What Is A Listing Agent?
In very simple terms, a listing agent is hired by a homeowner to sell their property. A “seller agency” relationship is created between the two parties. The agent has fiduciary, contractual and tort obligations to the homeowner they are representing.
Listing Agent Obligations To Their Client Include…
- To promote the interests of the seller.
- To advise interested buyers that they are the agent of the seller.
- To only provide services to the seller unless both the seller and buyer give prior written consent.
- Obey all lawful instructions of the seller.
- Fulfill fiduciary obligations including loyalty, confidentiality and full disclosure in the handling of conflicts of interest.
- To not appoint a sub-agent without the seller’s consent.
- To assist the seller in negotiating favourable terms and conditions with a buyer.
What Does This Mean For You, The Buyer??
Basically, in plain English, it means that the listing agent is obliged to work in the best interest of the seller. Therefore, as the buyer looking for the best deal possible, you won’t achieve that by using the listing agent to purchase the home. Of course this does not mean they will use underhand tactics to get you to bid higher and get the best price for their sellers. All agents are bound by a code of ethics by which they must abide and conduct themselves accordingly.
In Saskatchewan, you can of course enter into a “Dual Agency Agreement” where both you, the buyer and the seller agree to the same person representing both sides of the sale. This can be fraught with problems as the REALTOR® has to represent both sides of the transaction with the same obligatory and fiduciary duties to both parties. This of course creates a lot of issues in the home buying/selling process and is not allowed in certain provinces in Canada.
Want To Know More ??
You can find a basic explanation of why you should avoid using the listing agent to buy your next home in my YouTube video featured below :
So What Should I Do??
Now, to clear up any misunderstanding/misinterpretation of this information there are a couple of points to make. You can ABSOLUTELY use the listing agent to purchase your next home, just ensure that you have a dual agency agreement in place first. Would I recommend doing this? Not if you can avoid it.
The easiest way to ensure you are getting the best possible deal is to use your own buyers agent. Look for recommendations from others if you don’t have a regular REALTOR® that you use. By doing this you can be sure that they are acting solely in YOUR best interest and not trying to split their loyalty between both you and the seller. What’s more, this service is totally FREE to you as a buyer !!
As you can see there are many reasons to hire a buyer agent as opposed to a listing agent, but ultimately the decision is yours.
If you need assistance in buying, selling or renting your home, then please feel free to contact me at this link and I will be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.
I am your licensed RE/MAX Crown Real Estate REALTOR® in the Regina area qualified in Residential, Commercial and Farm Real Estate