If you've clicked through to this page, you're probably contemplating the sale of residential real estate, and I'd like to just take a moment of your time to explain the facts of Seller Agency in general, and specifically how it applies to Maryland real estate law. As you will see, if you are contemplating any type of real estate sale, enlisting the services of an Exclusive Listing Agent is a wise consideration.
Introduction to Agency
In the state of Maryland, Brokers, and the real estate agents, acting as independent contractors on their behalf, may represent buyers and sellers. For any one transaction, however, an agent may only represent one side, e.g. either the buyer or the seller.
In order to place your home for sale on the market, you must sign an agency agreement with a real estate agent. This Exclusive Right to Sell Brokerage Agreement gives your agent the authority to list your home on the multiple list service and begin advertising your home's availability. In return for their marketing efforts, you agree to pay a commission in the event of a sale. This commission is typically split between the Sellers Agent and the Buyers Agent.
So the bottom line is this: If you're a serious Seller, you need to engage the professional services of an agent to assist you as your Sellers Agent in the home selling process by executing an Exclusive Right to Sell Brokerage Agreement.
Generally speaking, how do commissions work?
You and your Sellers Agent will agree upon a commission that
you will pay when the home sale reaches settlement. In the past couple of
years, the commission, which is based upon a percentage of the final selling
price, typically runs in the range of 2 to 4 percent. Some brokerages
advertise commissions even lower than 2%, but after you read through what is
actually being offered for that magical 1.5%, you'll suddenly want to pay a
higher amount for the services offered by a "full service" agent/brokerage.
What typically happens is this:
1. The percentage you agreed upon with your Sellers Agent is split between them and the Buyers Agent (the selling agent) 50-50.
2. Next, each agent must split their half with their brokerage.
As you can see, although the percentage may equate to a fist-full of dollars at the settlement table, by the time your agent gets his payday, the pot has dwindled. Remember, they must cover all marketing expenses on their own, so the actual net your agent walks away with can sometimes be much less than even their initial 50-50 split. This is really a tough business.
What services can you expect from your Exclusive Sellers Agent?
1. Your agent will represent you and only you. 100% of their fiduciary duty will be to you. In other words, your agent will be working at your side, advising you every step of the way through your real estate sale. Your agent's personal goal should be to ensure that the transaction process runs smoothly for you - from helping you determine a fair market value for your home and then marketing it, through presenting all offers as they are received, negotiating your terms and conditions and assisting you through the remaining steps to settlement.
2. After you have reviewed and accepted a contract of offer, your agent should also continue to assist you by being present for all inspections of your home in order to convey pertinent information to you in a timely manner.
3. Your Sellers Agent will work with the Buyers Agent to ensure that all timeline commitments remain on-track, especially with regard to lender commitments and title company progress.
If you are not yet legally bound to the services of a Sellers Agent and want to ensure that you engage the services of a competent, seasoned professional, I invite you to contact me personally. Although I am a licensed real estate Broker in Maryland, I cannot support you directly. What I can do is put you in contact with a responsible, serious REALTOR who I will personally select from my professional network, after we briefly discuss what exactly you are trying to accomplish. This service is offered at no charge whatsoever to you. In any event, you will be under no obligation unless you feel the match is right for you, your family, and your real estate needs.
As you can see, my approach is painless, powerful and focused. I look forward to giving you the service you deserve. All it takes is a phone call, and you're on your way home!
Art Lane, Associate Broker
In affiliation with:
Metro Referral Associates, Inc.
14501 George Carter Way
Chantilly, VA 20151
Broker office: 703-877-7839