What Is Open Listing in Real Estate And Is It Right For You?

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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.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, you might be wondering what is open listing in real estate. This type of listing means you are giving a real estate agent permission to sell your home but you are also allowed to sell it yourself.

For some people, this option is the best of both worlds because they can get help from a professional while still having control over the sale of their property. Read on to learn more about what is open listing in real estate and if it’s a good option for you.

What Is Open Listing In Real Estate?

An open listing is a type of contract where the seller can sell the property by themselves.

This simply means that if you are selling a home, you can list it with multiple real estate agents. You will only have to pay the agent who brings you a willing buyer.

The major advantage of using open listings is that you’ll likely only have to pay half of the normal commissions.

If you find the buyer yourself, you will not have to pay a real estate agent commission. You will still need to pay for other costs, such as closing fees and legal fees, but you will not have to pay for the agent.

Many full-service brokers don’t like to open listings as they don’t earn any commission.

What is an Exclusive Agency Listing?

An exclusive agency listing is just like a regular open listing except that your realtor will be representing you.

As the owner of the property, you can sell it yourself and not have to pay a realtor commission.

The agent may work with a second brokerage firm, and that second firm could introduce the buyer.

Because a buyer’s agent usually receives a percentage of the final sale price, you would have to pay both their fee and your listing agent’s at the same time.

The broker’s fee is often negotiable, so it is worth discussing this with them during negotiations.

With exclusive listings, only that listing agent can list and sell that home. The owner cannot sell that house on their own.

With an open listing, the owner can list their property with as many different agents and brokers as they want. All the different representatives will be competing against each other to sell the property and claim their commission.

Pros and Cons of an Open Listing

An open buyer agency agreement means you sign an agreement with more than one real estate agent. When your home is eventually sold, you only pay the listing agent who brings you the buyer.

The agreement creates a competitive environment and forces the broker to push their agent to close deals.

The more agents and agencies you have working for you, the more buyers you’ll have. Each will have its own list of potential buyers.

With multiple agents working the same listing, your property will be seen by all of those agents and all of their clients. This increases the number of eyes on your property and increases the chances of finding a buyer.

If your house doesn’t sell, you don’t pay your agent. And you can end your relationship at any time.

You can market your property on your own to avoid paying a commission to an agent. If you are successful in selling the property, you will not owe commission fees to any agent.

You still have to pay a commission fee to the buyer’s agent but not both the selling and buying commissions.

Marketing a property for sale yourself can be a difficult task, especially in a down market.

An open listing agreement may not get you the best possible price for your home as agents compete against each other to sell it. This method can also be stressful as it becomes a race to sell your property.

One drawback of open listings is that the focus is on finding a price that a seller will accept, as opposed to focusing on the best offers.

If buyers see that you’re working with other real estate agents, they might think you’re desperate to sell. Or, they might try to undercut you by offering a lower price.

Multiple real estate agents may scare off potential buyers if they think it’s difficult to sell. This could also make them think that there is an issue with the property or that the price is too high.

In real estate, most agents are only interested in their exclusively listed properties. This means that your non-exclusive property may stay in the market for longer than you anticipated, and this in turn could drive down the asking price.

Which Listing Agreement Is Right for You?

If you’re confident you can sell your own house, consider an open-listing agreement with a real estate agent. This can save you thousands of dollars in commissions.

For most, selling on their own is too stressful and time-intensive.

Working with an agent means that you no longer have to worry about marketing your home, showing it, or negotiating the price.

Commission fees are sometimes worth the convenience of using a third-party service.

You should always interview your real agent before signing any listing agreement to ensure they are the best match for your needs.

What Is an Open Listing?

An open listing is a type of real estate contract between a property owner and a real estate broker that gives the broker the right to market the property and collect a commission if it sells but does not grant the broker exclusive rights to sell the property.

What Is an Exclusive Agency Listing?

An open listing is a type of real estate contract between a homeowner and a real estate agent that allows the homeowner to seek out other agents to sell their home.

An exclusive agency listing is a contract between a homeowner and one real estate agent that gives that agent the exclusive right to sell the home.

What Is a Closed Listing?

A closed listing means that the property is no longer available for sale. The listing may have expired or the property may have been sold.


What is open listing in real estate? An open listing in real estate is a great option for those who want to have control over the sale of their property while still getting help from a professional. If you’re thinking about selling your home, be sure to consider an open listing!

Justin McGill