Signing, Selling, Listing, Buying... it is all like kindergarten stuff if you think about it. On Sesame Street, when I was a child, I learned about the word "cooperation". It was a big word for my vocabulary back then, and amazingly enough it remains a big word in concept for me as an adult.
Cooperating in the process of Real Estate is probably the most elementary and at the same time sophisticated way of of practicing in the industry. The Listing Agent and the Buyer Agent share some of the same responsibilities. They both must meet ethical responsibilities (doing the right thing) and fiduciary responsibilities (duty to act in the client's best interest). That is the elementary stuff. We learned about doing the right thing and acting in other people's best interest on Sesame Street, right? But it becomes a sophisticated process when the duties between the 2 types of Agent Relationships are practiced out in the field. Those two roles, when put to the test, will reveal two very distinct people. Like Bert and Ernie, or Kermit and Miss Piggy, for lack of a better Sesame Street duo.
I imagine you know all of this stuff. But for those unfamiliar with the different skill-set or tools needed to be successful at either job, here is a simple overview:
Listing a home for sale takes a special kind of agent. A Listing Agent must have mastery of Marketing Real Estate. It is almost a separate profession that requires experience, effective tools, knowledge of how to use those tools, financial backing for advertisements and Internet exposure, on top of knowing the Real Estate market and having solid negotiating skills.
A Buyer Agent must master Buyer Agency. They must possess the obvious skills including market knowledge, negotiation, etc., but the most precious thing of all is that the Buyer Agent must invest countless hours to their client. They must commit to you, get to know you, and be continuously available for you to be physically there to drive you to countless listings until you have found your dream home. Weekends, late nights, wind, rain and snow. How may people do you know that will make that type of sacrifice for someone? A Buyer Agent has a very intense job and it takes a special person it do it well.
When a buyer's agent brings an offer to purchase a home to a seller's agent, we call them cooperating agents. Cooperation is a nice word. I admit, if it were not for Sesame Street, I may not have such a deep affection for this simple word. But for you, as a consumer, if you are aware and educated about the differences between the two jobs and what their jobs involve, you will be able to tell the difference between a really good Listing Agent and a really good Buyer Agent... even if they can not!"You Know, cooperating can pay off!"