Maryland Realtors, the state association for real estate professionals, provides training to its members to maintain standards and expertise, making sure that they give the best possible help to Marylanders homebuyers.
Realtors who successfully complete training about first time homebuyer programs (including the Maryland Mortgage Program) are considered Workforce Housing Certified. You can find Realtors in your area that have achieved this professional certification by visiting the association's homebuyer website at www.marylandhomeownership.com.
Finding an experienced real estate professional to help you in your search for your new home is an important step. Not only will they help you identify homes on the market that fit your needs and your budget, they’ll provide support and advice as you negotiate with sellers, secure a loan and deal with home inspections. While some people may choose to not work with an agent, it is recommended that they have an attorney review any contractual or legal documents that are part of the sale.
A Seller’s Agent works for the real estate company that lists the property. While the Seller's agent can assist you (the buyer) in purchasing the property, their loyalty is to the sellers (that is, their goal is to sell the home for the highest price they can get).
A buyer may enter into a written contract with a real estate agent, which provides that the agent will represent the buyer in locating a property to buy. The agent is then known as the Buyer's Agent. That agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties and preparing offers, and negotiates in the best interests of the buyer. The agent's fee is paid according to the written agreement between the agent and the buyer. If you as a buyer wish to have an agent represent you, you must enter into a written buyer agency agreement before a contract offer can be prepared.
Working with a buyer's agent is typically free of charge—the seller will pay both agents (buyer and seller) a commission when the sale closes. However, you should always confirm with your agent as these costs may be part of a negotiation.
For more, download the State of Maryland’s Real Estate Commission’s information sheet – Understanding Whom Real Estate Agents Represent.
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