A listing agent showing a client available houses for sale

There are two main parties in any real estate deal: the buyer and the seller. Since real estate transactions are often complicated and stressful, you may need a real estate agent to help you navigate the process.

Depending on your personal needs, you may require two types of real estate agents to represent your interests. either a listing agentor a selling agent. A selling agent represents the person seeking to buy a home, while a listing agent represents the person selling their house.

It is vital to differentiate between a listing agent and a selling agent, especially if you’re a first-time property buyer or seller.

The seller’s agent helps buyers search for houses, make offers, and get the best deal, while listing agents help sellers or homeowners market, price, and sell their properties. You need to know the major differences between a listing agent vs. a selling agent and their responsibilities to ensure you get the best deal.

What is a Listing Agent?

Also known as seller’s agent, a listing agent represents the interest of anyone seeking to sell a property. In a real estate transaction, the right agent works on the property’s owner’s behalf to list the property for sale.

During the selling process, listing agents represent property owners from putting up the property for sale to closing the deal.

With their wealth of knowledge of the local market and real estate experience, real estate agents help you determine when to list a property, its sale price, and how to market it to minimize the property’s time on the market and maximize your profit.

The Responsibilities of a Listing Agent

Working with a listing agent makes the selling process less challenging since they provide housing market expertise to: determine the property’s sales price, market the property, negotiate offers, and close the sale. Below are the roles a listing agent plays for the seller.

1. Provides Local Real Estate Market Expertise

A listing agent brings their understanding of the housing market in the property’s area to help the seller maximize the property’s profitability. 

With their current knowledge of comparable properties, listing agents perform a comparative market analysis, preparing your entire sales strategy.

2. Pricing the Property

A listing agent’s principal responsibility is accurately pricing a property. If a property’s price is overly high, it may look unappealing to potential buyers, and if the price is too low, the property will sell below its worth and cut down on the seller’s profit. 

However, sellers agents help the property to sell at a fair market value at a maximum yield.

A luxury apartment ready to be listed

3. Prepping, Staging, and Advertising the Property for Sale

With their knowledge of things that make a house sell faster and things that send potential buyers away, a good listing agent can suggest fast home repairs to increase a property’s market value.

Most real estate agents will organize professional photography and advertising, giving the property a competitive edge. Furthermore, they make your property attractive to prospective buyers.

4. Negotiates Offers

The listing agent helps the seller consider several offers and navigate bidding wars. After the seller accepts a request, the listing agent negotiates details with the selling agent (buyers agent). 

Also, they handle all the paperwork in the listing agreement and ensure the buyer meets all purchase contract terms.

5. Closing the Sale

An excellent listing agent helps you navigate tax procedures, legal documents, and contracts to ensure you don’t miss any vital details that may result in a lawsuit or an audit after closing.

What is a Selling Agent?

A selling agent represents the interest of anyone seeking to buy a property. The buyer’s agent, also referred to as the selling agent, assists the buyer in a real estate transaction.

Before signing a contract with a selling agent, they are called the buyer’s agent. However, they become the selling agent only after signing the contract.

Working with a selling agent or buyer’s agent helps buyers navigate the home buying process since they help in searching for houses that match specific search criteria.

The Responsibilities of a Selling Agent

The selling agent helps home buyers during house hunting to find homes within their budget. Below are the roles a selling agent plays for the buyer.

1. Assist in Getting Financing

Most buyers seek pre-approval or pre-qualification to show sellers their readiness since getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables a buyer to make an offer quickly. A selling agent can bring buyers and credible lenders together before proceeding to find a potential property.

2. Find New Properties

The right agent helps their clients during the house hunting process with access to multiple listing services (MLS), and pocket listing–that is, a broad network of agents and listings.

With this vast catalog, selling agents can select properties best suited for their clients and shorten their search for a new home.

3. Guide Buyers During Property Showings

Walking their clients through the houses they chooseis another vital role of a selling real estate agent.

During the showings, the agent points out any red flags in the property, highlights the property’s most critical selling points, and answers the questions the buyer may have.

4. Negotiating Offers

The selling agent serves as the buyer’s legal representative and is in charge of presenting the seller with offers and counteroffers. Also, selling agents are experts at negotiating neutrally without the emotions buyers may feel when bidding on a property.

5. Closing

The home buying process is often stressful and complex, involving many legal documents, paperwork, and disclosures.

A licensed real estate agent has expertise with contingencies, paperwork, and other legal procedures of the home buying process. Therefore, the selling agent will ensure you close the deal smoothly with everything in check.

A seller's agent standing in a listed house

Listing Agents and Dual Agency

A dual agency occurs when a real estate agent represents both the buyer and seller of a property. In certain states, dual agency is ethical and legal, although to a particular extent.

The drawback of dual agency in real estate is that the agent must be neutral to both the buyer and seller and can’t put one party’s interests above the other.

Generally, a dual agent must inform both the buyer and seller that they’ll represent both sides of the real estate transaction and get approval before commencing. 

Before signing any dual agency agreement, it’s crucial to know your state’s laws and regulations regarding dual agencies.

Listing Agent Vs. Selling Agent Commission Fees

Typically, when working with both the listing agent and selling agent, the property buyer will not pay any agent commission. Instead, the property seller (listing agent) will give the selling agent his commission when closing the deal.

The agents will share the property’s commission the property seller agreed to pay. For instance, if the listing agent’s commission fee is $8, the buyer agent commission will get $4.

Nevertheless, they’ll keep all the commission if the listing agent lists the property and gets a buyer without a selling agent’s help. Therefore the listing agent’s commission fees don’t cost much in comparison to the help they provide.

Tips for Finding a Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re searching for a listing or selling agent, connecting with a real estate agent is vital since their expertise is necessary in the house hunting and selling process. Here are some tips to help you choose the right real estate agent.

1. Online Reviews

Start searching for a realtor by checking the Internet. Check out agency websites, search for local recommendations online, and read reviews of individual agents to get familiar with your options.

2. Ask for Referrals

There are several real estate agents to select from in most towns, and one way to find a good realtor is to ask a family member or local friend who they might have worked with and whether they can recommend them.

3. Meet With Agents Before Selecting

Before deciding if you’ll work with a particular agent or not, you must meet with them and observe their communication style and responsiveness to questions. You can attend an open house the agent is hosting to know if you want to work with them.

4. Ask for Their Track Record

After narrowing your search down, contact the agents you want and ask them direct questions about their experience in the local housing market. 

Ask them how long their properties are usually on the market, the price range of properties they represent, their experience with former clients, and how they intend to sell your property.


Are you wondering how to differentiate between a selling agent and a listing agent? These agents are also referred to as the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

In most real estate transactions, the seller and buyer are each represented by a licensed real estate agent who helps them navigate the home buying or home selling process.

The selling agents work to help you find houses that meet your requirements, confirm you’re paying a reasonable price, and confidently walk you through the closing process if you want to buy a property.

Also, if you are selling a property, a listing agent will help you price the property, find the best buyer, and close on the sale. As a home seller, working with a real estate agent will cost money since you’ll pay a commission.

However, listing agents do lots of work so the cost is worth it.

Are you seeking to buy or sell a property? Contact a licensed real estate agent today with experience in the local market who will look out for your best interests. HomesbyArdor has helped hundreds of people become homeowners and they can help you too! Check out all of their great listings on their website.


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