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Do You Need a Buyer’s Agent or a Listing Agent?

In a real estate transaction, the listing agent works exclusively for the seller, while the buyer’s agent works exclusively for the buyer.   

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What’s the difference between a listing agent and a buyer’s agent? 

They each have unique roles in how they help their respective clients. For the full legal explanation, I’ll quote the definition of each position from the Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationships. 

The listing agent: “A seller’s agent, under the listing agreement with the seller, acts solely on behalf of the seller. Seller’s agents will disclose to the seller known information about the buyer which may be used to benefit the seller.”

This means is that the seller’s agent is bound by a contract in the form of a listing agreement, and they are to get the seller the best terms. The have a fiduciary obligation to find out anything they can about the buyer that would benefit the seller. It’s a common misconception that the listing agent also works for the buyer. While there is such a thing as a dual agent, a listing agent works for one side and one side only. 
If you’re a buyer, the agent with a sign in the yard is working for the seller.
The buyer’s agent: “A buyer’s agent, under a buyer’s agency agreement, acts solely on behalf of the buyer. Buyer’s agents will disclose to the buyer known information about the seller which may be used to benefit the buyer.”

As you can see, this is the complete opposite of the listing agent. If you’re a buyer, the buyer’s agent will help negotiate the contract with you, help you set up showings, and guide you through the closing steps once you have an accepted offer. Buying a home without a buyer’s agent is like going to court without an attorney. 

If you have any more questions about the differences between a listing agent and a buyer’s agent, feel free to give me a call or type something into the comment section below. If you send us a question that we use for a future video topic, you will receive a gift card. We look forward to hearing from you!