Types of Real Estate Listing Agreements
6 minute read
May 14, 2021


Hiring a real estate agent is not always as easy as it sounds. Although most realtors work under an exclusive right to sale deal, there are various other listing agreements to consider. A listing agreement is needed when a person is dealing with a realtor. In this article, we’ll go through the types of real estate listing agreements. Although there are six distinct forms of listing agreements, most sellers will enter into one with their agent. For talented real estate agents, this is the most common and appealing choice.

Real estate listing agreement

A real estate listing agreement is a contract between a seller and a realtor or broker that allows the agent or broker to serve as the seller’s agent during the property sale. A few details  outlines in the deal, including:

  • Service Dates
  • Broker or real estate agent commission fees
  • Payment terms and conditions
  • Authority to place a lockbox on the home door
  • Permission to use signage for advertising the property

The listing agent’s commission fee will be approximately 3 percent in many cases, but certain flat-fee and discount brokers charge lower rates. The deal typically provides provisions for the agent’s safety to ensure that they are compensated for their efforts.

Types of Real Estate Listing Agreements

Now let’s talk about the different types of real estate listing agreements.

Open Listing

The open listing agreement is a non-exclusive listing agreement that for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sellers often use. An available listing does not grant a fee to a single agent. Rather than that, the seller works with many real estate agents to get buyers to the property, but the fee is only payable to the agent whose buyer’s bid is approved by the seller. As a result, agents must negotiate for compensation equally with one another.

Open listings are not very much preferable by real estate brokers generally. The real estate agent can waste hours taking potential buyers to the real estate property. Only for another agent to come in one day, make a deal in 15 to 20 minutes approx, and receive the commission fee the very first original agent had worked very hard for. FSBO homes typically sell for considerably less than homes represented by an exclusive agent, but sellers do not even profit from this form of listing. To ensure a profitable deal, many sellers require various resources like a full-service agent,  comparative market analysis, negotiating assistance, and marketing plus advertising.

Exclusive Right to Sell Listing

This is what several people assume when they hear about a listing agreement. When a real estate agent accepts an exclusive right to sale listing agreement, the agent has the exclusive rights to act as the seller’s agent and is given a referral fee if the real estate property sells, regardless of who finds the buyer.

This final part is crucial. The other types of listing allow sellers to opt out of paying their agent if they find a buyer on their own. This agreement ensures that the agent is compensated even if the seller identifies a buyer without their assistance.

They serve as the seller’s prime agent, and as a result, they establish a great working partnership with them. This type of listing agreement, rather than any other, gives agents the motivation to work efficiently to make and close a deal.

 One-Time Show

FSBO properties often correlated with a one-time showing policy. If a realtor offers a client a for-sale-by-owner home that isn’t on the MLS, then they can enter into this kind of deal with the seller. The realtor will pay a commission if the buyer completes a deal.

Consider the following scenario: a customer is driving down the street and comes across a property listed as an FSBO listing. They contact their realtor, who arranges a meeting with the seller. They sign a one-time display deal before the viewing. The real estate agent gets a good commission if the buyer purchases the property.

The payment for a one-time showing deal is usually half of the standard commission fee. Sellers save a good amount of money on commissions, but as I said previously, the FSBO listings have a bad sales track record of losing some profits.

Net Listings

A seller or agent sets a proper price in a net listing, and the agent keeps all profits and sales above that price point. The seller generally recommends the asking prices, making it very convenient for agents to take advantage of them. Agents may suggest asking rates that are much below than fair market value, and after that, they keep the difference. Because of all this, several states have set net listings illegal.

Multiple Listing

This type of listing has the property included in the MLS (multiple listing service). The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a valuable resource that real estate brokers or agents use to locate properties for the clients. The MLS contains the majority of rights to purchase, sell, and exclusive agency listings.

Such listings have a significant drawback since they cannot position their property on the MLS on their own. They can, however, use a flat-fee MLS service to list their land and properties on the MLS, but they will lose out on many advantages of dealing with a trustworthy agent. These listings, on the whole, sell for even less than assets handled by an agent.

Exclusive Agency Listing

A seller allows an agent or broker to be the only agent or broker selling the property under an exclusive agency listing agreement. On the other hand, the seller will continue to advertise the property on their own and avoid paying a commission if they find buyers with their efforts.

This listing deal is controversial because it allows agents to waste time and resources selling a home with no return. It’s uncommon for agents to consider such a deal, but if they do, they’ll normally take a practical learning approach to the market, putting the property on the MLS, and that’s it.


I hope now you all are well aware of the different types of real estate listing agreements. One can easily terminate this contract but only in some specific cases. These agreements are legal and state the listing price, responsibilities of sellers and brokers, broker’s compensation, an automatic termination date, and any extra terms and conditions. If you are looking for expert opinion and guidance, contact Aceland Mortgage.

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