Should You Use the Same Realtor for Buying and Selling

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|10 min read

If you are buying and selling in the same city, you can work with the same agent for both transactions or work with separate Realtors.

Hiring two Realtors takes more work. It requires you to manage two different agents – possibly at the same time. However, there are also benefits to choosing this option. 

Make the right decision for your specific needs. Use this guide to learn whether the same real estate agent who sells your home should be the one to help you buy the next one.

Advantages of Using the Same Real Estate Agent

There are several benefits of working with the same Realtor through both transactions. Namely, you won’t have to juggle two agents. Hiring a real estate agent is a lengthy process. Our team at FastExpert recommends interviewing at least three Realtors before you choose the best one. This takes time, even if you already have met a few agents you want to work with. 

Even after you hire your listing agent and buyer’s agent, you will need to keep up with both of them. This means double the phone calls, texts, and messages throughout the home-buying process. Moving is stressful enough without an extra person trying to reach out. Working with one Realtor is a simpler option. It allows you to handle all of your real estate transactions through a single person. 

There are a few additional reasons to hire one agent for both buying and selling a home. Here’s what you need to consider.   

Familiarity with Your Needs

Hiring the same agent allows them to get to know you on a deeper level. They will have more time to understand your personal preferences and needs. When selling your home, the listing agent can learn your motivation for moving and get to know your interior design style. This can prepare them to find homes that you will like.  

If you work with a buyer’s agent for the first time after using a different Realtor to sell your home, they won’t know your style and what you are looking for. It might take longer for them to find houses in your ideal area and with the right features. As the client, you will need to provide more information and feedback so both of you are successful in the home search.   

Streamlined Communication

Buying and selling at the same time requires careful planning and time management. You need to close on your current home and use the funds for the next house but ideally don’t want any time in between when you need temporary housing. An experienced Realtor will understand this. They will set a reasonable timeline to limit the amount of time you spend between homes. 

If you hire two real estate agents, they will have to work together to make sure your timeline makes sense. You have to trust that both agents will be honest and communicate promptly to move the deals forward. 

Even if your timeline is flexible and your real estate agents don’t have to work together, you will still have to answer two sets of messages throughout the day. Very few people have time for that.

Potential for Better Deals

Sometimes an agent will offer a discount to clients who use them to buy and sell a house. This is because they are getting paid twice to work with them. Your Realtor collects a check as the seller’s agent when you move from your current house and then gets another commission as the buyer’s agent when you close on your next home.

To incentivize clients to use them twice, some agents offer a commission discount to sellers. This can be significant. If you sell your house for $400,000 and agree to six percent in total real estate commission, you will pay $24,000 to the agents. However, if your agent offers a one percent discount, you will only pay $20,000. 

Evaluate your potential savings and consider whether the money is worth hiring the same real estate agent for two transactions. 

Potential Drawbacks of Hiring the Same Agent

While there are both time and monetary benefits to working with just one agent, this isn’t always the right choice. There are some significant drawbacks to working with a single person throughout your transactions. Here are a few limitations to consider.

Limited Market Exposure

By working with only one agent, you are reliant on their experience. You have to trust that they are the best choice to represent you as the selling agent and the buying agent. This might not be the case if you are changing where or how you live. 

For example, your Realtor might be an expert in your neighborhood but unfamiliar with the part of town you are moving to. They also might not understand the market if you are stepping into a larger or smaller home.

Work with real estate agents who will give you the best advice for your needs. You don’t want to sail through the selling process and then feel stuck with your Realtor when it’s time to buy.

Conflict of Interest

There are times when you might not be able to use the same Realtor depending on the house you want to buy. 

If you are interested buying in a property that your agent is managing, they would represent both the buyer and the seller. This makes them a dual agent. Dual agency is illegal in certain states and considered risky in others. The issue is that the dual agent isn’t able to be unbiased. The Realtor will want to get the highest price for the house to get the largest commission. 

