Buying or selling a home is unquestionably one of the biggest and most important transactions in a person’s life, financially and otherwise. The ins and outs of the entire process can be overwhelming, particularly for first-time homebuyers or sellers. There’s mortgage loan paperwork to manage, open houses to attend, inspections and appraisals to coordinate, not to mention all the different people involved.
While it may seem daunting, rest assured that everyone who plays a role in real estate transactions is essential. Two of the key players involved are also two of the most commonly confused: Listing agents and selling agents. Though their titles sound extremely similar, they have two very different jobs. Here’s a closer look at what their differences are.
Much of the confusion about listing versus selling agents likely stems from the fact that listing agents are frequently also referred to as seller‘s agents. Regardless of which title is used – listing agent or selling agent – this person exclusively represents the seller in a home sale, working solely in his or her best interest.
Listing agents spend their time primarily working with the homeowner trying to sell the property and typically have very little if any, interaction with potential buyers.
Some of the responsibilities listing agents have are:
- Staging the home and marketing it for sale
- Fielding and reviewing offers on the property
The person who exclusively represents the buyer in a real estate transaction is the selling agent, also commonly called a buyer’s agent. While the listing agent is working on behalf of the person selling their home, the selling agent represents the homebuyer and seeks to get them the best available home at the best price possible.
Tasks a selling agent may help potential homebuyers with include:
- Researching homes and monitoring the MLS, looking for homes that meet the buyers’ criteria
- Help buyers to prepare and submit an offer
Whether you are the home buyer or seller, finding an agent who is a good fit, understands your needs and wants in a home, and who has your best interest at heart is crucial.