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The Difference Between Hiring a Buyer's Agent to Sell your Home vs an Expert Listing Agent

Karene Garlich-Loman

Over 20 years in the service industry has taught me the value of good customer service. I believe it comes from honesty, integrity and perseverance...

Over 20 years in the service industry has taught me the value of good customer service. I believe it comes from honesty, integrity and perseverance...

Sep 8 7 minutes read

So you've decided to sell your home... Now it’s time to find a Realtor®.

While you’re researching prospective Realtors® to interview, you’ll often come across two terms you may not be familiar with: buyer’s agents and listing agents. Though many potential sellers make the mistake in thinking that any Realtor® can sell your home, these terms indicate a difference in background and perspective when it comes to the process of selling a home. Here’s what you need to know before you decide to interview a buyer’s agent or a listing agent:


What is a Buyer's Agent?


Put yourself in your target buyer's shoes. Say there are 40 homes on the market which meet their specifications, in terms of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, price range and location. And 25 of those top the list. But they only have time to see eight today. If the buyer's broker can't get into your house today, because you have so many restrictions around showing it, your home could very well miss out on a showing with this qualified, motivated buyer.

It might seem overly simple, but if you want multiple offers, it behooves you to make sure your home is available to be shown today. Every day that it is on the market. Inconvenient? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. A challenge to keep the place clean at all times? Assuredly. But consider your priorities and what is at stake. If getting top dollar for your home is at the top of your priority list, then you have to be ready and willing to deal with the inconvenience involved in churning up multiple offers and getting your home sold

Can a Seller Higher a Buyer's Agent?


Here’s the issue: How to actually hire a buyer’s agent to represent the sale of your home. Remember, buyer’s agents are obligated to the best interests of a buyer, not a seller. So, exclusive buyer’s agents likely will not work with a seller. 

Some buyer’s agents will work with a seller who will need to buy a property in the same area by handling both transactions. Occasionally, these agents can offer you a discount on services relating to listing your home, but this would depend on the Realtor®. If you don’t want to make multiple calls to multiple Realtors®, having sole representation for both transactions would cut down on the back-and-forth. 

Then, there are Realtors® who are generalists, but have expertise representing buyers and may even market their experience as a buyer’s agent on their websites. However, they are not exclusive buyer’s agents. You can ask these Realtors® to “put on their buyer’s agent” hat (so to speak) as you work together. 

What is a Listing Agent?


A listing agent is a Realtors® 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 type of home: Historic homes, luxury properties, townhouses, condos, vacation homes, or even specific styles (like mid-century modern homes). 

Like a buyer’s agent, a listing agent is focused on making a sale. However, the route they take to get to the sale is a bit different. 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 your home 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. Further, listing agents have an advantage when it comes to negotiation. They’re more likely to set a higher asking price than an agent who deals more with the buyers’ side of transactions. 

Then, there are Realtors® who are generalists, but have expertise representing buyers and may even market their experience as a buyer’s agent on their websites. However, they are not exclusive buyer’s agents. You can ask these Realtors® to “put on their buyer’s agent” hat (so to speak) as you work together.




Why Should I Hire a Listing Agent?


When hiring an agent to sell your home it's important to understand the different aspects that go into the sale from preparation and marketing to showings and negotiation. An agent that specializes in listing and selling homes will be prepared with a plan for your listing to come to market in the most effective way possible. 

Often times, what happens before a property is listed are the most important parts of selling the property. Between pricing strategy, staging, photography, videography, and online marketing listing agents have proven tactics for each of these steps. Once you're ready to list your home your listing agent will walk you through all of the steps of the process such as hosting open houses and navigating multiple offer situations. 

A buyer's agent may not be prepared or trained to handle all of the aspects of the sale as efficiently and successfully as a listing agent. Now more than ever, having an expert in your corner during a real estate transaction is vital to the sale of your home.

 

Ready to Buy a Home?

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