How does agency apply to buyer and sellers here in Maryland?
The answer depends on your situation. If you’re a buyer and you call a listing agent who’s representing the property you’re interested in, they typically work just for that home’s seller. Agents who host an open house almost always represent the seller of that house, as well.
Since October 2017, agency has changed from presumed buyer agency to presumed seller agency. That means unless you have a written buyer agency agreement with an agent, all agents represent the seller and are obligated to work in their best interest.
That’s why, if you are a buyer, you need to sign a buyer agency agreement—so you have separate representation and your agent has your best interests in mind. This includes having the fiduciary ability to understand what needs to be done for you, guiding you through the logistics of the transaction, etc. Right now, the market is still very busy and we’re seeing a lot of multiple-offer situations in all price ranges, so agency is especially important.
Agency is also a little different in each state. Some parts of the country allow a form of dual agency where the agent can directly represent the buyer and seller. Dual agency in our area means there can be a dual broker in place for a single transaction, but two different agents have to represent the buyer and seller.
If you’d like to know more about agency, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be happy to speak to you.