If you don’t want to enter into a dual-agency transaction, you will need to hire a separate real estate agent to handle your negotiations and closing documents. Your agent might be able to recommend someone from the same brokerage who they trust. 

This is just one example of a conflict of interest. You want to make sure that any agent representing you is objective, ethical, and looking out for your best interests.

Evaluating Your Specific Situation

Should you use the same realtor for buying and selling? There’s no single answer that is correct for every situation. The choice depends on your specific goals. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are working with the right people before you start a real estate transaction.

Assessing Realtor Expertise

Make sure the agent you work with has the skills and knowledge to handle each real estate transaction. They need to be ready to sell your house at its highest possible price point while also negotiating deals on the buying side. 

This is why it is so important to interview your agents. Learn how many clients prospective Realtors have to make sure they won’t be too busy to work with you. You can also ask about the properties they normally work with to make sure you fall within their target range. 

These interviews are particularly important if you expect to encounter problems during the transaction or have specific needs. For example, if you need to stand out in a tight market, you need to trust that your agent will make your offer look better than the rest. 

Considering Market Knowledge

Real estate trends can change within a matter of weeks and a few miles. The market that your Realtor sees in their target area might be different in the area that you want to move to. Even if you are just buying across town, it might be better to work with two different agents who are experts in their areas. 

You can gauge market knowledge by asking a seller’s agent to complete a comparative market analysis (CMA) on your home. They will conduct research on similar homes in the area to determine a fair price for yours. Ask multiple agents to complete these CMAs. The suggested price points should be similar or the Realtor should have a reason for why their recommended sale price is higher or lower. 

As a buyer, describe your dream home to potential agents and review your ideal price point and essential features. Try to sort between amenities that would be nice versus essential elements. For example, you might need a two-car garage but would like a swimming pool. Your Realtor should let you know whether your goals are realistic and highlight similar properties that are available or recently sold in the area. 

Things to Look for When Hiring a Seller’s and Buyer’s Agent

One of the best things you can do is have a plan before you start talking to Realtors. Make sure you know how you will evaluate each one and what will make you choose the same agent to help you buy and sell a home. Here are a few green flags to look out for that can alert you that a real estate agent is worth hiring:

You need to feel like you and your agent are on the same page with your goals. If you aren’t, someone else might be a better fit to represent you.

  • Track record: the Realtor has experience managing transactions in your ideal area and your home size. Their niche reflects your sale and purchase goals.
  • Reputation: the agent has a good reputation in the area with their clients, brokers, and other agents. They are respected in the community. 
  • Communication: you feel like the Realtor is transparent and communicates how you do.  
  • Comfort level: you feel safe talking to your Realtor, giving them bad news, or passing on negative feedback. An agent should never pressure you into a decision or get frustrated with you easily. 
  • Support system: look for a Realtor who has a team who can help them, whether this includes an administrative assistant, mentor, or brokerage firm. 

You can also talk to potential candidates about hiring different agents for each transaction. Notice how they react. An ethical Realtor will want you to make the best decision – even if they are disappointed that they didn’t earn your business twice. A pushy agent will try to get you to change your mind. This isn’t someone who you want to work with. 

Hire the Right Real Estate Professionals For Your Needs

Whether you hire one Realtor or two, make sure you trust the people you work with. You should feel like your listing agent is acting in your best interest while the buyer’s agent is transparent about the state of the home. 

To find high-quality Realtors with proven track records, turn to FastExpert. You can read through the profiles of different agents to learn about their specialties and then reach out to the top candidates you trust. We will never sell your information. You control who you talk to and when. 

Try FastExpert today and hire a quality Realtor to help you sell your existing home. If you like their work, consider using them again to navigate the buying process.

Amanda Dodge

Amanda Dodge is a real estate writer and expert. She has worked in the field for more than eight years. She spends her time writing and researching trends in real estate, finance, and business. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communications from Florida State University.

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