OPEN LISTING In Real Estate; Definition And How It Works

open listing
open listing

A homeowner who has consented to allow one or more brokers to advertise their property on a non-exclusive basis as an “open listing” in real estate. In other words, no single agent has the sole authority to market the property and collect a commission. This means that under an open listing agreement, a broker can only get a commission if he or she finds the buyer or tenant. Furthermore, an owner can always find a buyer and avoid paying a commission.

What is Open Listing

An open listing is a property for sale that can be viewed by many real estate agents. The agents compete with one another to locate a buyer for the property. An open listing is the opposite of an exclusive listing, in which the property owner hires a real estate agent with the understanding that the agent is the only one who can represent the owner and sell the property to earn a commission.

When a listing is open, the commission is given to the agent who closes the deal, not the listing agent. No one is paid a commission if the homeowner finds a buyer without the assistance of an agent. If the agent has the sole right to sell the property, the agent earns a commission regardless of who sells it.

Understanding an Open Listing

A nonexclusive listing agreement is another term for an open listing. Agents who directly participate in the sale of this property, including the listing and selling agents, are entitled to a portion of the commission if it results in a sale.

Sellers who want a rapid sale may choose an open listing. If they do not find a buyer during the length of the agreement, they may switch to an open listing to attract more prospective buyers.

The vendor may also wish to avoid paying a commission. That is, if a buyer and a seller negotiate a private transaction on their own, there may be no sales commission. The agent is still owed the commission even if it is an exclusive “right to sell” agreement. If it is an “exclusive agency listing,” the agent is only paid if the property is sold.

What Makes Open Listings Different from Other Real Estate Listings?

Here are a few more types of real estate listings and how they differ from open listing agreements.

#1. Exclusive right-to-sell listing: 

An exclusive right-to-sell agreement grants a broker or real estate agent sole authority to earn a commission on the sale of a property. It is the most commonly used agreement when selling or listing a home. In contrast to an open listing agreement, which lets a seller engage with several brokers, an exclusive right-to-sell agreement binds the seller to only one agency.

Even if the homeowner finds a buyer, the agent or broker receives a commission on the transaction. Exclusive agency listings are frequently preferable for sellers who want greater help from their agent but do not need as much control over the sale of their property.

#2. Exclusive agency listing: 

An exclusive agency listing is a contract that restricts a homeowner to working with only one broker. However, unlike an open listing agreement, the seller under this form of agreement is not required to pay their broker a commission if they find the actual buyer directly. Because the broker or agent has a vested interest in the transaction, exclusive agency listings usually provide more hands-on assistance than open listings.

#3. Net listing: 

In a net listing, the broker has the right to keep the difference between the homeowner’s asking price and the actual selling price. The broker may not receive a commission if the home sells for less than the asking price. This arrangement is less of a listing agreement and more of a method of sharing a commission amount. In most open listings, the seller will pay a commission to the agent who sells their home depending on the final selling price.

#4. Multiple listings:

A multiple listing agreement is an agreement in which an owner’s home is listed on a multiple listing service (MLS), which is a digital database where brokers and buyers may identify properties that are currently for sale. To list a home on the MLS, the seller normally has to deal with an agent or broker. If a seller does not want to work with a broker, they can pay a fee to have their home listed on the MLS.

Open Listing Agreement

A non-exclusive contract is an open listing agreement. This means you can sell your house on your own and work with different real estate agents to find a buyer.

Working with multiple agents allows each agent to bring their own set of buyers to the table. More agents equal more potential buyers. Each agent will work from his or her own list and most likely target different groups of people. This will give you a bigger pool of potential buyers. You only pay the commission charge to whichever agent finds you the buyer. You are not obligated to pay each agent’s commission.

Advantages of an Open Listing Agreement

One of the most substantial benefits of an open listing agreement is that you will most likely just have to pay one commission fee. You will only pay the commission of the agent who brings you the buyer because you are not represented by an agent under an open listing agreement.

This can help you save a lot of money. Instead of paying the standard 5% to 6% commission fees for both the seller’s and buyer’s agents, you will only pay half – approximately 3%.

You could also skip paying commission fees entirely. You might bring in your buyer with an open listing agreement. Also, you pay no commission if you locate a buyer on your own without the help of an agent.

Disadvantages of an Open Listing Agreement

One of the major disadvantages of open listing agreements is that you are completely on your own when it comes to negotiations, inspections, open houses, and marketing. You’ll be responsible for all of the regular obligations of an agent.

