Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Buyers’ Agent, Selling Agent, Sellers' Agent – What’s the Difference?


AVWs SuperBroker LOGO Distinguished Marketing GrpBuyers’ agent, sellers’ agent, selling agent. In every Long Beach & Lakewood real estate transaction, the differences are easy to understand, right?

Not quite. A potential linguistic trapdoor can lie right around the corner.

For openers, that sellers' agent may also be called the ‘listing agent’ – both mean the same thing. The ‘trapdoor’ is a further complication that comes into play once a contract is in place -- after which the buyer’s agent may also properly be called the ‘selling’ agent!

The potential confusion between seller’s agent and selling agent doesn’t usually have much practical significance: after all, by then, everyone should know the cast of characters and who represents whom. But it can come into play if buyer or seller are not actually present here in Long Beach or Lakewood to keep the names and duties sorted out -- but that’s rarely the case.

What is significant is how the duties of each designated Long Beach & Lakewood agent differ in their obligation to you the seller (or you the buyer). Briefly, the buyers' agent helps prospective buyers find properties for sale, and the listing agent helps their home owning clients sell their Long Beach or Lakewood homes at the most favorable price as quickly as possible.

Both agents have a fiduciary duty to represent their clients’ best interests, which can differ markedly. Nonetheless, in transaction broker states, it is also possible for an individual agent to represent both sides, which carries a special designation known as ‘dual agency.’

Personally, I have found that being a listing agent in Long Beach and Lakewood brings me many calls from future buyers who later become clients -- at which point I turn into a buyer’s agent, and after a contract is opened, the “selling agent”! Should you ever become confused (and now you can see how!), just ask me or …  your own agent to go over the differences for you. When you pick an agent whose knowledge and integrity are beyond question, he or she will be able to quickly clarify the representation.

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