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Types of Listing Contracts

Apr 9, 2008
A listing contract is an agreement between you and a licensed real estate broker that authorizes the broker to represent you in the process of selling your home. There are several different types of listing contracts, but very few of them are used. The most common one used is the "Exclusive Right to Sell". But will find that there are a lot more types, allowing you to choose the level of authorization to give to your agent. Here are some of them:

Open Listing

Considered the one most generally used, this type of contract is for people who are want to both sell their home and work with real estate agents. What the contract does is giving the right for agents to do showings of your home, and gives them an amount of commission if the client chose to buy your house. The good thing about open listing is that there are nothing exclusive or painfully bonding about them. The bad thing is that you can expect less marketing or advertising done.

One-Time Show

This type of listing contract is pretty much the same to open listing. It's generally used by people trying to sell their own home and involving an agent for the home showings. The listing contract identifies the potential buyer and guarantees the agent a commission if that buyer buys the home. Just like open listings, this type lacks of marketing efforts.

Exclusive Agency Listing

During your home selling, you will find that different types of listing contracts involve a lot of different people. This one involves a broker. Basically an exclusive agency listing will give you the right to sell your own home, without paying the broker any commission unless the house is sold through a licensed real estate professional. Should the house be sold without any help of agents, the contract allows homeowners to pay no commission at all. The reason why this type of listing contract is widely used is the temptation of not having to pay your broker.

Exclusive Right to Sell Listing

The most popular type of listing with sellers and brokers, this contract gives the full right for your broker to do whatever it takes to sell your house. For obvious reasons, this is probably the type of contract where you can expect the most incentive from the agent - a good marketing effort can take place here, and the homeowners' work is much reduced.

Before you choose your contract, always make sure you know every type of listing contracts available to you. Take in mind how much effort you would like to contribute to the home selling - this is often what distinguishes the types. Discuss the possibilities and disadvantages of each type. Remember, a listing contract is your first legal step in selling your house - take that step carefully.
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