Listing Agent vs Selling Agent: What’s the Difference?

daily responsibilities of a real estate agent

The vocabulary of real estate can be tricky. For example, depending on their role, a real estate agent may be called a listing agent or buyer’s agent – (or a seller’s agent or a selling agent). While the labels may not seem important, everyone involved in a real estate transaction must understand who represents whom. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between a listing agent vs selling agent.

Getting Your Real Estate License

If you are thinking about a career in real estate, you may envision yourself driving clients to showings and helping them discover hidden gems that could be transformed into their forever homes.

Or, you may like helping your clients stage and market their homes. You may be interested in real estate trends and want to learn how to price a house for a quick but lucrative sale.

Of course, even though you may prefer helping buyers – or sellers – you can assist both when you earn your real estate license. And your work will be overseen by a broker (or managing broker) – an experienced real estate agent with a higher level of certification.

Here’s what you need to know about the main differences between a selling agent vs listing agent. We’ll discuss each role, explain what a Realtor is, and then help you learn how to start your real estate career.

Differences Between Listing Agent and Selling Agent

Listing agents and selling agents perform similar but different tasks during a real estate transaction. However, there are legal and ethical considerations depending on your role.
What is a listing agent?

A listing agent (sometimes called a seller’s agent) helps a homeowner price, market, and sell their home.

A real estate agent listing a home must have an in-depth understanding of the local housing market and the ability to perform the comparative market analysis required to sell a property. In addition, a great listing agent understands the pricing “sweet spot” that gives maximum profit for the seller with a minimum time on the market.

But listing agents do much more than price a home.

What Does a Listing Agent Do?

A listing agent advises on how to prepare a home for showings. A good listing agent knows what features attract buyers – and, conversely, what features turn buyers away from a property. As a listing agent, you will advise your clients on home repairs, quick renovations, or staging techniques that will give the home a competitive edge on the listing sites.

A listing agent lists the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is a database of real estate listings throughout the U.S. Only real estate agents can list on the MLS, so this service isn’t available for homeowners who want to sell their own properties.

A listing agent helps with the legalities of the listing. For example, a homeowner is required to disclose certain information about a property – such as material defects or the presence of toxic mold. As a listing agent, you will know which information must be legally disclosed – and how to do it.

A listing agent will show the property and plan open houses. Prospective buyers aren’t comfortable walking through a home in the presence of the current owners. So a listing agent reassures their clients that they will keep their property safe while pointing out all the great selling points of the home.

A listing agent screens potential buyers. A good listing agent will protect their clients from buyers who aren’t serious by checking mortgage pre-approvals and credit scores.

A listing agent helps complete the appropriate paperwork required for selling real estate. A lot of paperwork is involved in a real estate transaction. You’ll help your client (and their buyer) understand contracts and tax procedures to make sure the sale goes off without a hitch.

A listing agent negotiates on behalf of the property owner’s best interests. This, in a nutshell, is the goal of a listing agent.

What is a selling agent?

A real estate selling agent (or buyer’s agent) helps clients search for properties that meet their specifications. They also assist the buyer with making offers and negotiating contracts.

A house is a significant financial investment. Therefore, most homebuyers need assistance to go through the process, which is the role of a selling agent.

Here’s what you will do as a selling agent.

Selling agents help buyers find credible lenders. Most selling agents encourage buyers to go through the pre-qualification or pre-approval process before looking for homes.

Selling agents help buyers find potential properties. A selling agent uses their knowledge of local real estate, the MLS, and pocket listings to find properties for their buyers. Then, they coordinate the showings and help clients analyze the pros and cons of each home.

Selling agents act as objective legal representatives of the buyer. They look after their client’s best interests during the negotiating process.

Selling agents help the buyer during the closing process. As a buyer’s representative, you will help your client with all the legal and financial paperwork required in the home-buying process.

What is the difference between a listing agent vs Realtor? (or a selling agent and a Realtor?)

We’ve helped you understand the role of a buyers agent vs sellers agent. But where does a Realtor fit into the equation?

A Realtor (notice the capital “R”) is a trademark belonging to the National Association of Realtors. A Realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of this organization.

Learn More About the Industry with Colibri Real Estate

You’ll learn all about the legal and ethical obligations of working as a selling agent vs buying agent when you earn your real estate license with Colibri Real Estate (formerly Real Estate Express). We will teach you all you need to know to pass your real estate license exam – and excel in your real estate career.

Begin the process today of earning your real estate license. We offer four real estate education packages for most states. Even our most basic packages include exam study guides and support from state-approved instructors.

Yes, there’s a lot you need to know to work as a real estate agent – but YOU GOT THIS! Colibri Real Estate has helped hundreds of thousands of students advance in the field, and we can help you too.

More than 200,000 real estate professionals got their start with Colibri Real Estate. See what they are achieving.

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