What’s The Difference Between a Listing Agent, Selling Agent, And Seller’s Agent

Buying or selling a home is a complicated process involving a number of lengthy steps. Along the way, you’ll interact with several different agents and other professionals. It can be confusing to keep track of which person handles which task, but knowing the right person to contact for each step will help you approach the sale with confidence.

Two of the key players when buying or selling a home are the listing agent, also known as the seller’s agent, and the selling agent. You should understand the difference between these agents’ tasks and responsibilities so that you know what to expect as you get ready to sell or buy a house.

What Is a Listing Agent

What Is A Listing Agent?

A listing or seller’s agent is a real estate agent who helps homeowners sell their homes. The responsibilities involved with selling a house are mostly separate from the responsibilities involved with purchasing one, so the day-to-day workflow of a realtor acting as a listing agent will look different than when they’re acting as a selling agent.

The following are the major tasks that listing agents handle when helping homeowners list and sell their houses:

Writing the Listing Agreement

Writing The Listing Agreement

The listing agreement is the contract between the homeowner and the listing agent that authorizes the agent to sell the property. It outlines the agent’s commission and the responsibilities they will take care of throughout the process. Before your listing agent officially starts their work, they will draft up the listing agreement with your input. Then, you’ll both sign it and get ready to list your home.

Completing the CMA and Pricing the Home

Completing The CMA And Pricing The Home

Because the real estate market is in constant fluctuation, pricing your home can be a complicated endeavor. However, your listing agent has the knowledge and resources to calculate an accurate price for your home in the current market. They’ll complete a comparative market analysis, or CMA, which will help them determine a fair price for your home based on similar properties in the area.

Marketing the Home

Marketing The Home

Attracting buyers is one of your listing agent’s most important jobs. All agents have different methods for preparing a house for the market, and some may be more involved than others in staging or upgrading your home for showings. They’ll likely take high-quality photos of the interior and exterior of your home to create an appealing listing, and they’ll host open houses so that buyers can see the property in-person.

Negotiating and Closing the Sale

Negotiating And Closing The Sale

Your listing agent is an expert on negotiating home sales. They should know what a reasonable offer is for your neighborhood, and they should be able to negotiate effectively without losing out on an offer. Once you’re ready to accept an offer, your realtor will walk you through the closing process and will assist you in gathering the documentation needed to follow through with the sale.

What Is a Selling Agent

What Is A Selling Agent?

A selling agent is a real estate agent who helps people find and purchase homes. They work with buyers from the early stages of the process until they’ve closed on their new house.

Here are the main responsibilities of a selling agent:

Finding Homes That Meet the Buyer's Criteria

Finding Homes That Meet The Buyer’s Criteria

Almost all home buyers have a general idea of what they’re looking for in a house. You may not have a highly specific vision for your new home, but you probably have some criteria regarding the property’s location and size. Your selling agent has access to multiple listing services, which include detailed information about available homes in your area. Based on your criteria, your realtor will narrow down the search and find the houses that best fit your needs.

Touring Homes With Buyers

Touring Homes With Buyers

Your selling agent will most likely accompany you to showings. They’re real estate experts, so they’ll offer valuable information and advice while you evaluate the homes. Often times, selling agents point out red flags in properties that prospective buyers don’t notice on their own. They can also point out the favorable qualities in a house that may go overlooked by the layperson.

Making and Negotiating Offers

Making And Negotiating Offers

Like listing agents, selling agents are experts at negotiating. Your selling agent can help you get the best deal on a property by making an offer that’s appealing to the seller yet not excessive. If you end up in a bidding war with another buyer, your agent will help you navigate the process, and they’ll advise you when it’s time to move on and search for another home.

Connecting the Buyer With Other Professionals

Connecting The Buyer With Other Professionals

As you prepare to close on a new home, you’ll have to get in touch with several other professionals. You’ll work with a mortgage lender to secure the home loan, a home inspector to check for problems with the property, a title company, and other entities. Your selling agent is closely familiar with all of the steps that go into buying a house, and they probably know the best people in your area to work with. They can connect you with everyone you need to communicate with, which helps to streamline the process.

dual agency

Dual Agency

In rare cases, one realtor acts as the listing agent and the selling agent for a home sale. Known as dual agency, this can make the experience faster and easier for both the buyer and seller. The agent has to remain completely neutral in the sale, though, so they can’t offer as much help with negotiation as they would if they were working solely for one party.


Bottom Line

The selling agent and listing agent both play key roles in the sale of a home, but their responsibilities differ greatly. Both strive to make the experience as easy as possible for the homeowners and home buyers, and both try to get the best possible deals for their clients. Some realtors primarily work as one type of agent, and some offer both services. If you’re looking for a real estate agent to represent you when buying or selling a home, what’s most important is that you work with someone you trust and feel comfortable with.

Be sure to check out the Home Valuation Tool, reach out for your personalized Home Value Report, Calculate Your Future Mortgage or you may find the Home Buying and Selling Guides handy too!

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About the Author

In the vast tapestry of Northern Virginia, Michele's roots run deep, with an unyielding passion to help her clients make smart moves. This region is a sprawling masterpiece, each corner radiating a unique personality that caters to diverse lifestyles. Michele's unwavering mission is to delve into the essence of her clients' aspirations, meticulously curating the perfect match between their dreams and the vibrant tapestry of Northern Virginia, even as lifestyles evolve and dreams take new forms. 

Armed with a formidable arsenal of market analysis, strategic prowess, and unrivaled consulting expertise, Michele empowers her clients to navigate the ever-shifting currents of the real estate landscape. She unveils the intricate dynamics and fierce competition that shape the market, providing her clients with a profound understanding that fuels their success. While the emotional tides of property transactions can easily sway hearts, Michele stands unwavering as the guardian of her clients' best interests, ensuring they relish every precious moment along the way.

Michele has forged an alliance with the industry's trailblazers, joining forces with Real Broker, LLC, a groundbreaking startup that challenges the very fabric of conventional practices. With an expanding network of exceptional agents nationwide, armed with cutting-edge resources, Michele remains at the vanguard of the evolving real estate industry, poised to transform dreams into concrete reality. 

Discover the unparalleled service, the unwavering commitment, and the magnetic spirit that will guide you towards finding not just a home, but a sanctuary where dreams flourish. 

Are you ready to unlock the door to your NVA destiny?