It seems to me that your real question is not about who makes what. Help me out if I am reading this wrong. I think that what you are asking is who does what, who can you hold accountable, and who exactly are you hiring to perform which job(s)? I wasnâ€™t sure if you were saying the rent-a-desk agent was from the big company, or that was a different agent. Nonetheless.......
When you hire a buyers agent, you are relying mostly on the agent and only minimally on the company, providing all goes smoothly in the transaction. The company and the broker do not have much hands-on involvement in most buyer transactions. It is the agent who will perform most of the services in traditional brokerages. There are exceptions, particularly in new business models.
When you hire a sellers agent, you might rely mostly on the agent, or dually on the agent and the company to varying degrees. I think this is the heart of your question. How do you know from one situation to another? The commission split may not provide an accurate answer, and her is why. Take three different rent-a-desk agents (as you call them.) One rent-a-desk agent has two assistants and maintains a four figure monthly ad budget. Her assistants have computer, graphic, and real estate experience. She has a storage shed at her home with a complete inventory of signs, riders and she owns 15 lock boxes. Weâ€™ll call her always ready Anna. Another rent-a-desk agent is a one man show with only basic computer skills. He produces basic brochures, has no ad budget, and has two signs that he rotates between his listings as he signs them. Weâ€™ll call him always behind Bob. Then, there is agent number three, always charging Cathy. She works alone, without an assistant, and is a truly amazing one person army. She is organized with systems in place and an efficient use of all the latest tools. All three agents are 100% commission split agents who pay only desk fees, yet the value each brings to the table is vastly different. Bottom line: The commission is not the telling secret of performance and results.
Letâ€™s not forget the agent who works in a traditional brokerage with a shared split and shared expenses with their broker. This agent relies upon her brokerage firm to provide lockboxes, signs, marketing support, advertising support, and more. Items such as tours, floor plans, and brochures may fall to either side of the table, broker or agent depending upon the company.
I think your point in knowing who you are hiring is valid. I just think commission doesnâ€™t answer the question. You could make a list of specific questions to ask. There are no right or wrong answers, as it pertains to who does what. Your confidence will rise or fall based upon how the agent delivers the answer. Do you feel confident that the tasks will be done and done well.? Do you feel confident that you will be represented well? And my final point is that even if the company does everything for the agent, you still need to have a sellers agent who will be able to represent your interest well, knows the inventory, and negotiates the best contract for you.
As an aside, I am a Broker, and we do most everything for our agents so that they may focus their energies on knowing the inventory, and being with customers and clients. Our office staff provides a tremendous amount of hands-on support for agents. Some agents utilize that benefit more than others.