Differences between a selling agent and a rental agent

Knowing the different kinds of agents and their roles can help you gain a little more confidence and understanding throughout the process.

What is a rental agent, and what is a selling agent? What do both of these people do and which one of them do I need to hire?

In this article, we are going to try to clear all your doubts and give you a detailed overview of the responsibility of each role so that you’re more educated and know whom to hire.

What is a selling agent?

A selling agent, commonly referred to as a real estate agent or as a realtor, is a man you need for when you want to buy a house. The selling agent represents you, i.e. the person who wants to sell his property.

The two parties in a real estate transaction will both have their agents. The selling agent and the buyers' agent both represent the buyer of the house. The term is interchangeable and causes much confusion amongst clients.

Real Estate Agent

The selling agent's role outlines the facilitation of the terms and conditions and helps negotiate a favorable term agreement.

After the buyer's agency contract is signed, the selling agent has a fiduciary duty to the buyer. This contract outlines the legal responsibility to act in the best interests of the buyer and protect their rights. 

The legal responsibility of the selling agent is very similar to a listing agent's responsibility to the seller. Both agents have to act in the best interests of their parties.

A selling agent is different from the sellers' agent sellers agent are commonly referred to as the listing agents, and their role is to list a property for sale. The listing agents' job is to market the property so that it gets appropriately sold at a fair price.

The seller's agents advise the owner of the property on his course of action. They also recommend some modifications that can help in significantly improving the fair market value of the property.

The buying agent and the selling agent are the same. The buying agent represents the person who is interested in buying the property. Buying agents are also commonly known as purchasing agents.

What is the role of your selling agent?

A selling agent has numerous roles.

They are supposed to be your guidance counselor for selling the property that you own. A selling agent is the buyers' agent, this may sound confusing for a first-timer, but all that you need to understand is that both the terms mean the same thing. 

We can understand this in the sense that the selling agent brings buyers to the table. The buying agent is referred to as the selling agent after the transaction takes place because he brought a buyer and was able to get the property sold. 

What generally happens is that the listing agent cooperates with another broker and that broker represents the buyer. The listing broker pays the selling broker a percentage of the commission because the selling brokerage brought in the buyer. 

Helps with Financing Options

The selling agent takes on the responsibility to help you find the best financing options for your property. A selling agent assists the buyer to select the best loan and mortgage options.

The selling agent helps the buyer have the best possible financing options already on backup before he bids on a property. Having a backup financial plan helps the buyer save time and also helps prevent the property from going out of hands just because the financing arrangement took time, and the seller of the property was in a hurry. 

Finds properties that you would not find otherwise

Going to a sellers agent is an excellent idea for when you want to buy a house because often selling agents have property available known as pocket listings.

House overlooking lake

These properties are houses that you could never find on your own because they are properties that only the sellers' agent knows about. Or these places could also be vacant for an extended period such that they are not being put up on the advertising market anymore. 

Makes sure that you’re getting a good deal

A sellers agent in your area has more information on the houses available for sale and can give you a wider variety of options from which you can choose the best fit for you.

Not only this but selling agents also provide valuable insights on properties that buyers don’t typically know. 

Are Legally Equipped

A selling agent deals with buyers all day and knows their requirements when looking for a house or a property.

Look for a selling agent that is qualified enough to provide you with an in-depth analysis that specially tailored to your needs. 

Signing a Contract

A highly skilled selling agent will also be able to advise you based on the experiences of their previous customers. 

Ensures that you get value for your money

A selling agent also has the responsibility of ensuring that the properties are up to their mark. They also know the market prices and the quality of the house and can help you determine whether that property is up to standard.

The selling agent will work on the deal on your behalf and will negotiate offers on behalf of the buyer. They will also help with the closing and paperwork and negotiates using offers and counteroffers. Property agents have much knowledge of the paperwork and legal requirements. 

The agents will work with you to help ensure that your project goes smoothly and that you don’t get into a legal situation or end up in a lawsuit.

Can The Listing Agent Also Be The Selling Agent?

The listing agent is usually not the selling agent; however, in some cases, the agent can work in a dual capacity; this means that the listing agent can be in dual representation. 

In a real estate transaction, the person that owns the property is known as the seller, and thus, the listing agent is the sellers' agent.

