Understanding the difference between a listing agent, a selling agent, and a seller’s agent can be confusing for homebuyers and home sellers. Each role provides a particular service during the home buying and selling process.
Here is a breakdown of what these real estate terms mean, their differences, and their responsibilities.
Related: Why Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?
What is a Listing Agent?
A listing agent, commonly known as a seller’s agent, is a real estate agent whose role is to represent a home seller in a real estate transaction. Listing agents are responsible for helping their clients during the home selling process. Some of their key responsibilities are:
- Pricing the property.
- Interior and exterior staging.
- Marketing the home.
- Negotiating offers in the seller’s best interest.
What Is a Selling Agent?
A selling agent, also known as a buyer’s agent, is a real estate agent representing the buyer throughout the home buying process.
Before a contract between the homebuyer and seller is signed, the agent working with the prospective buyer is called a “buyer’s agent.” However, if the home goes under contract, the same agent will be referred to as the “selling agent.” This name change can be confusing, especially for first-time homebuyers.
Some of the selling agent’s responsibilities are:
- Finding homes that meet the buyer’s needs and budget.
- Giving home tours.
- Submitting and negotiating offers on the buyer’s behalf.
- Ensuring that the homebuyer gets the best deal.
What Are the Differences Between a Listing Agent and a Selling Agent?
The most considerable difference between a listing agent and a selling agent is who they represent during a real estate transaction. For example, listing agents represent the home seller, while selling agents represent the homebuyer.
Many real estate agents specialize in one side of the transaction; however, a typical real estate license allows agents to represent buyers and sellers.
What Are Listing Agents Responsibilities?
Prepare the listing agreement
The beginning of the home selling process involves signing a listing agreement. This contract defines the listing agent’s responsibilities, obligations, and commissions. Additionally, it grants the agent authority to market and sell the property within an agreed timeframe.
Price the home
Once the listing agreement is in place, the agent will run a comparative market analysis (CMA) of similar local homes. The CMA, also known as a “comp,” will help the agent determine a fair and realistic listing price.
Prepare the home for the market
Getting the best price on the market requires a level of preparation. A listing agent will advise the home seller about any forms or disclosures they need to make.
Additionally, listing agents will suggest any repairs or updates to the home to be more appealing to buyers.
Market the home
Once the asking price is confirmed, the agent will find ways to market the property to prospective buyers, such as 3D walkthroughs or professional photos.
Additionally, listing agents will write the listing copy, create sales brochures, place a “For Sale” sign, and market the property online and offline.
The listing agent presents offers to the home seller and helps them get the best deal. If a seller accepts an offer, the agent will negotiate the finer transaction points with the buyer’s agent.
Listing agents also organize and request buyers’ documentation and ensure the purchase contract is upheld. Finally, the listing agent will advise the seller about any contingencies in the agreement, like inspection or home sales.
What Are Selling (Buyer’s) Agents Responsibilities?
Finding homes that meet the buyer’s criteria
Homebuyers typically have a set budget and desire specific home features. The selling agent helps them locate potential properties and decide on an amount to offer for a home.
View properties with their client
Selling agents also tour properties with their clients. During this process, they advise homebuyers about the positive and negative aspects of the home while identifying any problem areas and answering questions.
Submit offers and help with negotiation
If a buyer finds a property, the buyer’s agent will help them submit and negotiate offers. Having a real estate agent for this stage is crucial, as they will try to get the best price and deal for the buyer.
How are Real Estate Agents Paid?
Both listing agents and selling agents receive a commission. Typically, this is around 5%-6% of the home’s sale price, split evenly between both agents. However, this percentage can vary depending on factors like location and a particular agent’s practices.
What is Dual Agency?
A dual agency is when one real estate agent represents both buyer and seller in the same transaction. The downfall with a dual agency is that it eliminates one of the most significant advantages of working with a buyer’s agent, which is their commitment to getting their client the best possible deal.
Dual agents need to be transparent about representing both parties and seek approval beforehand. In addition, each state has particular laws that deal with dual agency.
Marimark Realty’s real estate agents focus on providing a personalized experience for buyers and sellers of real estate. As a full-service real estate agency, we help clients with luxury homes, homes for first-time homebuyers, commercial property, and investment property.
To begin the journey of purchasing or selling your home, or purchasing commercial or investment properties, contact us at your earliest convenience.