In real estate, a listing is a contract of employment between a property owner and a real estate broker to sell or lease property. These are the six types of real estate listings:
Open listings are the most common type. Under an open listing, the property owner offers a real estate broker a commission, usually a percentage of the sale, if the the property is sold. An open listing allows any broker to sell the property and collect the commission, but all open listing contracts are canceled once the property sells so the owner does not have to pay commission to more than one broker.
Exclusive Agency Listings
Under these listings, only one broker is employed and collects commission when the property sells. No other brokers may sell the property, but the owner reserves the right to sell the property himself or herself and avoid paying commission to a broker.
Exclusive Right to Sell Listings
These listings allow the employed broker to earn commission from a sale regardless of who sells the property. This arrangement usually deters other brokers from trying to sell the property listed and ensures that the exclusive broker puts forth a good effort to sell the real estate.
Net listings occur when an owner sets the amount of money that they wish to gain (or net) from the sale of a property. Whatever amount (above the net amount) for which the broker sells the property is commission for the broker. For example, if an owner wishes to gain $200,000 from the sale of a property and the broker finds a buyer willing to pay $210,000, then the owner nets his or her $200,000 while the broker earns $10,000 commission.
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
In some situations, multiple brokers agree to work together to sell real estate and, in turn, agree to split the commission from any sales. Each multiple listing service has different terms and conditions with regard to fees that members pay and commission earned, depending on who sells property.
Limited-Service Listing Agreement
In a limited-service listing agreement, the owner pays a broker a flat fee in advance of services rendered. Typically, the broker provides limited services, like including the listing in an MLS, and the seller handles most inquiries. Most often, commission is not paid due to the upfront payment.