Difference Between Listing Agents and Selling Agents

Oct 06, 2022 By Susan Kelly

This tidbit of information might lend you a measure of self-assurance as you make your way through the procedure, and it is not difficult to distinguish between the two options. It is important to remember that the listing agent, sometimes referred to as the "seller's agent," works for the seller. The selling agent is sometimes called a "buyer's agent" since they represent the buyer in the transaction.

Seller's Agent vs. Selling Agent

Even though the two terms seem pretty similar and are sometimes mistaken, a seller's agent and a selling agent do not represent the same parties. The job of a seller's agent is summed up in the phrase: they are responsible for listing the property for sale. They are also known as the "listing agent" and work for the party selling the property. They are responsible for marketing the property and ensuring it is sold appropriately.

A buyer's agent is the same thing as a selling agent. The terminology is indeed unclear, but adding the letter "ing" places them on the other side of the transaction from the seller's agent. They attract potential customers to the transaction. In this regard, they achieve the goal of selling a property.

Do You Require the Services of a Listing Agent?

You are free to sell your house on your own, referred to as a "for sale by owner" (FSBO) transaction. However, unless you have a natural talent for marketing and some experience in the real estate industry, you will usually find that working with an agent is more beneficial.

What if you're the one doing the buying? There are specific listing and seller agents that will not take offers directly from buyers but accept bids via buyers' representatives. They are afraid that if they do not take this precaution, then they will experience what is known as a fiduciary duty to the buyer, which is the need to look out for the buyer's best interests. This might be a challenging situation when they officially represent the sellers.

How a Listing Agent Is Compensated

Most deals are closed under the terms of an exclusive representation listing agreement negotiated between the seller's agent and the listing agent. In some exceptional cases, however, a listing agent may agree to take a modest flat fee in exchange for performing the duties of a clerk and entering a house that is up for sale into MLS, even though the agent would not be considered to be representing the seller. It is also possible for the listing agent to agree to an open listing with the seller. In this scenario, the seller may also list the property with many real estate agents; however, this scenario is unusual.

When a seller hires an agent, the most typical kind of seller representation is an exclusive right-to-sell listing that the seller has signed with the listing agency. This indicates that the sole agent eligible for a commission is the listed agent or, more precisely, the brokerage associated with the listing agent. After that, in most cases, the brokerage would divide the fee with the agent. Exclusive listings are agreements between a broker and a seller on both sides of the transaction. Listings agents might want to think that the listing is their property, but if they are not the broker, the listing does not belong to them, even if they feel it does. In a strict sense, the broker or brokerage is the listing owner.

How a Selling Agent Is Compensated

When another brokerage firm represents the buyer, it is common for the listed broker to work with that other firm. In return for introducing a buyer to the selling brokerage, the listing broker will pay that selling brokerage a share of the fee collected if the buyer in question makes an offer that the seller will accept later. A "co-op commission" is the name given to this kind of organization.

When the Listing Agent Is Also the Selling Agent

Even though the listing agent is not usually the selling agent, this does not exclude the possibility of the agent working in a dual agency role as both a selling agent and a listing agent. The selling agent and listing agent may work for the same brokerage, but it's also possible they work for a different, rival agency. A transaction is said to include "dual agency" when both the selling agent and the listed agent work for the same real estate firm, regardless of whether or not the selling agent and listing agent are acquainted with one another. In most cases, transaction agents cannot represent either side and are required to maintain their impartiality.

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