Buyers sometimes expect the listing agent to find a seller for them; however, that is not the responsibility of the listing agent. The buyers hope that somehow the listing agent will get them a deal with the seller. 

Now that we’ve understood what a selling agent is let's talk about a frequently repeated question that I get. Can I use multiple selling agents? Can I use multiple buying agents?

The short answer to the question is yes. You can use multiple selling agents in hopes of selling off your property sooner.

The listing agents represent the owners throughout the whole process. If you see a for sale sign with a number. You’re looking at the listing agent.

Some listing agents might opt for a dual agent role for the prospect of gaining a double commission. In this way, they might be violating a fiduciary duty to the other party. However, most agents are ethical and don’t opt for this option.

What is a Rental Agent? 

A rental agent is also commonly known as a letting agent. The rental agent facilitates the agreements between a landlord and a tenant.

A rental agent performs all the duties related to managing the rental properties. They also find tenants living in vacant properties. Rental agents can also provide the existing tenants with services, and they can also assist in the lease renewal processes. 

What Is The Role Of your Rental Agent?


Rental agents help in the advertising and marketing of your property. Their role is to advertise your property or your estate such that it goes on rent effectively. Rental agents also work on competitive pricing schemes and aim to introduce such prices that are competitive according to the market.

Rental agents will work towards finding clients for the rent of a property, showing the house to the tenant. The agents can also employ listing services and even hold open houses in hopes of finding a tenant. 

Interview The Tenants

Rental agents will also run background checks on the tenants to ensure that the right type of people occupies the home. 

Rental Interview

For this, the agents can run a credit report as well as a background investigation on the people once they demonstrate their interest in the property. 

The agents can also develop reports that illustrate the tenants' previous renting history and thus will be able to provide a detailed report on all the prospective tenants. 

Drafting A Lease Agreement

The rental agent is responsible for the documentation process of every home or every place that is put on rent. 

He will ensure that the terms and conditions laid out are accurate and fair. In some instances, the rental agent is also given authority for renewing or terminating the lease.

Before hiring a rental agent, make sure that the agent is aware of all the laws related to housing in the locality. 

The rental agent collects the deposit amount for the new rental property and also takes the first month's rent. The collection of the first months' rent is optional and sometimes not included in the lease. 

Management Of The Property

The real time-consuming role of the rental agent is the management of the property. Rental agents are responsible for inspecting the property and making sure everything is in good condition before putting the property up for rent. 

The agent arranges for a contractor to come in and repair the property before and after it is on lease. The agent handles the everyday affairs and answers all the questions the prospective clients may have. 

For property under a rental agent, the landlords' role is minimal and occasional. Often, the landlord only approves the maintenance expenditure that occurs after a tenant occupies a property. 

However, the rental agents' responsibilities are variable and depend on the mandate that is given by the landlord. The mandate is simply a legal term used to refer to the extent of the rental agents' liability, which is decided by the landlord.

Ensuring That The Landlord Receives Timely And Regular Rent

A part of the responsibility of rental agents is in ensuring that the landlord receives timely rent. Rental agents screen the prospective tenants and then, together with the landlord, help decide the best suitable fit. 

Hour Glass

The agent also goes after the tenants to ensure timely payment of rent.

However, this depends on the authority given by the landlord to the agent. Most landlords hire rental agents only for the leasing part, and after that, the landlord deals with the tenant directly.

The rental agent only works for the landlord

If you’re looking for a property to rent, you should be wary of the fact that the rental agent is on the side of the landlord. The rental agent will carry out all tasks on the instruction and authorization of the landlord. 

Therefore it is up to you to read the lease agreement that you’re going to enter into very carefully. The tenant should also ask the rental questions many questions regarding the property’s surroundings. Does the area have much traffic? Are neighbors loud? 

Tenants should also be careful when they’re in a property that is monitored by a rental agent because late payment of dues can add a negative credit record for them, and this can impact them negatively when they try to find a place elsewhere. 

Late payment of dues also makes your relationship with the landlord strained and can even slow down the maintenance processes; thus, late payments of rent should be avoided in general to keep living in the property. 

The rental agent and the selling agent both occupy different roles related to your property. It all depends on how you want to use your property If you wish to sell it or put your property on rent. 

You will have to hire a selling agent to buy a property, and you will have to hire a rental agent if you want to put your property up for rent.