In the real estate market, both sides of the transaction (buyer and seller) require representation at all stages. It can be difficult to keep track of the roles of all the professionals involved. Nonetheless, two professionals whose roles you need to understand fully are the seller’s and buyer’s agents.
Whose Interest Do Buyer’s and Seller’s Agents Represent?
Buyer’s agents are obligated to keep the buyer’s interest at heart and to ensure the buyers get the best possible deals. Similarly, seller’s agents are obligated to do the same for the sellers. In some cases, the seller’s agent/listing agent may also work for the buyer.
Both seller’s and buyer’s agents generally have similar skill sets because they often represent both sides, but in different transactions. However, some prefer working for only one side (either seller’s or buyer’s), and therefore, specialize in their area. Both buyer’s and seller’s agents are legally obligated to represent their client’s financial interests.
Responsibilities of Seller’s Agent
- Give the seller the first consultation where they assess the house and advise them on how to declutter, clean, update, and stage to boost the property’s value.
- Refer the seller to contractors who can perform the necessary updates
- Help the seller in staging the property, if necessary
- Hire a photographer to take photos of the house
- Place signage at the property
- Help the seller value the property appropriately to ensure they get the best price in a reasonable amount of time
- Develop marketing materials
- Host private tours and open houses
- Attend home appraisal and inspection tours
- Work with buyer’s agent to settle inspection issues
- Help solve any title issues
- Solve any remaining issues before closing
- Make sure the seller has all the necessary documents
Responsibilities of Buyer’s Agent
- Help buyers get a mortgage and help them in getting it pre-approved
- Analyze the market to help the buyer have a clearer understanding of the market conditions
- Make home tour appointments and direct buyers to the appointments
- Advice buyers on the property’s resale potential
- Help buyers analyze the value and price of a property before they make an offer
- Clarify the offer form and advise buyers whether they should seek further contingencies
- Recommend reputable home inspectors and additional inspections, if necessary
- Attend appraisal and inspection tours and help interpret results as well as negotiate inspection issues
- Clarify key documents such as title commitments and HOA agreement
- Monitor the buyer’s loan commitment
- Assist in coordinating correspondence between the seller, title officer, and lender so that the transaction goes smoothly
- Ensure the buyer has all the necessary documents so that the closing process goes smoothly
- Earn from 2.5% to 3.5% commission, depending on how they agreed to split the commission with the buyer’s agent