What’s the difference between an “Exclusive Listing” and one that’s searchable on MLS?
GTA REAL ESTATE – In Ontario, the majority of residential or commercial properties that go up for sale are added, by the selling agent, to the Multiple Listings Service (MLS). This online real estate database allows any other member of the same real estate board to view the listing, and contact those trying to sell it.
An Exclusive Listing, on the other hand, is a property that is not added to the MLS system by the seller’s agent. Generally, these can only be viewed by agents and brokers within the same brokerage as the selling agent and, as RECO’s Joe Richer explains, these listings generally attract buyers through direct referral.
Why would I choose to make my listing exclusive?
There are a couple of possible reasons, but one of the most frequent is the added level of privacy for the buyer. Richer explains that “in some instances, commissions associated with an exclusive listing can be lower, as the real estate professional does not have to pay the MLS fees” – so that is potentially a bonus, as well.
There are a couple of other common reasons as well:
- In order for a property to qualify for listing on MLS, the seller and his/her agent need to have agreed on a listing period of at least 60 days. Exclusive listing is a popular option for sellers who would like to enter into a shorter agreement at first.
- Many sellers would like to attract a very specific type of buyer, or have in mind a sale arrangement that does not lend itself to MLS (a joint venture, for example). In these situations, it can be helpful to list exclusively with a sales representative who is connected to that specific type of buyer.
My sales representative has suggested listing the property exclusively – what should I ask him/her first?
According to Richer, first you need to understand all the details of how an exclusive listing arrangement works, including who will have access to the listing. Secondly, you will want to inquire as to the agent’s level of experience in dealing with exclusive listings, and ask how they plan to market the property.
Remember – it is always important to have trust in your real estate sales representative before planning to list a property exclusively.