Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Hotline FAQ

A blog of the most frequently asked questions to the Maryland REALTORS Legal Hotline.

Sandi Frazer
Sandi Frazer
Sandi Frazer's Blog

Q: Please walk me through the process for completing the Consent for Dual Agency form, especially the “AFFIRMATION” section on the bottom of the second page.

A: Generally, the seller and buyer consent to dual agency before the dual agency actually arises. The seller typically signs the consent form with the listing agreement and the buyer signs it when the buyer broker agreement is signed. At this point, however, no dual agency has occurred. 

The current Consent for Dual Agency form contains, on page 2, two subparts. The first subpart is for the seller/buyer to consent in advance for the listing/buyer broker to act as a dual agent in the sale/purchase of property (the seller specifies the property address). The second subpart of the form requires the affirmation of the seller/buyer when the actual dual agency occurs. The seller must sign the second subpart, affirming the advance consent for dual agency for the buyers identified below. The buyer must sign the second subpart, affirming the advance consent for dual agency for the property identified below.

The 2016 changes to the Broker’s Act clarified previous law regarding at what point the Affirmation must be signed by the parties. Maryland law states: 

The written consent for dual agency shall include an affirmation that identifies the property and the buyer when the real estate broker or branch office manager is serving as a dual agent and the buyer and seller or lessee and lessor enter into a written contract for sale or for a lease, respectively.

Thus, the updated law is consistent with the practices many brokers and licensees had adopted previously.  We recommend that brokers and managers review office policy with legal counsel to ensure compliance.

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