Buying a home can quickly become complicated when you are not an expert. This is why most homebuyers and sellers use real estate agents.
When hiring an agent, you must choose one that best represents your interests. Not only do you need someone you can trust, but you also need to choose the right type of real estate agent.
Not all real estate agents specialize in the same thing. There are agents for buyers and sellers, so do you need a selling or listing agent?
Understanding a listing agent vs. selling agent is one of the keys to having a successful real estate transaction. Maximum Real Estate Exposure covers the subject in-depth.
We will look at some of the most essential the things you need to know before you hire a real estate agent.
One other things to keep in mind – a real estate agent differs from a REALTOR®, who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
What Does a Listing Agent Do?
Sometimes called a seller’s agent or a listing broker, this type of agent is responsible for pricing, listing and marketing the home. This should help the seller find a buyer as quickly as possible while selling the home for the best price.
To achieve these aims, the listing agent will do the following:
- Price the home via a comparative market analysis
- List the home on multiple listing services
- Markets in multiple websites
- Creates marketing material
- Arrange showings
- Negotiate for the seller
- Assist with the closing paperwork
Typically, the listing agent will expect the seller to sign an exclusive contract with their brokerage. The seller will pay a commission to the brokerage, and the agent will get a share of that.
When Do You Need a Selling Agent?
A selling agent could be confused with a seller’s agent, but they are very different. A selling agent represents the buyer and is sometimes known as a buyer’s agent or selling broker.
If you are going to purchase a home, using a selling agent will make the process easier. Using this type of agent should make finding the right home much more straightforward as well.
The selling agent helps the buyer by doing the following:
- Finding suitable homes
- Help with financing including getting pre-approved
- Accompany buyers to showings
- Checking the pricing via a competitive market analysis
- Writing an offer
- Accompanying buyer to inspections
- Assisting with the closing paperwork
Selling agents also normally work as part of a brokerage. They will receive a commission when a seller accepts an offer, and the buyer has closed on the home.
Both listing and selling agents can be involved in a house sale, with the commission shared.
How Do These Agents Work to Complete a Home Purchase?
If you want your real estate transaction to avoid as many problems as possible, having a listing and selling agent will really help. They will negotiate and mediate between the buyer and seller to smooth the path to closing.
Brokerages generally employ selling and listing agents to more fully assist their clients. However, real estate agents representing the buyer and seller will often be from different brokerages.
They need to work with each other to make sure the sale goes through, but at the same time, they need to ensure their client’s interests are best served.
This involves more work than it might appear, with the things the agent does frequently hidden from the client.
For every hour the agent spends with their client, they are working on average nine hours on the transaction. Changing real estate markets can also impact both buyer and seller agents.
What Is Dual Agency?
It can sometimes be possible for the same agent to represent both the buyer and the seller, but this does create a conflict of interest and isn’t allowed in many states.
Whether you are buying or selling a home, you should avoid dual agency. By law, a real estate agent is no longer allowed to counsel like they would if they were a respective buyer’s or seller’s agent.
In dual agency an agent must remain completely neutral. They are no longer able to give a buyer or seller advice because it would be in conflict with the other party’s needs and desires.
Always do your research before settling on an agent. The real estate agent’s performance will often dictate the success of the transaction.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England.