Selling a house through a realtor

If you’re selling one or more of your rental houses through a realtor, what is a “normal” exclusive listing agreement length? 3 months? 6 months?


They will try to push for a year but I never do more than 6 months. I would start out with 3 months and go from there. Also remember to negotiate the commission.

Unless you call listings diferently than we do here, you don’t want to list unless it is going onto the MLS.

A “one party listing” would only be for a couple of weeks.

To me, an “exclusive” listing means that the agent is the only one trying to sell it. I can’t see any advantage. The whole benefit of listing is to get on the MLS.

6 month listing would be about normal. If you want to list for 1 year, give them 6 months and then an extension. A lot of agents really suck. A shorter listing enables you to change agents after a shorter unhappy time period.

I’ve seen 6 month agreements in my market.


if they try to push an exclusive on you explain to them that this is your business just like it is theirs and you would be more than willing to sign an exclusive with them if they will agree to works exclusively with you and watch there jaw drop

Then politely explain to them that you would lose money if they weren’t doing there job efficiently

From some of the responses, it would appear that some don’t understand the exclusive right to sell agreement.

An exclusive right-to-sell listing is the most commonly utilized instrument in the real estate industry. It gives the broker the exclusive right to earn a commission by representing the owner and bringing a buyer, either through another brokerage or directly. The owner pays both the listing and selling broker fees. The owner cannot sell the property himself/herself without paying a commission, unless an exception is noted in the contract.

As a general rule, the agreement will specify that the seller’s property is to be listed on the MLS and give a limited time frame in which the listing must appear on the MLS.

The exclusive right to sell agreement in no way excludes other agents from participating in the sale as representatives of the buyer. In large metropolitan areas, 95% of the time the agent who brings a buyer to the settlement table is not the listing agent.

As far as how much time you should give the agent depends upon your market. In my local market, it is typical for a fairly priced property to stay on the market for six months to one year. If you give an agent a 90 day listing and you like how the agent is performing, you can always grant extensions, otherwise move your listing to another agency.

Thanks for clarifying Dave, I was starting to doubt myself knowing what an exclusive RE contract with some of the responses to the original post. Lesson learned-go with your gut, its usually right.

I’m a Realtor here in Montgomery County (with MLS access throughout the Houston area). Being on MLS is definitely important ( receives millions of hits). If your agent is any good he/she will know it and should not have a problem with a shorter exclusive right to sell agreement. How long does he/she predict they will take to sell at the current list prices? That may be a good length of time to consider for the listing agreement. You can also find agents that will load your listing into MLS for a flat fee and you handle everything yourself. I would do so with the approval of my broker.

sign for six months.
tell him if he/she sells it themselves - you want a reduced commission due (i.e. say it’s 6% total - if the agent themselves sells it - you’ll pay 4.5%)
give them 60 days - thereafter - if you want - you can get out of the contract with an UNCONDITIONAL withdrawal - meaing you can list with someone else.

So it’s 6 month listing with a 60 day out.


As an investor since 1955 and a broker since 1965 I’ve offered my investor clients exclusive right to sell listings that contain a clause that if the seller procurs the buyer the commission will be reduced to 1%. which at least compensates me for my overhead while still giving them a chance to find a buyer.

Some agents out there will cry out don’t do that, but 90% of the time I find the buyer first and if the seller finds a buyer, great, it’s sold. As for the length of the listing I use the current average market time plus 30 days which is fair, and doesn’t lock them in arbitrarily to some unreasonable length of time. And in those cases where the market has gotten worse, sellers are aware of it and will extend the listing accordingly.

Does it matter how much you pay your agent anyway? Most set their cost at 6% plus a transaction fee. Youre suppose to be buying at 25% minimum…

It isn’t in your best interest to sell your own houses… Besides Buyers think agent commissions are paid by the seller… We all know they agent…

Not to mention the little thing like the MLS which has thousands of “Buyers” agent aka Selling agents looking at it daily and in a down market that it much better…