Have one agent both to buy and sell or have a separate buyers agent and sellers agent?

Asked by OA, 02144 Wed Feb 11, 2009

I am selling my house and plan to buy another one immediately, should I have one agent both to buy and sell, or should I have two different agents (one seller agent and one buyer agent) from different agencies? The "legalese" is so confusing. Please help!

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Abe Mills, Agent, Greenville, SC
Tue Aug 25, 2009
I would highly advise one agent. They will usually work for less than paying two, and as long as you are staying in the same area, they will know whats going on and where. A good agent can handle this for you no sweat!
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Susan Costa, , Westport, MA
Tue Aug 25, 2009
It has been my experiance that selling your home and using the listing agent as your buyers agent for another properties works best. 1. as stated if you list and commit to the agent to purchase another you can lower the listing commision. 2. Coordination of selling one and buying another is tricky and can sometimes be difficulty when using two agents. The communication is not always there. 3. You build a repore with the agent and they have a vested interest in you.

If there is anything I acn assist you with, please call AMS Real Estate 774-264-9117
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Rona Fischman, Agent, Cambridge, MA
Wed Feb 11, 2009
One agent has double motivation to get your old place sold and your new place bought. That is a double-edged sword. Most agents in Massachusetts work with both sellers and buyers, so most answers are going to be “I can do it all for you.”
Stanford mentions only some of the differences in the skills of buyer’s agents and seller’s agents. Pay attention to that. Pick the best agent you can get for both jobs. In the rare instance, it will be one person. Deb is one of those people; she’s very good.
I am in the tiny minority of agents who only work with buyers. I chose this business model because I think there is a conflict of interest in having the seller’s agents and the buyer’s agents working side-by-side (this is designated agency – the seller of your new house is represented by another agent in your buyer agent’s firm.) Designated agency is legal, but the legalese you saw is trying to explain it to you.
Any good agent knows how to coordinate a buy-sell with another agent. Don’t let that stop you from getting the best agent you can to help you sell and help you buy.
The Consumer Federation of America article on real estate agency is at the link below.
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Deb Nicholls, Agent, Concord, MA
Wed Feb 11, 2009
I agree with the majority here- use the same agent and it will be easier, assuming you are buying and selling in the same area. It will help so much with the coordination, which can get tricky. The comment: "If you buy a house, which is listed by the same agency as your agent is working for, then it becomes dual agency" is technically true, but in practice it is resolved before it happens. The agent you select to represent you will become your "designated agent" in that situation and will represent only you.

As far as the skills go for listing vs selling, I personally think a good agent needs ALL the skills mentioned in a previous post. I have found that representing buyers has helped me be a better listing agent- I know what the buyers are looking for! And the listing agent sure needs to be able to do a great analysis and market valuation to help you price the house correctly from the start.

Anyway, good luck, and as others have said, choose someone you feel very comfortable with!
Web Reference:  http://homes.debn.net
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SanfordMullen…, , Boston, MA
Wed Feb 11, 2009
There is no question you should have two separate agents. I will even go so far as to say the buyers agent you hire should be an exclusive buyer agent - never representing sellers (and doesn't work on a team of sales agents) - this way you can be 100% guaranteed they are working to get you the lowest price, protecting your buy-side interests and aren't steering you towards properties they represent on the sell side.

A Sellers agent should be great at:
Negotiating the highest price
(Very) effective sales person

A Buyers agent should be great at:
Market data analysis (including absorption rates)
Property Valuation
Negotiating (the lowest price)
Identifying property faults and flaws that directly effect value
Effective consultant/educator (NOT salesperson)

It is really important buyers and sellers of real estate understand the difference and the fundamental opportunities in hiring two separate agents that are the best at each type of transaction.

Hope that helps and good luck!
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Judy Boyle, Agent, Marlborough, MA
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Great question!

Buying and selling at the same time is complicated enough. Do yourself a favor and use one agent! Interview a couple in your area and ask them how they can simplify the process for you. Let your heart decide which agent is best for you....personality is very important as you will be seeing a lot of each other!

The only other person you will want involved here...working FOR YOU...is a real estate attorney. Your trusted agent will be able to recommend one. Real estate transactions require lots of contracts. At the bottom of most contracts will be a statement, "If you do not understand this contract, please consult an attorney." When you are exchanging hundreds of thousands of dollars, a few hundred is money well spent on an attorney.

Good luck!!!
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Bob Bittelari, Agent, Belmont, MA
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Hi there, I am sorry but I did not get your name. Once you find a Realtor that you have confidence in and feel comfortable with, you most certainly can use the same agent to both market and sell your existing property, as well as assist you in finding your new home.
The same agent can represent you as your selling agent and also represent you as a buyer's agent. You develope a rapport with the agent and the agent will know your specific wants, needs, and financial capabilities while keeping the information confidential.
The logistics of selling and buying at the same time can be daunting at times. The process can be a much smoother and rewarding transition with one experienced and professional agent woking on your behalf.
Web Reference:  http://www.bobbittelari.com
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Evelyne Gibs…, , Briarcliff Manor, NY
Wed Feb 11, 2009
You can use one agent. Once as a buyers agent and once as a sellers agent.
Make sure you trust your agent 100%. If not, don't hesitate to ask for another person or interview several.

If you buy a house, which is listed by the same agency as your agent is working for, then it becomes dual agency. If you want your agent only to represent you (and not the seller as well. Which he would automatically represent as well, if his company has the listing). You ask for him to be your "designated agent". Now he/her is so to speak stepping out of his office and only representing you. He/she not allowed to give any information out to anyone in his office.

This should be all explained to you upfront with a disclosure form.
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DebOnTheWeb, Agent, Medford, MA
Wed Feb 11, 2009
The Somerville market is active and not suffering the same issues that a lot of the country is seeing. I recommend using the same agent as both your sellers' agent to help you sell your house and as your buyer's agent to help you buy your new house. Keep in mind that in each situation, this agent will be working for you and in your best interest. Part of the "legalese" you'll see is a listing contract from the agent explaining to you that when listing your current house, the agent represents you and a separate buyer agency contract explaining that the agent will be representing you when you go looking for your new house.

With one agent, you'll have one person making sure that the time frames work so that you move as smoothly as possible from your current house to your new house.
Web Reference:  http://www.DebOnTheWeb.com
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Patsy S. Vau…, , Naples, FL
Wed Feb 11, 2009
I personally would want to have one agent for both unless your agency laws don't allow it in Massachusetts. they will have you best interest in mind and nothing motivates a REALTOR like loyalty from a Buyer and Seller.
Patsy Vaughn, CRS
Coldwell Banker
Naples, FL
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Feb 11, 2009
If you use one agent for buy/sell you build a relationship with them. In many instances using same agent they could discount the commission earned saves you money ! Most discounts are provided on listing agreement than on buyers agent agreement

Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
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