Do You Need Both a Listing Agent and a Buying Agent?

Pros and Cons of Using the Same Agent in Both Roles

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Many buyers and sellers don't really understand how real estate agents operate. They may be unsure how many agents they need when they're listing one home and looking to buy another at the same time. They wonder: Can one agent can represent them in both transactions? Or should they hire a buying agent to help them buy and a listing agent to help them sell?

Some ​agents excel at either selling or listing, and they promote themselves accordingly. It's not out of the question for an agent to specialize only in listing homes for sale; others might work strictly with homebuyers.

Most real estate agents handle about an equal number of buyers and sellers. This means using the same professional in both roles is possible.

What Does a Good Listing (Seller's) Agent Do?

A good listing agent tweaks the fine nuances that separate homes and neighborhoods from their identical counterparts. This is done using the science of comparative market analysis. It's designed to compute an acceptable asking price.

These agents offer extensive marketing campaigns; they are comprised of a combination of direct mail, advertising, networking, and online publishing. These entice agents to show their properties and buyers to tour them.

They understand staging. They can advise sellers on how to prepare the home for sale. They also maintain a referral network of staging professionals and other contractors. They can showcase the home's strengths while downplaying its weaknesses.

They maintain the upper hand during negotiations and protect their sellers' interests while selling the home for the highest price possible in the shortest period of time.

What Does a Good Selling (Buyer's) Agent Do?

This type of agent is ideally patient, compassionate, a good listener, and a problem solver. Buyers' agents are dedicated to figuring out what the buyer wants and delivering it.

They love to show homes. They understand how homes are constructed. And they know how to make improvements that will ultimately boost value in the event of resale.

Buyers' agents are organized, detail-oriented, and they possess excellent follow-up skills. They tend to develop a keen insight into the rock-bottom prices that sellers might accept.

They're gracious, polite, and professional, even under trying circumstances. Associates enjoy working with them. They know the neighborhoods, and they always have a solid grip on what's available now, as well as what was available yesterday.

What Are Good Reasons to Hire Separate Agents?

It would probably be beneficial for you to hire separate agents who each specialize in one area if your present home and your potential new neighborhood are located in different cities. Ask your listing agent for a referral to another agent in the other location.

You'll be paying only for the expertise you require.

Agents who specialize in neighborhoods tend to maintain a backlog of clients who are interested in buying or selling as well, so they might already have a buyer or seller for you.

Your listing agent heads a team and wouldn't necessarily be the primary agent working with you on the buying side of things.

What Are Good Reasons for Sole Representation?

Sole representation can be convenient. You can contact the same agent for two different transactions with one phone call or text message.

The agent can often coordinate simultaneous closings through one title company. They can also share the intricate and progressive details of transactions with the title to get that directive accomplished.

Sometimes the agent will give you a discount on the listing side if you agree to hire that agent to help you buy as well. But keep in mind that each job requires maximum effort. You're dealing with two separate transactions, and agents generally refuse to reduce their fees for this reason alone. It's worth it to ask, though. This is even more true if agents are competing with each other for your business.

The Bottom Line

You might want to stick with one agent for both sides of the transaction if you really like and trust your agent. You can't put a price tag on compatibility and a certain comfort level in an often stressful time.