Do you know your listing types?

Do you know your listing types?

Well, we don’t sell a property every day do we?  It’s not like the weekly or fortnightly shop, when we go to our favourite supermarket, know exactly what we want, know our aisles and can whizz round and get what we need and out again for a well-earned coffee.  No, listing your property whether it be your home, your farm or even business is not something we do often, therefore we have every right to be a little confused unless we have sold several properties in the past.

For those who haven’t this is a simple blog on what type of listings there are, what they basically mean, and whether they may or may not be best for us.

The most common kind of listing used is an EXCLUSIVE LISTING.  This is where you sign an exclusive listing agreement with one agent, for a certain amount of time, which can vary from 60 days to 120 days or even longer especially in rural areas where property takes much longer to sell.  This means that while the listing is current you cannot sign any other listing agreement with any other agency until the time on the listing agreement is up.  This has several benefits both for the Seller and the Agent which are as follows:

  • Your agent is likely to give priority to an exclusive listing over an open listing simply because they have been solely entrusted with the sale of your property, and they feel totally responsible for the sale.
  • You as the Seller have a one-stop shop as far as seeing how your sale is progressing, making price changes and generally getting feedback on visits and you will also feel more in control of what is happening with your property.
  • The agent doesn’t want to see the listing walking off to anyone else so he is going to do the best he can for your property to sell within the timeframe of this listing.
  • Other agents can still CONJUNCT with your Agent if they have a buyer who is interested in your property and a split in commissions will be agreed between the agents. This means it will not cost you anymore.

Being based in the country we have a lot of people, especially those who own Perth properties too, asking us to MULTI-LIST properties.  Lots of us can easily confuse this with an OPEN LISTING but this is not the case.  MULTI-LIST is used very much in Perth and other cities and larger regional towns.  It was created by REIWA and consists of 2 kinds of multi-list types of listings both of which are a form of EXCLUSIVE LISTINGS.


Has the same meaning as “Exclusive Agency Agreement” save and except that the agent and the seller agree that the property: (a) will be marketed using the REIWA Multi-Listing Service and (b) will be marketed using the REIWA internet site1.


Means the same as an Exclusive Plus Agency Agreement save and except that the agent and the seller agrees that the agent will offer conjunctional agreements to all MLS agents and the seller authorises other real estate agents who are entitled to use the REIWA Multi-Listing Service to display a photograph of the property in their office window.2

As you can see from the first word… they are all actually EXCLUSIVE LISTINGS with the one agency, however through REIWA’s clever system, which is open to all REIWA members, the listings are available to any agent to sell under a certain By-laws but the Listing Agent is the only one that has a listing.   So the Listing Agent is the one those takes responsibility for the photographs, the write up and the advertising.  You can see that the only real difference is that the MULTI-LIST form allows other real estate agents to put a photo of your property in their window even though the listing still belongs to the Listing Agent.

This leads us on to an OPEN LISTING which many people get confused with MULTI-LIST which is understandable considering the terminology.   When they talk about the MULT-LIST part it just means that it is multi-listed for other agents to sell whereas an OPEN LISTING completely different.

OPEN LISTINGS give you the choice of listing your property with more than one agent and therefore are nothing like an EXCLUSIVE LISTING which just sits with one agent.  When two agents hold an OPEN LISTING on the same property they can both advertise the property, put up their own signs and put it on their own webpages.   You have probably seen many properties especially during the financial crisis with two or more signs.  Each agent has their own OPEN LISTING and whoever sells the property keeps the whole fee, the other agent or agents don’t get anything for their trouble. You can begin to see why this one is not very popular with agents.  It is also not good for the property, because if anyone sees a property with more than one sign on it, people start wondering what’s wrong with it or asking themselves why hasn’t the property sold.  It makes the property look tired and the Sellers look desperate.  Not a good look.

You have probably heard the term SOLE AGENCY at some time in your life.  This type of listing is an EXCLUSIVE LISTING but with one clause deleted which allows you to sell the property yourself as well.  This type of listing can be used if you have some friends who may be interested in buying your property and you want to protect your interests should they come forward.  If you went with a normal EXCLUSIVE LISTING you would still be paying the fee even if you introduced a Buyer unless this clause is deleted… and if it is it becomes a SOLE AGENCY listing.

There is one more combination that we haven’t discussed as yet and this can be useful, if for instance you are in a small town, and know that Buyers move in a certain direction towards a larger town once they sell.  This listing is called a JOINT EXCLUSIVE LISTING and it uses the skills of two agents.  So you have two agents looking after your property but only one sign and window cards and other media name both agents.  Agents generally come to an agreement from anything to a 50-50 split to a 70-30 split on commission with the agent that sells it getting the larger share whilst the other agent at least get their expenses paid.

So there you have it in a nutshell but as always with real estate we haven’t touched the surface yet because there is always the AUCTION which we leave for another blog.

Chris Roycroft

1 & 2 Obtained from REIWA Multi-List By-Laws



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