Real estate selling agent shows a home to a couple

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

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.

Differences Between Listing Agents and Selling Agents

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.

Before we continue our discussion on the difference between a listing agent and a selling agent, it’s important to note that you can serve both roles as a licensed real estate agent. You’ll learn the responsibilities of listing and selling agents in real estate school.

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.

What does a listing agent do?

Listing agents do much more than price a home. Here are some of the tasks associated with listing agents.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Helps with the legalities of the listing

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.

4. Shows the property and plans 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. In addition, a listing agent coordinates showings with buyer’s agents and plans open houses to increase traffic through the home. 

5. Screens potential buyers

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

6. Helps complete the appropriate paperwork required for selling real estate

A lot of paperwork is involved in a real estate transaction. As a listing agent, you’ll help your client (and their buyer) understand contracts and tax procedures to make sure the sale goes off without a hitch.

7. Negotiates contract terms

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

Many people are confused by the term “selling agent.” But a selling agent represents a buyer, and a seller’s agent represents a seller.

What does a selling agent do?

Like every industry, the real estate profession is going through changes. A new selling agent can thrive by embracing change, adapting to technological advancements, and focusing on providing exceptional service.

Here are some of the roles of a selling agent in real estate.

1. Helps buyers find credible lenders

Most selling agents encourage buyers to go through the pre-qualification or pre-approval process before looking for homes. A good selling agent has a network of local real estate-related professionals they can send clients to for help and advice regarding mortgages.

2. Helps buyers find potential properties

A selling agent uses their knowledge of local real estate, the MLS, and pocket listings (listings not advertised to the general public) to find properties for their buyers. Then, they coordinate the showings and help clients analyze the pros and cons of each home.

3. Helps the buyer during the closing process

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

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 of earning your real estate license today. 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