The Exclusive Listing


What is an Exclusive Listing?

Basically, an exclusive listing is a written or implied agreement between a homeowner and a single real estate brokerage to market the real property for a particular period of time in exchange for a commission or flat fee.

The subject property is not uploaded to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), hence does not appear on REALTOR.ca in Canada or REALTOR.com in the USA. The listing contract remains the property of one brokerage.

This type of listing is rare because homeowners typically demand the huge exposure offered by the MLS® system and the Internet.


Have you had any experience with listing your home exclusively with one brokerage? How did that go for you? Successful?  Do you have a story that you'd like to share with our on-line community? Click here.


When one is created, it's usually because the agent already has a prospective buyer for the property. Therefore, there's no need to share the listing. Of course, the seller must agree to the limited exposure offered by this marketing method. The vast majority of property listed and sold these days are by way of the Multiple Listing Service®.

Nevertheless, a seller may be in no rush, prefers a quiet sale or prefers that their own agent sell it themselves. In any case, the exclusive agent, who is in no way compelled to cooperate with another brokerage, must share the listing with fellow sales people of their own brokerage. The listing contract actually belongs to the brokerage - not the sales person who obtained the listing.

REALTOR® commission rates are often negotiable for exclusive listings, but are typically lower than REALTOR® fees charged for an MLS® listing.

Click here for more on this topic and a history of the Multiple Listing Service®, and click here to learn more real estate terms.

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Have a great story about listing your home exclusively with one brokerage?

Have you ever tried to sell your home with a realty agent, but with an exclusive listing? Why did you choose that route and sacrifice the huge exposure available through the MLS system? How was the experience? Did you succeed? Did you get the price you hoped for? Did the agent already have a solid prospect before s/he listed your home, or were you just hoping they'd sell it themselves and save you commission?

Do you regret not exposing your home through the ever-popular MLS system where the vast majority of buyers begin their home search? Was the savings in selling expense due to the lower commission rate worth sacrificing the exposure? Or did you finally surrender and list multiply?

Do you think you've got the best, worst, funniest or most embarrassing story to tell? Here's your chance to compare notes, share tips and maybe commiserate or celebrate with other guests who may have undergone a similar experience.

I invite you to submit your story, article, commentary or questions about your experience - successful or otherwise.

This support forum is not intended as an opportunity to complain. It's a chance to express yourself and hopefully help others who may be faced with similar challenging situations. Maybe they can learn from your story. Please provide respectful remarks and advice only. Profanity, disrespectful or abusive comments will not be tolerated.

I implore you to treat this as a soft place for friendly people to land, share and learn from each other. I'll do my best to respond when appropriate in a supportive and encouraging manner, and answer any questions within the realm of my expertise.


If you're interested in learning more about selling your own property - including privately - and buying another, check out my book The Happy Agent. Learn how to effectively prepare your home for market, how to advertise, how to handle showings and open houses like a pro, how to successfully negotiate an offer, and when it's time to throw in the towel and hire a professional.

When you consider the huge potential savings in real estate commission, a small investment of your time and a pittance of your money could save you thousands. At the very least, you'll be encouraged to try it alone for awhile. Remember - knowledge is power.

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