Please excuse my ignorance about the real estate transactions, but I have a question about listing agents.

Asked by Tom C, 92506 Thu Aug 20, 2009

Is the listing agent the realtor who is selling the home or property? Are any realtors allowed to help a customer buy ANY home on the market ? and when are realtors required to split commissions with other realtors ? this will clear up a few things for those of us not familiar or experienced in the real estate world. thank you...

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


A, , Tahoe City, CA
Fri Aug 21, 2009
Hi Steve,

There is lots of confusion about agents, who they represent and how they get paid.

First of all not all real estate agents are REALTORS. A real estate agent is licensed by the state where they practice. A REALTOR is a licensed agent and is a member of the National Assn. of REALTORS and subscribe to a CODE of ETHICS, so not all agents are REALTORS.

Sellers of property while hiring an agent, sign a "listing agreement" authorizing the agent to represent them in the marketing, showing, negotiations and paperwork of the sale. So the listing agent's duty is to the Seller. Buyer's may hire their own agent by entering into a "Buyer's Brokerage agreement" with an agent.
Typically, the seller pays the compensation and that fee is divided between the "Listing Office" and "Selling Office" and in turn with the "agents" who worked with the Sellers and Buyers.

Most agents are a part of a Multiple Listing Service within a geographic area and work within that area of expertise and agree to "share" the brokerage fee between the offices and agents. Hope this briefly answers your question, Agents may be able to show you any home for sale in your market area but before engaging with an agent, ask them to explain the "agency" process and any other questions you may have. ,

Best regards,
Al Colhoun
CRS-Certified Residential Specialist
ABR- Accredited Buyers Representive
Prudential California Realty
Prudential Nevada Realty
North Lake Tahoe, Truckee
0 votes
Sasha Spiegel, Agent, Tahoe City, CA
Tue May 8, 2012
Great Questions.
In Tahoe... The listing agent is the seller's agent.
The selling agent is the buyer's agent. Any Realtor can help you buy any home on the market, however it helps greatly to have an experience agent who is active in the market you're interested in.
Lastly Commissions are generally covered by the seller and are split between brokerages evenly. However if you are looking for an Negotiation Specialist who can bring the total purchase price down for you. You may want to consider and agent who's fee is set. In other worlds most of all of their broker fee maybe covered by the seller, however they may request that you pay an additional .05% to cover their costs. In the end, you will probably save more money than the .05% that you paid the buyer's agent, since they are working for you and your best interests.
0 votes
Arlene Macdo…, Agent, Caroline, NY
Sat Aug 22, 2009
Realtors are never required to split commissions with other realtors. They must offer a reasonable commission to the other realtor(the realtor who is representing the buyer).
The listing agent is the person who is helping the seller sell the house.
All realtors are required to help all buyers with any house on the market, but some realtors only deal with
high end properties or just listings. They should then offer to find you a realtor in their office who will be willing to help you.
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu Aug 20, 2009
another resource for you for future reference is a real estate dictionary...see link below

0 votes
Tammy Davis, Agent, Hollister, CA
Thu Aug 20, 2009
Hi Steve,
It is all a bit confusing isn't it?
The agent offering the house for sale is called the "Listing agent"
The agent representing the buyer on the sale is called the "Selling Agent"
Typically when a commission is offered it is split 50/50 between the listing and selling agents..but there can be circumstances which is stated in the listing where there is more commission going to one side opposed to the other. And there can be times when there are selling incentives...such as a seller offering the seller agent x amount of dollars for a quick close. Again...all spelled out the in the MLS (which is only viewed by agents)
Hope that helps ~~
Web Reference:
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Tahoe City Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more