AgentIndustry News

Full disclosure: This is about Maryland’s open house disclosure laws

Would you bother showing a single house to someone who you're not representing?
  • An amendment made to the Maryland Real Property Brokers Act will require agents to present signs at open houses disclosing whom they represent.
  • The "presumed agent" no longer exists in Maryland.
  • The changes go into effect on October 1.

A long time ago, there was a small town with one real estate agent. This agent helped people buy and sell homes. Then the agent hired a friend. They bought and sold homes for people and earned a living as Friends Real Estate Co. Everyone in the town knew that they worked for the same company. Maybe one was a buyer's agent and the other focused on listings. Although involving two different individuals, this example showcases how some people think about dual agency. Not every consumer knows about it, some just may not care -- and others watch it closely. (A court case involving an "intra-firm transaction" was the subject of a California Supreme Court hearing earlier this month.) A recent change in the Maryland Real Property Brokers Act will require real estate agents to display a sign for potential buyer clients at open houses that clarify whom they represent. The law also voids the idea of the "presumed agent" in the state, reflected in a change to the Maryla...