Oc_almost_ag…, Other/Just Looking in Huntington Beach, CA

Buyer-side or Seller-side agent. Which is better and why? Which do you prefer being?

Asked by Oc_almost_agent, Huntington Beach, CA Tue Jun 22, 2010


I just found out about Trulia today, and I wanted to thank all of the contributors to this forum. It's been extremely beneficial for a guy like me who is considering starting out in real estate.

I also had a question that I am wondering someone can help me out with.

I have always been wondering if it is better to be the buyer side agent or the seller side agent.

From watching all the TV shows available, it seems as thought being the seller side agent takes less time, but spend more money (on marketing, showing, etc...) The buyer side agent seems to me that you have to spend more time with the client showing them the property that are available, but doesn't seem to have too much expenses except for the miles driven to houses.

Can you please tell me if agents/brokers prefer being the buyer side agent or the seller side agent? I would like to know how other seasoned agents feel about this.

Thank you very much!!

Help the community by answering this question:



Welcome to the club :). Buyers and sellers are different! Your business plan needs to have both....or you limit yourself. The good news about listings is that you can take the time to ask experienced agents for advice. Buyers you will need to do more on the "fly" . I would suggest that you spend some time with other agents in the car and learn from them.....

Good luck with your new career!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Hi OC,

I run about 50-50 at any given time, let's say a 6 month interval. In my opinion, it's sooooooooooo much easier being on the selling/listing side. It's like pitching and catching in a baseball game. They both take energy but the catcher sure seems to be expending a lot LESS energy than the pitcher (the pitcher being the buyer's agent).

Nothing beats listing. After your initial work, your marketing strategies take over. You're not out meeting clients with time limits and showing properties all day. Real estate has become so streamlined and hi-tech that being a listing agent probably takes 25% of the time it took back in the 60s and 70s, or so it seems to me!


Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton, FL
Web Reference: http://www.SunnyBoca.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Seller side is much easier market the property build relationship with buyers agent VS. buyers invest 40 to 100 hours then may not even purchase a home.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Hello New Agent;
Well come to our stressful world of Real Estate. This is a very out of ordinary market. So jump in with this in mind that what ever come to your way you will well come. Generally you have to start as a Buyers agent to begin with. Once you start building your client data base, you will start going into listing agent part of it. But I want to share with you that being a Listing Agent is not any easier than a Buyers Agent. These days you need to work twice as much to sell your listings too. So start with Buyers and eventually reach for listing part.
Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 24, 2010
Wow! Thank you very much for so many responses!

I really appreciate all of your opinions about this, as it helps to understand how the industry works, as well as try to direct my career in the right direction.

I am amazed at the level of support and collaboration. Real estate does seem like a great career to be in. :)

Thank you again for all the responses!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Listings are the lifeblood of any real estate brokerage, since a properly marketed property will eventually sell. Buying can be more fun, but listing is more profitable over the long haul.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
When I received my license back in the 90's my Broker hammered into me to be a listing agent. As a new agent I really didn't care what I was - I just wanted to work with either. About 6 months in I started working the new construction niche and hence became a buyer's agent. After all these years I probably am at a 80/20 80% being buyer deals. I enjoy both. I do feel that they are pretty equal when it comes to time and cost just in different ways.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
I'm also pretty new to Trulia and I'm hardly a seasoned agent - but speaking from my own experience I enjoy working more with buyers (especially first-time buyers). Seeing their reaction when you help them find their perfect home, to me is very rewarding. I do want to point out that in addition to the car expenses showing homes, etc, I do spend a significant amount on prospecting for new buyers not just for sellers.
But I also like to work on the seller end, each property has it's own character and I like to task myself to develop an effective marketing plan to satisfy my clients wishes.

My best wishes to success in your endeavors,

Rudolf "Rudy" Czirbik
Sales Associate
Coldwell Banker Franklin Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010

I don't personally have a preference. I would add that you need to truly enjoy the business. I have been working with a buyer now for 4 years. I show this client properties from time to time and am always there to answer questions as they arise. Would other agents question the return on investment? I believe, yes. However, my dedication to this client and her unique needs resulted in the opportunity to list her daugher's home for sale. You never know where business will come from.

Yes, when representing a buyer, you don't typically have direct expenses, but the hours spent with them, your research time, the time it takees to prepare an offer, negotiating time, managing the escrow/closing issues and time line and gas add up. Let's not forget the indirect expense associated with representing buyers like your fee to belong to the MLS, your advertising costs which brought the client to you originally, your association dues, business cards, e&o coverage, etc. (and these are the expenses that are top of mind). I bet if you factor it all in, there really isn't a big difference in your net.

Bottom line, you need to love the business and be patient with clients providing them with the value that they uniquely need. I would not turn away a client on either side (selling or buying). If the client invests in me, I will invest in them.

All the best,
April Tavares, GRI
Realtor, DRE License #017421479
Web Reference: http://www.AprilTavares.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
There is a lot of pressure in the industry to be a listing agent, other agents respect you more, you will make your office manager happier, etc. But, in truth, I enjoy my relationship with my buyers more.
When I work with a buyer I have to really understand their wants and desires to help them find a home they want. Because of this I naturally become much closer to my buyers. As such, I have become friends with many of my buying clients. I also believe that in the long run, they will support your career.
When those buyers want to move up, they will choose you to sell the house you helped them buy, and you will get them their new house. Add to this the referrals you will get from them, because you have grown so close.
Sellers can mean a faster payday, but buyers really make me happy to be in this business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
It really comes down to who you prefer working with. My business has always been split 50/50 between Buyers and Sellers. That works fine for me. I get the best of both worlds. But that may not be what works for you.

As far as the sheer amount of work goes, once a house goes under contract for sale and purchase, both agents are pretty busy keeping everything together until closing. If you like marketing, you probably will like working with Sellers. If you like what I call "the thrill of the hunt", you probably will like working with Buyers. Either way, you will need to develop your sales and negotiating skills.

Of course, your Broker will tell you "You need to list to last." There's truth to that, since you can be on vacation, or sick in the hospital, and still have Buyer side agents find purchasers for your listings. If you focus primarily on Buyers, you may find it harder to take time off and still earn a living.

But don't make decisions beforehand. Try both and see what you like. You may find, like me, that you actually prefer both Buyers and Sellers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Being a Real Estate Agent / Broker is not about what is "easiest" or "takes less time" or "costs less". It is about helping people achieve their dreams and goals. Buying a house - or selling a house may be the largest single transaction people may ever be involved with. Buyers and Sellers need us to help guide them through the process, and to provide information so they can make good decisions. We are not Attorneys, we are not Accountants, we sometimes are psychologists, therapists, moms, dads or just plain confidants.

Now to your question. I prefer working with Sellers and moreso over the past 3 years Short Sellers. It's very hard work but for me it's rewarding and it's my way of giving back to those struggling through this economy. Amy I going to get rich? No. Will I sleep at night, Yes.

I also work with Buyers.

I never do both sides of a transaction.

Best of luck in this very rewarding career.


Thom Colby
Broker / Owner
Thom Colby Properties
Newport Beach, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
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