Buying Agent Vs Listing Agent: What’s The Difference Anyway?

Jun 3, 2022 6 MIN READ

Amanda Stevens

Reading Time: 6 minutes

We hear the lingo for real estate tossed around frequently. Usually, it leaves us a little bit stumped as to what the meaning is. So when people use the words buying agent and listing agent, what do they mean? Is there a difference and if so, what is the difference?

Do not worry! We are here to help. By the end of this article, you will have all the information that you need to understand the difference between buying agents and listing agents.

In actuality, the difference between buying agents and selling agents is pretty simple. They represent different interests in the real estate world. However, they both work together to make sales and purchases of new homes happen. Yet they do not work as a team, but rather in the same vein of the business.

Read on to find out more about the differences between buying agents and listing agents!

What Is The Difference Between A Buying Agent & A Listing Agent?

So, what is the difference between a buying agent and a listing agent? The answer to the question that everyone is asking is very simple. A buying agent works with a person who is buying a house, while the selling agent works with someone who is selling their house.

Both are trying to get the best deal for their clients, so they must work together at some point to negotiate a price. So while they do not work together as a team to sell and buy houses, they work together in the same stream of business. Many people believe that buying agents and listing agents work together as a team to buy and sell homes, but that is not the case.

Buying agents and selling agents do not have to be from the same realty company or real estate agency to work with each other. Realtors and real estate agents from different groups can work together when it comes to negotiations. This is quite common because there are lots of real estate agencies and lots of people who want to buy and sell their houses!

Buying agents and selling agents need to be able to work together to accomplish what their clients are asking of them, however, they are both trying to achieve opposite goals. 

The buying agent is usually trying to get the selling agent to lower the selling price of the house to make it more affordable or appealing to their client. During negotiations, the buying agent has to make a persuading argument in their favor.

The selling agent, on the other hand, is trying to keep the price steady. Between the two of them, they mainly negotiate about cost, trying to ensure that their client gets the best deal possible. 

Because this job relies so much on communication, it is important that buying and selling agents have a good social network within their area of work. Experienced buying agents and selling agents will have a wide network of people that they know in the real estate industry in their area. This is important because remembering a name and a face can get you a leg up in negotiation.

Negotiation often has touches of psychological warfare. Remembering a person’s name is a great way to prove that you know what you are doing. This may seem silly, but it puts you in a position of power, especially if the other person cannot remember your name!

Buying and selling agents work together pretty frequently, even if they do not work from the same realty company or real estate agency. Buying agents and selling agents who work from the same realty company or real estate agency also have to negotiate with each other about the deal, even if they are from the same group.

That is because regardless of the realty group they are from, they are still trying to get the best deal for their client, so it does not matter if they are from the same group or not.

Additionally, because these two agents are working together to close the deal, they share the commission fee of the deal.

Can A Real Estate Agent Be Both A Buying & Listing Agent?

In short, yes a real estate agent can be both a buying agent and a listing agent. 

The first way is that the real estate agent is representing two different people for the same house. So they may be the listing agent for one client and the buying agent for another. This is because real estate agents often do not have one client at a time. They will work with multiple people at a time, often using houses that they are selling to show to people who may be interested in buying them.

This is called being a dual agent. It is not unheard of, and because most people do not understand the difference between a buying agent and a listing agent, they do not know that transaction brokerage is a possibility. There are some issues people usually have with dual agency.

Avoiding dual agency, unless you trust your real estate agent extremely well, is a good idea. Dual agency in a legal sense means that the real estate agent cannot represent your best interest. This is codified in some states as law and by definition in most.

Other buyers and sellers may be excited to work with a dual agent because they would like to get confidential information about a person who is buying or selling the house. There are a lot of other issues as well, so most of them are on a state-by-state basis and are results of real estate legislation.

It is best overall to avoid dual agency and just stick with the standard procedure. 

How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent To Meet Your Buying & Listing Needs

So now that you understand the difference between buying agents and listing agents, probably time for you to start looking for one! Most people think that finding a real estate agent seems like a very daunting task that will take forever, however, it can be very easy to find a great real estate agent!

We live in an age where technology does half of the work for us. Doing a little bit of investigating online will bring up tons of results for real estate agencies and realtors in the area. There are also websites you can use to help you find highly recommended realty companies in real estate agents in your area.

Another great way to find a trustworthy realtor or real estate agent is to ask close friends and family who have recently moved who they use as their agent. Getting a referral like that is a perfect way to get a great realtor or real estate agent who you know is professional and trustworthy.

Once you find a couple of agencies that you would like to look into more, arrange meetings with each of them where you can ask the real estate agent some questions about their experience, their abilities, their communication methods, and their references.

Always check the references you get from a real estate agent! This is a huge way to make sure that the person you are going to be spending a lot of time and energy with is a hard worker and a good agent.

When talking to a real estate agent for the first time, it may seem strange to start bringing up the end game of selling your house. However, this is a crucial thing to bring up. If you have a deadline to sell your house by, need to turn a specific percent profit, or have other criteria that are unusual or specific, the real estate agent needs to know beforehand.

It is something that can be later written into the contract between the real estate agent and you so that if anything does go awry, there is a plan in place for what to do when and if it happens. For example, if you need to sell your house by a certain date and that date comes and goes, in the contract you and your real estate agent could agree on the terms for what will happen at that time.

In general, you should make sure that you enjoy spending time with your real estate agent. They do not have to be your best friend, but because you will be spending a good chunk of time together, it is important that you like them as a person. You do not want to be spending hours on end with someone who you think is a bit obnoxious. The same goes for them too. Make sure to put up your most professional self and be polite and kind.

If you are looking for great real estate agents, then look no further! Get in touch with our professional real estate agents today to begin the journey to selling and buying a home!

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