Basic Real Estate Terms & Information

Selling your home can be a complex matter if you are not familiar with some of the basic terminology and customs. Having a general understanding of common Real Estate practices can make a world of difference in how smoothly your sale will go. Here are some basic concepts you should know and understand.

Selling Agent versus Buyer's Agent versus Listing Agent

Selling Agent:

A selling agent is the Real Estate agent who actually sells the property. They are also called buyer's agents. So the term selling agent and buyers agent can be used to mean the same thing.

Buyer's Agent:

A buyer's agent is the Real Estate agent who is working for the buyer, NOT the seller. They are also called selling agents because they are the agent who actually sells the property. So the term buyer's agent and selling agent can be used to mean the same thing. Throughout our website we use the term Buyer's Agent instead of Selling Agent for clarity.

Listing Agent:

The Listing Agent is the Real Estate agent who lists your home for sale in the MLS. Your listing agent would be our principal Broker, Stephanie J. Smith and Select Premium Properties, Inc. would be your Listing Agency. This is the information that will appear in your MLS listing with us.

A Real Estate Agent's Role: Sub-Agency and Buyer's Agency

These two terms are very quickly fading out of common usage. However, the fields for these terms will still appear in your MLS listing. Below is an explanation of what they mean:

Seller Sub-Agency:

Agency relationships in residential real estate sales were once very different. An owner of real estate signed an agreement and the real estate agency (the listing agency) listed the property. The listing agency and all its affiliated agents were the agents of (or worked for) the seller because of the listing agreement. Other brokers and salespersons affiliated with other real estate firms frequently became involved in efforts to sell the property as a result of the listing agency's advertising (which eventually led to the development of the MLS system). At this point in time, all agents involved either worked as the listing agency or the selling agency (the agency who actually sells the property by bringing the buyer) and were legally considered to be subagents of (or worked for) the seller. What this means is that the buyer had no representation of their own.

Buyer's Agency:

This concerned home buyers greatly, and eventually a new age of agency relationships was born: buyer's agency. Under this type of agreement buyers now have their own agents representing them in the sales transaction. The buyer's agent work solely for the buyer and not the seller. The buyer agency agreement is the one most commonly used today.

When selling your home, keep in mind that there are these two different forms of agency relationships: seller sub-agency (both the listing agency and the selling agency work for you - the seller) and buyer agency (the listing agency works for you and the selling agency works for the buyer). In order to eliminate any confusion, we limit our listings to only allowing buyer's agent's to show your property. When listed with us, never will a seller sub-agent show the property. However, real estate laws require that when a real estate agent brings a buyer to show your property, they must disclose to you what kind of agency agreement they have with the buyer, which - when listing with our company - should always be a Buyer's Agency Agreement.

Listing Agreements:

Exclusive Right to Sell vs. Exclusive Agency

Regarding listing agreements themselves, there are two main types of Listing Agreements which you will run into when deciding to list your home for sale with any Real Estate agency. These are the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement and the Exclusive Agency Listing Agreement.

Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement:

This agreement is most commonly found with traditional, full service real estate agencies. The agreement gives the listing agency the right to be the "exclusive" agency for the marketing and listing of your property. It also gives them the right to collect a commission, even if the owner finds their own buyer. This means you will pay a listing agency commission no matter who sells your home and you will most likely pay a buyer's agency commission as well. With both commissions, typically you pay 6% or more of the sales price.

Exclusive Agency Agreement:

Under this agreement the seller still employs one agent (this is what the term "exclusive" means) to list their home. However, the owner reserves the right to sell the property on their own without paying a listing commission.

Select Premium Properties, Inc. uses an Exclusive Agency Listing Agreement, so you maintain the right to sell your home yourself and pay no listing commission to anyone. We waive the right to collect a commission even if the buyer comes through our company via the MLS system and/or leads received from the various real estate websites. Be aware that not all companies do this and they may still try to collect a buyer's agency commission by providing the lead to you. By our company policy we never act as a buyer agent and do not work directly with buyers.

List your home with Select Premium Properties, through our website Express MLS and enjoy the savings!

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