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Who Does Your Real Estate Agent in Maryland Really Work For?

Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty
by Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty on May 8, 2018 at 2:33 PM

Searching real estate and homes for sale online has become a great resource for buyers - But, you may not be getting the representation simply asking for more information on a home you're interested in. You could be hurting your negotiation power!

In this article, I’ll explain the different ways a real estate agent in Maryland can represent you in the sale or purchase of home, so you can have your best interest in mind.

Buyers and Sellers Guide to: 

Understanding Whom Real Estate Agents in Maryland Represent

There are primarily two ways a real estate agent in Maryland can represent one side of the transaction. An agent can represent the seller or the buyer. A Maryland real estate agent cannot represent both.


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1.) Seller’s agent or listing agent

A seller’s agent represents the only the best interest of the seller and not the buyer. As a buyer, you may work with the listing agent only if you agree to not be represented in the purchase.

The seller’s agent can only assist you with preparing the offer and explaining the various disclosures. They cannot advise you on negotiation strategies and help you compare properties. 


2.) Buyer’s agent

A buyer’s agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties, preparing offers, developing negotiation strategies and works in the best interest of the buyer. 

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If you’re searching properties for sale online, a buyer’s agent can work with you by gathering information about the property using public records, land records, and reviewing required disclosures presented by the seller.

If you’re planning to make the best purchasing decisions, you’ll want to work with a buyer’s agent. In most situations, the seller pays the buyer’s agent commission from proceeds of the sale.


Sub-agents in Maryland

If you do not have a written agreement with a buyer’s agent, and the agent is showing you a property not listed by the agents brokerage, the agent is a sub agent for the seller. A sub agent’s responsibly is to the seller. In some situations, you may feel the agent is helping you as a buyer’s agent, without a written agreement establishing that relationship, the agent is truly working for the seller.

It's similar to a seller signing an exclusive listing agreement with the brokerage and real estate agent for the two to represent the seller in the sale of the property. A buyer needs to establish a written relationship with a buyer's agent.


Dual Agents in Maryland

Dual agency arises when the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent work for the same real estate brokerage in Maryland.

Both the buyers and sellers must agree to Dual Agency by signing the Consent for Dual Agency disclosure. A buyer may still have a buyer’s agent if the buyer would like to be represented. The seller’s can still have a seller’s agent. If both the buyer and seller agree to "Dual Agency" the real estate agents’ are referred to as an intra company agent, which are designated by the real estate broker.

If either, the buyer or seller chooses not to “Consent to Dual Agency”, their agency relationship must be terminated and the buyer or seller must seek representation by another real estate brokerage.

Ultimately, if you're buying or selling real estate in Maryland, you may be best represented by working with a real estate agent. To learn more, contact Michael Nolen at 410-390-2032.


Curious about buying or selling real estate in Maryland?

Learn how Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage can represent you with selling your home or buying a home in Ocean City, MD and surrounding areas.

Request a Consultation


If you’re interested in Understanding Whom Real Estate Agents Represent in Maryland view the Maryland Real Estate Commission Disclosure here.

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Michael Nolen of Coldwell Banker Realty
Michael brings a diverse background of mortgage, loan servicing and housing experience. Michael offers his clients a variety of helpful resources, guides and services that helps make buying and selling coastal real estate in the Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Coastal Delaware markets. Michael has over 11 years industry experience and invests and manages vacation rental properties in the Ocean City, MD area through Nolen Invest and Nolen Vacation Rentals.
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