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The Difference Between a Buyer’s Agent and a Listing Agent

So you've decided to sell your home... Now it’s time to find a real estate agent.

While you’re researching prospective real estate agents to interview, you’ll often come across two terms you may not be familiar with: buyer’s agents and listing agents. These terms indicate a difference in perspective and priorities when it comes to the home-selling process. Our team has a wealth of experience in both areas, as well as admin support specifically for both buyers and sellers. However, that's not the case with most real estate agents. Here's a breakdown of the difference between a buyer's agent and a listing agent:

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyer’s agent is obligated to put the best interests of the buyers in mind. In fact, a buyer’s agent contract will clearly state their fiduciary responsibility to the buyer. They’re diligent about everything relating to condition: Disclosures, inspection reports, making sure that any updates and repairs were reported properly. They know potential problems when they see them. A buyer’s agent is focused on price — after all, the goal of a buyer is to pay the least amount of money for the property that suits their needs. 

Buyer's agents know how to engage buyers who would be interested in a home and how to best show a home in a way that appeals to a buyer. That diligence about condition translates into knowing where they can negotiate on price. A buyer’s agent also knows what can be changed easily and the improvements that would add value to a home. 

What is a Listing Agent?

A listing agent is a real estate agent who specializes in working with sellers. They have a seller’s best interests in mind, which is to get the most money for their property in the shortest timeframe. Listing agents may also have specific expertise in a certain type of home or particular cities. 

Their job is to achieve or exceed your asking price. Arriving at the price is based on comparable properties, plus specifics to your home that may add value. Then, the listing agent develops a marketing strategy to get buyers and agents interested but also presents your home in the best light. A listing agent will also spend time on staging and other changes you can make to bring out the beauty of your home. 

Listing agents have insights on what convinces buyers to make an offer on a home, how to distinguish your listing from similar homes, and how to adjust your strategy based on current local marketing conditions. 

What type of agent do I need?

Our answer: both! If you hire an agent with experience on only one side of the transaction, you're only getting half of what you need. It's critical that you work with an agent who understands every step of the process and represents YOU whether you are buying or selling. 

Now more than ever, having an expert in your corner during a real estate transaction is vital to the sale and purchase of your home. And what's even better than having an expert? Having a TEAM of experts! Our specialties cover the spectrum of buying and selling, so regardless of your real estate needs, you can rest assured that we have experience on both sides of the transaction and will make representing you our number one priority.  

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