I am amazed at how often buyers don’t know if they have signed a contract with an agent. Is “their” agent actually representing them? Most buyers will say they don’t remember signing any papers like that. I know that there are a whole huge pile of papers to sign when writing an offer, but it really matters what you sign.
The thing is – in Maryland, we agents have only two choices. When we write an offer, we must represent either the seller or the buyer. One or the other. No weaseling. And we have to make that clear to both parties in the offer. In writing.
Let’s be very clear about this. I can show you a house, write up your offer and never meet the seller. But if you don’t agree to hire me to represent you, I must represent the seller. I have no choice. It’s Maryland law. And it’s totally your choice who I represent.
So do you think it would matter to you, in writing an offer, if I was actually representing the other side? What if you said to me that you wanted to offer $200,000 but that you would actually pay up to $225,000? Do you think it matters who I represent?
If I’m representing you, I have to keep the knowledge that you’d pay up to $225,000 to myself. Can’t share it with anyone. However, if I’m representing the seller while helping you write your offer – the whole game changes. Now I MUST tell the seller that you would pay up to $225,000.
Don’t you want to know this before you start your negotiations? Talk to your agent about who he is representing, make sure you understand it and get it in writing.
© 2011 Susan Pruden.