Common Joe 'n Jane Real Estate Wiki

Real estate exam prep made easy! Dive into our wiki for key concepts and study materials tailored for success in your exams.

<--Back to Wiki Home
Bite sized definition logo.

Define Open Listing in Real Estate

Open Listing: 

An open listing is an agreement between a property owner and multiple real estate agents. The owner allows any of the agents to try to sell the property, but only the agent who finds a buyer gets paid. If the owner sells the property without an agent, they don't have to pay any commission.


A homeowner wants to sell their house and decides to have an open listing. They let three different real estate agents try to find a buyer. One of the agents finds a buyer willing to pay the asking price. The homeowner sells the house, and only the agent who found the buyer gets paid a commission. If the homeowner had found a buyer on their own, they wouldn't owe any commission.

Illustration of a diver exploring the depths of the ocean. This image represents in-depth further learning in various real estate dictionary and glossary terms on our website.
"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Agents"

As a real estate agent, it's essential to understand different types of listing agreements to better serve your clients. Besides open listings, here are three other common types of listings:

Exclusive Right to Sell: In this type of listing, the seller agrees to work exclusively with one real estate agent, who has the sole right to market and sell the property. No matter who finds the buyer, the agent will earn a commission. This is the most common type of listing agreement, providing the agent with a strong incentive to market the property aggressively.

Exclusive Agency Listing: Similar to an exclusive right to sell, an exclusive agency listing grants one real estate agent the exclusive right to represent the seller. However, if the seller finds a buyer on their own, the agent doesn't receive a commission. This type of listing provides less incentive for the agent to market the property, as they won't be compensated if the seller finds a buyer independently.

Net Listing: A net listing is an agreement in which the seller specifies a desired net amount they want to receive from the sale. The agent adds their commission on top of that amount, and whatever they sell the property for above the net amount becomes their commission. Net listings can be risky and are not allowed in some states, as they may create a conflict of interest between the agent and seller.

Additional points to consider:

- The choice of listing agreement depends on the seller's preferences, trust in the agent, and the level of service they desire. Each type of listing agreement has its pros and cons, so it's essential to understand them and communicate these to your clients.

- Listing agreements should always be in writing and include essential details such as the duration of the agreement, the commission rate, and any additional terms and conditions.

Understanding different types of listing agreements will help you provide better service to your clients and ensure successful property transactions.
Illustration of Dumb Ox mascot.

"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

When selling homes, there is a way,
To let many agents join the fray,
An open listing, it is called,
With multiple agents, the owner's enthralled.

They try to sell, to find a buyer,
The competition, it grows higher,
But only one agent gets their pay,
The one who finds a buyer, hooray!

And if the owner finds success,
Selling the home with no agent's address,
No commission owed, they keep it all,
With an open listing, standing tall.

Invest in Your Future.

Buy Access Now!