Seller’s Agent will assist the Seller in understanding what each element of the offer means to the Seller, and whether the offer in total is acceptable to the Seller, and whether that Buyer is financially capable of actually making the purchase. The Agent will supervise the negotiation, contract, inspection, financing and settlement processes, ensuring that the goals of the Seller are fully met.
Real Estate Agents Where Both Agents Work For The Same Brokerage: The Dual Agent
The State of Maryland has created a third category of Real Estate Agents, called Dual Agency, but the category really does not change the duties of the Buyer’s Agents and Seller’s Agents as described above. The concept of Dual Agency only comes into action if both the Buyer’s Agent and the Seller’s Agent in the same transaction are members of the same Brokerage. For example, in the sale of the house on 123 Main Street, Seller’s Agent Able from Re/Max lists the property, and Buyer’s Agent Baker represents the Buyer, also from Re/Max. Only in such a case, and in order to assure the Sellers and Buyers that there is no appearance of a conflict of interest between these two Agents, the State of Maryland has stated that the listing is owned by Re/Max, and the State of Maryland says that Re/Max has appointed Agent Able to represent the Seller and Re/Max has appointed Agent Baker to represent the Buyer. This makes sense, since this is exactly what the Buyer and Seller had already arranged. The only difference is that this is now called Dual Agency, and the two agents are now called intra-company agents, and the name is the only difference under Dual Agency.