How Buyer’s Agents and Listing Agents Work Differently
As a Palm Beach County real estate agent I work with buyers and sellers on a variety of real estate transactions. Whether it’s a first time buyer, repeat buyer, investor or seller, the transaction is always different because each home and homeowner are unique. This is where the differences really come into play when buying or helping someone buy or sell property.
A Listing agent is one that works for the seller. We list the property on the MLS and conduct all the business from the seller’s side and advocate for the seller in negotiations and conversations.
A Buyers agent works solely for the buyer, facilitating the transaction on the buyer’s behalf, looking out for their interests and financial confidentiality.
Each agent or broker has their own interests and duties depending on who they work for and each can bring something different to the table during the purchase and sale contract and marketing.
The Listing Agent – Gateway to Property Exposure
The listing agent has many different duties but only one that they are required to perform; ethical responsibility to the seller. When a licensed agent agrees to sell a house, they must abide by the laws and rules set for with the State of Florida on ethics and working for the seller. If that’s all the listing agent does for the seller, they better have another job lined up. A great agent will go above and beyond the basics and offer everything possible to expose and sell the house for the seller. Here are just some of the things that a great listing agent or broker should be doing:
- List on the local and national MLS
- List the property on national sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Homes and Realtor.com
- Advertise the Property on their website, social media and blogs
- Market the property to prospective buyers across the country in applicable places
- Talk to other buyer’s agents about the property
- Hold brokers opens and open houses
- Offer incentives to buyers or their agents in order to get the home sold
- Continually market the property
- This is a unique marketing strategy. Too many agents marketing the property once and let it sit there waiting for a buyer to come through. A great agent will market it again and again across all the boards of advertising to keep it in front of potential buyers. Remember, it only takes one.
- Negotiate for the seller and the seller’s needs and budget.
- Keep things confidential throughout the process to stay ahead of the buyers and their agent.
- Follow-up with sellers along the process so the seller is well-informed.
All of these things help the seller market the home, sell the home and stay informed along the way. Exposing the property to a wide variety of potential buyers and buyer’s agent is the best way to get the home sold.
The Buyer’s Agent – Working for the Buyer Alone
The Buyer’s agent has a unique roll in that they were not hired by any seller, nor were they “hired” by a buyer either. The buyer’s agent will get half the commission of any home they sell so the real job is to simply work just for the buyer on whichever home they want. The buyer’s agent can sit back and wait for the buyer to ask to see a property and then use their forms to write up the offer or they can go the extra mile and really provide outstanding service for their buyer. Here are some of the ways a buyer’s agent really works for their commission.
- A Buyer’s agent is proactive when it comes to offering great properties to the buyer. Emails, calls and texts information about new or upcoming listings that might fit the criteria.
- Offers tips and suggestions to getting an offer accepted in a tight market with multiple offers.
- Keeps the negotiating cards close at hand using leverage when applicable to appeal to the seller and listing agent.
- Is available to show homes when the buyer is and makes arrangements with sellers and the listings agent.
- Answers the phone or emails in a timely manner.
- Continually works for the buyer in all negotiations from the initial offer to inspections to final walk-throughs and closings.
- Answer any and all questions so the buyers feel well-informed of all their options and the process in general.
- Works hard to get the buyer’s terms and price if possible.
- Stays in constant communication with banks (if foreclosure or short sale), listing agents and sellers as well as the buyer with any news or correspondence.
Read More: Should I use an individual agent or company?
Can a listing agent also be a buyers agent?
Yes, but this is called dual-agency and can be a tricky scenario. Since each is working for a different party, it’s hard to be faithful and completely honorable to both at the same time. Listing agents will get the full commission when they also are the buyer’s agent so it can be an incentive for the listing agent to find a buyer but then that buyer may not be as well taken care of had they use their own agent.
This is a slippery slope but it’s not illegal. If you choose to go with a listing agent as your buyer’s agent, make sure you understand the process and feel comfortable being your own advocate.
Read more: How to Price your Home for Sale
If you would like more information on buying or selling Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, North Palm or anywhere in Palm Beach County Florida, feel free to call or email me! I handle both sellers and buyers in an ethical way, attending to the needs of whomever is my client.