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Listing vs. Buying Agent

By Tiffany Raiford

Whether you want to buy or sell a home in Connecticut, you will need to know the difference between the duties of a listing agent and a buying agent. While most agents work both roles on a client-by-client basis, their duties in each role are, in fact, vastly different. It's imperative you understand the difference so that you know where your agent's loyalty lies.

Listing Agent

The simplest way to explain a listing agent's role is to note that he or she is the agent that represents the seller of a home. When a seller lists a home for sale with an agent, that agent becomes the listing agent. Listing agents are vital when selling a home, but their loyalty lies solely with the seller. They have a fiduciary responsibility to obtain the best (read: highest) sale price for the home, as outlined in the contract they sign prior to putting the home up for sale.

What this means is that calling a listing agent to represent you as a buyer is not a wise decision.

While the listing agent can help you look for a home, he or she is legally bound to disclose any information that might affect the sale of the property to you as the buyer, even if it means losing the sale. Since listing agents receive the full commission when they sell a home they've also listed, they are more apt to show you homes they have listed, and perhaps leave out homes they aren't listing. Finally, as the listing agent's first job is to get the best price for the seller, anything you say to them might be passed onto the seller. For example, if you tell the agent you need to move right away, the agent might mention this to the seller, tipping off your desperation and perhaps, in the seller's eyes, willingness to pay more.

Buying Agent

A buying agent is one that who has the buyer's best interests in mind. If you choose to use a buyer's agent in lieu of a seller's agent when you purchase a home in Connecticut, you can rest assured that your agent is not disclosing any information about you to the seller's of any home, such as the fact that you have a cash offer or that you need to move quickly. Additionally, the buying agent's obligation is to ensure that the price of the home is negotiated to benefit you, not the seller's of any particular home.

It is important to remember that you should not discuss anything with a real estate agent prior to understanding whether or not he or she is the listing agent, or a potential buying agent. This could mean a big difference to you whether you are the buyer or the seller. Ultimately, you want to find the agent who is going to benefit you the most. If you're the buyer, you want a buying agent.

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Milessds sadfasSmith

Thanks for sharing.I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write

... More

Milessds sadfasSmith

I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write many mo re posts like this one.

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