Should You Use the Same Agent to Sell and Buy Homes?

Allison Martin
Real Estate Agent

Do you plan to place your home on the market and purchase a new one in the near future? If so, chances are that you're looking for a real estate agent to help execute these transactions. You may be wondering if you should use one agent for both transactions, or if it would be better to work with one person to sell your home and another to help you purchase a new one.

Using One Agent for Both Sides

While there is no right or wrong answer, there are some factors to consider so you can make the right decision for your situation. First, start by gaining an understanding of the role of buyer's and seller's agents. Next, weigh the pros and cons of both approaches and interview potential agents to make an informed decision.

The Role of Real Estate Agents

Some real estate agents specialize in working with buyers and some specialize in working with sellers, though most provide both types of services. When choosing an agent, you should be familiar with the role that buyer's and seller's agents will play in your real estate transaction.

Buyer's Agent

A buyer's agent helps clients find a house to purchase. He or she searches for homes, conducts tours, researches properties and present any offers you make to the seller's agent. This type of agent also help you negotiate the best deal on a new home and guides you through the closing process.

Seller's Agent

A seller's agent, sometimes referred to as a listing agent, performs a market analysis of the seller's home to determine the optimal listing price. In addition, listing agents are responsible for putting the home on the market, marketing the home to garner maximum exposure, hosting open houses and presenting all offers on the home to the seller.

Benefits of Using the Same Agent

There are several benefits to using the same agent to buy and sell your home.

Cost

Some agents may give you a discount on the commission if you use them for both buying and selling, notes The Balance. Be sure to mention this during negotiations and before you sign any legally binding contracts.

Time

Your agent will be able to coordinate both sides to minimize the stress and hassle associated with using two agents. "If both buyer and seller have their own separate agents, there will be four people's schedules that must be consulted before the property can be shown, [but] cut one agent out, and it makes scheduling 25% easier," notes Realtor.com.

Relationship

The same agent will know you and your specific needs since they'll be working closely with you throughout the process. In fact, experts on Realtor.com mention that it may be ideal to use the same agent to assist you with both sides if you've built a great rapport with someone.

Drawbacks of Using the Same Agent

There are also some cons to keep in mind if you're considering using the same agent for buying and selling a home.

Relocation

If you're planning to relocate to a new city, sole representation may not be ideal since the agent may not be familiar with both markets, notes The Balance. As a result, real estate agent may not be able to negotiate the best deal on a new home or garner maximum exposure for your existing home.

Specialization

The agent may be more specialized in one side over the other and not be the most qualified for both selling and buying. Furthermore, they may overlook details since they are busy with both sides of the process instead of focusing on just one. As a result, an expert from Inman News mentions that it can be to your advantage to use an agent that specializes in either listing or selling homes, but not both.

Making Your Final Decision

Before moving forward, interview several agents and identify those who understand your specific concerns and financial situation who are also knowledgeable about the market where you reside. Interviewing three or more agents is a good way to find out if you get along with an agent and learn how they'll sell your home," notes Credit Sesame.

During the interview, be sure to ask about their experience with similar transactions to help you decide if they are best suited to help you buy, sell or both. Your decision should be based on many factors, keeping in mind the various pros and cons and how they relate to your situation. In, the end you will want to use someone (or two individuals) that you trust and feel comfortable with.

Should You Use the Same Agent to Sell and Buy Homes?