Furthermore, while multiple brokers will bring you, buyers, they will represent the buyer’s interests rather than yours. This implies that those brokers will be negotiating on the buyer’s behalf, attempting to get them the best price and convincing you to accept it. According to a National Association of Realtors research, sellers who pursue the FSBO route (selling on their own) lose an average of $77,100.

Which Listing Agreement should you Select?

If you are confident in your ability to sell your own house, an open listing agreement may be a good option for you. You have complete control over the sales process, and you can save thousands of dollars in commission fees.

Going the FSBO option and selling on your own is too stressful and time-consuming for most people. Selecting an exclusive agency listing or an exclusive right-to-sell listing allows you to deal with a real estate agent, relieving you of the stress and duties. The ease of not having to pay commission fees may be worth it.

Additional Considerations

Real estate agents may be hesitant to take on an open listing or to put forth much effort because the commission is likely to be split. The open listing agreement benefits the seller by allowing them to work with various agents to sell their property.

Real estate firms may have policies governing whether or not their agents may participate in open-listing arrangements. Some firms permit open listings to be accepted but not publicized, however, brokers may contact clients they already have as potential buyers. Because commissions are limited, agents are encouraged to focus on exclusive contracts.

What Does ‘Exclusive’ Mean in a Real Estate Listing?

The term exclusive denotes that the property’s listing is handled by a single agency. No other agent is permitted to see the property or negotiate a sale. Any agent can display the property and negotiate a deal if it is an open listing.

Is it Better for the Seller to have an Exclusive Listing or an Open Listing?

A seller who offers an exclusive to a real estate agent will get a representative who is determined to achieve a sale and will put in the time and effort required to accomplish so.

An open listing may increase the property’s visibility. Other agents who see the listing can search their buyer networks for a potential match.
However, real estate agents are hesitant to accept open listings. At least initially, an exclusive may be the best option. Consider the open option if the house does not sell.

Does an Open Listing Have an Expiration Date?

The majority of real estate listings include an expiration date, which could be 90 or 180 days. The expiration date is irrelevant in the case of an open listing because the contract does not obligate the seller to pay a commission to the real estate agent.

What is the difference between an open listing and an exclusive listing?

The difference between the two is that an open listing allows other area real estate agencies to compete for the property’s buyer, whereas an exclusive listing offers the lone agent an incentive to work hard for the sale. Homeowners may choose to offer an exclusive listing or an open listing to a real estate agent.

What are the three most common types of listing?

An Exclusive Right to Sell, an Exclusive Agency Listing, and an Open Listing are the three types of commercial real estate listings used to find a buyer for a property.

What is a closed listing?

Real estate is not considered “sold” until the property is transferred and consideration is paid. After that, the property is “closed” and belongs to the new owner.

What does listing mean in property?

A real estate listing allows sellers to show that their property is for sale in the real estate market. The information on the listing is derived from the real estate listing terms agreed upon by the owner and the agent authorized to sell the property.

Why would a seller want an exclusive listing?

Because exclusive listings provide sellers with additional privacy and control over market testing prices. Exclusive listings typically generate fewer offers because you’re working with a narrower circle of buyers, and you’re more likely to have a potential conflict of interest with your agent.

Is an exclusive listing a good idea?

Yes, because the Exclusive Listing agreement establishes a mutually advantageous partnership that allows the property to be sold or leased for the highest potential price.

What is a soft listing in real estate?

Soft or quiet listings are those where owners choose to go to select pros without the public websites and chain brokers who would bombard them with unprofessional investors annoying them and harming their tenants and reputation.


In some situations, selling your house through an open listing rather than signing solely with one listing agent will boost your chances of success. However, agents may be less open to this agreement because it increases competition and may necessitate commission sharing. Some agencies or brokerages may even prohibit it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an open listing a unilateral contract?

It is expressed because it is written. It is also unilateral because only one of the contract’s parties makes an enforceable promise. If a buyer is found, the seller agrees to pay the broker a commission.

What is the most common listing type?

The most prevalent type of listing is an exclusive right-to-sell listing. It gives the broker the exclusive right to get a commission for representing the owners and finding a buyer, either directly or indirectly. As the owner, you are responsible for both the listing and selling broker costs.

What does 1% listing mean?

A 1% commission realtor is a real estate agent or brokerage who will list and sell your home for 1% of the final sale price. Lowering your listing charge from 2.5-3% to 1% could result in significant savings.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like