What’s the actual difference between a buyer agent and a seller agent?
Both buyer agents and seller, or listing, agents have professional obligations to the people they represent. Once a contract is agreed upon, your agent must work toward serving your best interests. For example, upon signing an agreement with a buyer agent, he or she must disclose property-related information to you; this must also be done confidentially and fairly.
In addition to specific contractual obligations and parameters, key differences between buyer vs seller agents are also determined by your goals as a client. However, in some cases a property is listed for sale by the same firm that the buyer agent works for; this is called dual agency. It is a good idea to clarify the specific role of an agent before obtaining his or her services.
Buyer agents also facilitate the sale of new homes. They share the commission from the sale of real estate with a property seller’s agent or listing agent. Buyer agents seek to successfully negotiate a deal on your behalf. This includes making offers to the seller, assisting with relevant paperwork and helping you become more informed about the consequences of closing a real estate deal.
Listing agents work under a different set of objectives because they represent sellers. This is so even though they have similar training to buyer agents. For instance, when a new home becomes available for sale, a seller’s agent is responsible for properly marketing the home via real estate listings, other real estate agents and distribution of promotional materials. These agents also help sellers handle purchase bids.