What Is General Agency in Real Estate? Pros and Cons

Photo of author
Written By Justin McGill

DealBloom aims to share the latest tips and strategies to help realtors, brokers, loan officers, and investors navigate the world of real estate.

Have you ever thought about becoming a real estate agent? It’s a great career choice if you’re interested in helping people find their dream homes. But before you can start working with clients, you need to understand the basics of a general agency. In this blog post, we’ll explain what is general agency in real estate and how it can benefit both real estate agents and their clients. We’ll also provide some tips on how to get started in this field. So if you’re ready to learn more about becoming a real estate agent, read on!

What Is General Agency in Real Estate?

When selling your home, it’s important to understand the difference between the sole and general agency agreement. What is general agency in real estate?

A general agency is a company that provides real estate services on behalf of another company or individual. The most common type of general agency is a real estate broker.

Sellers often ask us whether they should use one real estate agent or several to sell their home.

When selling your property, it is in your interest to work with a real estate company that only represents you. This will make it much easier for you to manage the sale of your home and will prevent any confusion or problems from arising.

It also helps to avoid any potential complications or misunderstandings that can occur when multiple people or real estate agencies are involved.

This can be an added stressor for home sellers that can be avoided.

If you’re indicating a preference for another company, an estate agent might encourage a general agency listing.

It can be tough to decide without giving it some solid thought.

While a sole agency agreement is an obvious choice, there are certainly some cons to consider.

General Agency: Pros

A general agency agreement allows you to market your property for sale with more than one real estate agent. You can cancel this agreement within 1 business day of signing it, so you can find the right agent for you and your home.

  • The more agents you market with, the more eyes are on your property.
  • You have more real estate agents out there marketing your home to potential buyers.
  • It will appear in all the windows of every realtor that lists it.
  • The competitive nature of the sales environment will make all salespeople more eager to sell the product first so they can get a commission.

However, listing with multiple real estate agents may give you a false sense of security that your property is getting more exposure. In reality, it’s often the opposite.

General agency: Cons

  • Real estate agencies will each try to sell the property, though only one agent will sell it. The one that ends up selling it usually gets the commission.
  • Estate agents often argue about real estate commissions.
  • You might be liable to pay for two commissions if you agree to a sales contract that doesn’t have the protection you need.
  • Having too many signs can look like you’re desperate for business.
  • Since online advertisements are expensive, you’ll want to only pay for one. Which agency will you choose?
  • It can be tough to keep track of all the reports, emails, and documents from all your agents.
  • For landlords, arranging a property visit can be a bit of a headache, especially if it’s for a tenanted rental property.
  • A potential home buyer could attend an open house, then contact the agent who advertised it after looking it up online or seeing a sign.
  • The real estate ad standards for different agents who list a property vary.
  • In some markets, auctions are an effective way to sell a property. However, with a traditional agent, you could be missing out on this avenue of selling.
  • Agent negotiation skills can vary – what if the buyer contacts the least skilled agent?

Sole Agency: Pros

A sole agency agreement with a real estate agent gives you the legal right to list your property exclusively with that agent until the expiration of the agreement. However, you can change your mind and cancel the agreement within one working day after receiving a signed copy.

  • One agent will proactively work for you.
  • There’s much less paperwork involved when selling a home.
  • You are only interacting with one real estate agent and their staff.
  • You only get a single piece of signage outside your home.
  • You only have one standard in marketing, photos, and advertisements, as long as you pick the right real estate agent.
  • One agent or agency handles your open homes, meaning you get more organization and the safety of all your items.
  • There will be fewer people who are available to discuss all matters relating to the property.
  • Keeping track of all your properties is easier with one single real estate agent than with multiple.

If you’re working with a general agency, it’s important to stay on top of the details to avoid any potential problems.

Sole Agency: Cons

  • Your house might not get as many showings as others on the market.
  • You can’t change your mind any time and list as a general agency until your sole agency date has expired.
  • If your sole agent is too busy or a little lazy, you have no fallback.

We believe that working with a general agency can often be more trouble than it’s worth, as they tend to be messy and can negate any good intentions you had when deciding to go with them.

Knowing the pros and cons can help you make a more informed decision.


If you’re thinking of becoming a real estate agent, then it is essential to understand what is general agency in real estate. It can benefit both agents and their clients in many ways. If you’re ready to get started in this field, be sure to keep the tips we’ve provided in mind. With hard work and dedication, you can succeed as a real estate agent!

Justin McGill