5 min read Feb 07, 2024

What Is a Listing Agent and Should You Hire One?

Edited By

Megha Mulchandani

Edited By

Megha Mulchandani

Editor, Houzeo

Megha M. is an adept content editor well-versed in the intricacies of American market dynamics and economic trends. In her free time, she excels as a versatile theatre artist and public speaker.

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In 2022, For Sale by Owner houses accounted for around 10% of all sales in the country. That was a massive 7% increase compared to 2021. Moreover, 55% of millennials now feel comfortable selling houses on their own.

This shows that more sellers today are reluctant to pay a hefty agent commission and dilute their profits.

If you too want to avoid commission, check out Houzeo, a leading FSBO platform. With Houzeo, your home will be listed within 48 hours for a small flat fee. You can also manage all your listings and showings conveniently using the mobile app.

Key Takeaways

  • Listing agents charge around 6% of the sale price as their commission. That’s $6,000 for every $100,000 you earn from the sale.
  • Around 60% of sellers choose FSBO to save money.
  • Almost 2/3rd of FSBO houses sell within two weeks.

What Is a Listing Agent in Real Estate?

Listing agents are licensed professionals who represent sellers in a real estate deal. They prepare your property for sale and guide you through every step of the sales process.

A listing agent’s responsibilities include:

  • Price the property based on real estate comps and market analysis.
  • List the house for sale.
  • Market the house to find buyers.
  • Manage inquiries and house showings.
  • Negotiate offers for you to secure the best deal.
  • Manage the necessary paperwork and closing process.

Listing Agent vs. Selling Agent

A typical real estate transaction involves two agents – a listing and a selling agent. Both agents work together toward a smooth and successful deal closure. However, their exact roles differ significantly.

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between listing agent and selling agent:

  • Listing Agent: A listing agent is also called the seller’s agent. They assess your property’s value, market it to buyers, and negotiate the best offer for your house.
  • Selling Agents: A selling agent helps buyers find properties, make offers to sellers, and negotiate the terms of the deal.

What Is Dual Agency?

Dual agency occurs when a single agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction.

This scenario is relatively rare, as it makes it difficult for an agent to maintain neutrality and avoid conflicts of interest. Due to these complexities, dual agency is illegal in eight U.S. states.

What Is a Listing Agent’s Commission Rate?

Typically, a listing broker’s commission ranges from 5% to 6% of the property’s sale price. The exact amount may vary depending on local market conditions and negotiations.

This commission is usually split between the listing agent and the selling agent, with each receiving about 2.5% to 3%. In certain situations, agents may agree on an alternative split, such as 60-40 or 70-30.

Who Pays the Listing Agent?

The seller pays the Realtor commission upon the successful sale of their property. They cover the entire 6% commission, which includes the shares for both the seller’s and buyer’s agents. So, you must factor in the total commission when you price your property.

How to Find a Listing Agent for a Property?

When you sell a house, it’s important to hire an experienced listing agent so that everything goes smoothly.

Here are some things that you must keep in mind when you hire a listing agent:

  1. Hire a Listing Realtor: A Realtor is a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They adhere to the professional standards and a code of ethics established by the NAR.
  2. Interview Several Agents: It’s wise to meet with several listing agents. Discuss their experience, strategies, and marketing plans in depth to understand how they’ll handle the sale of your property.
  3. Compare Commission Rates: Be clear about each agent’s commission. It’s important to seek transparency in their fee structure to avoid surprises later.
  4. Review Contracts: Carefully review any listing agreements provided by the agent. Pay special attention to the terms and conditions to ensure they align with your expectations and interests.

You can seek referrals from your social circle or find local agents using online sources.

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Should You Hire a Listing Agent?

The decision to hire a listing agent depends on your preferences as a seller. If you want an expert to price your home, market it, and negotiate offers on your behalf, you must hire a listing agent.

However, if you prefer greater control over the sales process and want to save on commission, you don’t need an agent. Instead, you can explore options like Flat Fee MLS and For Sale by Owner sites.

Save on Realtor’s Commission with Houzeo

While listing agents streamline real estate transactions, their fees can take a substantial bite out of your profits from the sale. But with Houzeo, you don’t have to pay agent commissions.

For just a flat fee of $399, Houzeo offers you a quick MLS listing within 48 hours, without the need for any middlemen. What’s more, it provides the flexibility to make unlimited changes to your listing and to schedule as many open houses as you wish.

Check out how Houzeo works in this video:

What is Houzeo?

An overview of what the platform is all about

Start Your MLS Listing NOW!

» Houzeo Reviews: See how Houzeo home sellers save thousands with Houzeo technology and MLS exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the listing agent?

A listing agent is a real estate broker who represents the seller in a property transaction. These agents handle tasks like marketing, pricing, and negotiating the best possible price for a house.

Do listing agents make more than buyer’s agents?

Typically, listing agent and buyer's agents split the commission equally, with both earning 2.5% to 3% of the sale price. However, a listing agent may negotiate a 60-40 or 70-30 split with the buyer's agent to earn a bigger share.

What is the difference between the listing agent and the selling agent?

The listing agent represents the seller, focusing on marketing and selling the property. On the other hand, the selling agent represents the buyer. They help buyers find properties and negotiate the best deals.

Can a buyer contact listing agent directly?

Yes, a buyer can contact the listing agent directly. However, if the buyer already has an agent to represent them, contacting the seller's agent directly can come across as unprofessional.


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