Important Terms Concerning Representation
- An agreement creating a relationship whereby one party (the agent) REPRESENTS
another party (the client or principal). The agent is obligated to completely
look out for the best interests of the client.
DISCLOSURE - A form that explains the various options the parties have
concerning representation, and discloses to buyers and sellers whether
they are being represented and what type of representation they are receiving.
ALL real estate agents are required to present this form to ALL buyers
and sellers of residential property at their first face-to-face meeting.
- In common usage this refers to the salesperson, however in reality,
the agent is the broker that the salesperson works for. Both parties have
the same level of responsibility to look out for the best interest of
BROKER - Someone who functions as a salesperson, put has a higher level
license. An Associate Broker has gone through a higher level of training
and requires a minimum of three years experience.
- The top licensee in a company in each state. In Maryland they may also
be referred to as the "Broker of Record". A company that operates
in more than one state may have a separate broker in charge of the company
in each state. A company may also have any number of "Associate Brokers,"
that operate as salespeople, but could become a broker of a company at
any time, simply by applying for a broker's license.
AGENT - A broker or salesperson who is obligated to look out for the buyer's
best interest. Generally, this requires the buyer to sign a contract which
will obligate the buyer to work with that agent, but keep in mind, this
is no different from what a seller is doing when they sign a listing contract,
and will give the buyer the same advantage in negotiations that the seller
has with their agent.
AGENT - An agent who is representing the buyer and seller at the same
time, in the same transaction. In Maryland, only the broker of record
in a company can be a dual agent. A party acting as a dual agent may not
help either side (the buyer or seller) with their negotiations. The salespeople
in Maryland are not considered dual agents, and may continue to represent
their buyer or seller.
AGENT - In
a dual agency situation in Maryland, only the broker or the company is
considered to be representing both parties. The salespersons working with
the buyer and seller are called intra-comapny agents and can still fully
represent their clients.
PRESUMED BUYER'S AGENT - When no
decision about representation has been made between a buyer and an agent
in Maryland, the agent is presumed to be representing the buyer. Either
party may end the presumed relationship at any time just by saying so.
An agent may work as a presumed agent ONLY when showing houses listed
with another company. An agent must also stop working as a presumed buyer's
agent when the buyer wants to make an offer on any property, no matter
what company it is listed with.
AGENT - A
broker or salesperson who is obligated to look out for the seller's best
interest. Traditionally, all brokers and salespeople were
considered to be looking out for the seller, even if they were working
with the buyer. In many circumstances, an agent may still be working in
this capacity, so a buyer must be careful what they do or say around the
agent. Before a buyer reveals anything affecting negotiations, they should
make sure the agent is representing them as a buyer's agent.
Benefits Of Using Just One Agent
Key Elements of Buyer Representation
Key Elements of Seller Representation
Maryland's Required Agency Disclosure