Should You Use One Agent for Selling Your House and Buying a New One?
It may seem like a good idea to work with the same agent to sell your existing home and help you purchase a new one, but is this the right choice for you?
Here are some of the potential pros and cons you should consider for using the same real estate professional in two different capacities.
Less Complicated – If you like your agent and are comfortable with him/her, it may make this transition time a little easier. Rather than coordinating necessary transaction details between two agents, you’ll only be working with one.
Lower Cost – If you are using the same agent for both your sale and your purchase, you may be able negotiate a discount, since they will earn a commission from two different transactions.
More Familiarity – An agent handling both sides will be more familiar with your situation and able to help you coordinate timing details so it’s less likely you’ll be temporarily homeless. It may also help during negotiations if the agent understands your needs on both sides.
Less Specialization – Most real estate professionals concentrate on listings—representing people who are selling their home. If your agent doesn’t have comparable experience representing buyers, or hasn’t earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation, you may not have the best skills in play on both sides of your transaction.
Less Local Market Knowledge – If your move is not within the immediate area, it may be difficult to find a real estate professional who is strongly familiar with the supply and demand dynamics of two different markets, hurting your ability to make the best decisions on price and other negotiation details.
Higher Pressure – If you have to sell your home before buying a home, the agent may encourage you to drop the price on your existing home for a quicker sale so you can qualify with a lender on the purchase of a new house.
Before taking the leap and hiring a single agent to be your listing and your buyer’s representative, here are some questions you can ask your agent to ensure you are comfortable with the arrangement:
- How many clients have you represented both as the listing agent and as the buyer’s agent?
- Can you provide references of clients you served in this manner?
- Do you extend any discounts for this type of arrangement?
- How, specifically, will you market my home for sale?
- How will my plans to buy a new home impact your recommendations on pricing our current home for sale?
- What happens if we find a home to buy before we sell my existing house?
If you are using a single real estate professional for both transactions, you may be a high priority client for them. By working with you on two transactions instead of one, the agent knows they’ll earn more commission income than they would from only half your business.
Plus, most agents rely heavily on referral business. If they are able to successfully assist you as a buyer AND a seller, they may have doubled the potential referrals you can provide as a single client!