What are the Differences Between a Buyer’s Agent & a Real Estate Agent?

by Ben Handler

November 17, 2020

road and grass

It’s not unheard of for the average punter to say ‘but aren’t buyer’s agents and real estate agents essentially the same’. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While both professionals work within the property industry, it’s from opposite sides that they operate. 

If you’re looking to buy property, it’s imperative that you know who you should closely be working with to ensure you get the best outcome. 

Let’s start with an understanding of each role. 

What is a buyer’s agent? 

Buyer’s agents (sometimes referred to as buyer’s advocates) are licensed professionals that work on behalf of a client looking to buy property. A buyer’s agent can help with every step of the property buying process from searching for properties, evaluating properties and negotiating the final sale. 

A buyer’s agent will typically receive a commission from their client, the property buyer, on the purchase price of a property. 

If a buyer’s agent is only helping out with select parts of the property buying process, for example, attending an auction on behalf of their client, they may charge a one off fixed fee. 

Find out more on how much a buyer’s agent typically costs

What is a real estate agent? 

A real estate agent is also a licensed professional. However, unlike a buyer’s agent, they represent a property seller, arranging the transaction between the buyer and seller. This can include everything from listing the property to negotiating the final sale price. 

Real estate agents are usually compensated based on a commission and this is calculated on the purchase price of a property. Hence, it’s in their best interest to drive the highest price possible for a property seller. 

How they work together  

Buyer’s agents and real estate agents actually work very closely together to ensure they get the best results for their clients. It’s in the best interests of both parties to ensure that good relationships are maintained as both can be pivotal in the success of the other. A real estate agent can leverage the relationships of a buyer’s agent to seed out off market opportunities and minimise costly campaigns. A buyer’s agent will often look to local agents to match up the criteria of their clients to stock listed and potentially unlisted in the area. 

Ultimately, reputation is everything and the way you do business can make or break success. 

Both real estate agents and buyer’s agents can be a powerful source of referrals for new business. 

So who should I work with? 

If you’re looking to buy a new property, it’s strongly recommended to seek out the assistance of a buyer’s agents as they’ll be instrumental in helping you find what you’re looking for. 

Whether it’s a residential property, commercial premise or development opportunity, a buyers agent can save you time, money and stress. Find out more about the benefits of working with a buyer’s agent

If you’re selling a property, a real estate agent is likely to be your best point of call as they’ll have the knowledge and experience needed to get your property out into the market and secure you the best sale price. 

Where they overlap 

What some people might not yet realise is that buyer’s agents can offer many of the same services that a real estate agent offers when it comes to property management. 

A buyer’s agent can help with asset management, property management and the leasing of your property. Buyer’s agents can even work with tenants that are looking to find properties to rent. 

Finding a buyer’s agent 

Unsure whether a buyer’s agent can help you with your property needs? Use our Buyer’s Agent Directory to connect with an agent and find out. 

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