Listing Agent vs. Buyer's Agent - What's The Diff

    Listing Agent vs. Buyer's Agent - What's The Diff

    Sep 20, 2018

    Do you know the difference?

    This week's topic was inspired by some recent client confusion, and we thought it would be a fantastic educational opportunity for everyone. Those of you who have moved in the past probably worked with the same agent when you were both selling and buying, but did you know they wear very different "hats" when they are working for you on each side of the transaction?

    We get a lot of questions about what an agent does throughout the transaction, and first-time home buyers especially are interested in learning how each agent gets paid and what they can expect from their agent when they make the decision to buy or sell a home. There are some major differences between working as a Buyer's Agent versus a Seller's Agent, and it takes a great deal of skill to be successful in both these areas of real estate.

    To highlight these differences as easily as possible, we are going to take a look at each side of the transaction.

    First, let's talk about what your agent does when he or she is working as your Buyer's Agent:

    • Represent the buyer, obviously, and only the buyer's best interests.
    • Coordinate home showings with the listing agents of houses buyers want to see.
    • Negotiate the price of a home, sales conditions, inspection details & repairs on behalf of the buyer.
    • Work with buyers to determine their wants and needs (within budget!) and then search, or even preview, available inventory for homes that meet buyer's criteria.
    • Paid by a commission, which is settled by the sellers and their agent. Buyers do notpay for their representation unless their agent charges an up-front fee. 
    • Buyer's Agent only gets paid when buyers find their new house.
    • An agent may ask buyers to sign an agreement that states buyers will not switch to another agent when they find a home. This is simply a way to protect the agent so he or she does not put in many hours of work without payment.
    • Once the buyers find a home they love, their Buyer's Agent works with and educates them each step of the way through closing. 

    Next, we will outline some ways the Seller's Agent differs:

    • Also called a Listing Agent
    • Represent the sellers (homeowners)
    • Complete a Comparative Market Analysis to determine the market value of the home and work with sellers to settle on a competitive list price.
    • Once listed, the agent will create a marketing plan to get the house noticed by as many agents and potential buyers as possible.
    • Coordinate showings with buyer's agents who have clients who want to see the home.
    • Host open houses to showcase the home to potential buyers.
    • Negotiate sale price, inspection details, and repairs for the sellers.
    • Advocate for the homeowners and represent their best interests.
    • Negotiate the commission with the sellers for the listing.
    • Split the commission with the Buyer's Agent.
    • Only get paid if they sell the listing.
    •  Inform and educate sellers throughout each step of the transaction to get to the closing.

     Like we stated before, it takes a tremendous amount of skill to do all of these things well for clients. Some agents specialize if they only want to work with buyers or sellers, but most in our market do not specialize. At ERA First Advantage, we want to be specialists in all real estate matters, so our agents are happy to work with clients who want to buy or sell.

    We hope this post has cleared up any confusion you may have about what your Realtor does when he or she works with you. What are some other real estate topics you'd like to learn more about? Share with us because we are here to help you!