This is the seventh episode in our video series covering a licensee’s authority to act on a client’s behalf under a written listing agreement. The sixth episode covers the use of an exclusive right-to-buy listing agreement. 

A nonexclusive listing provides significantly less assurance a fee will be earned

An open listing

, sometimes called a nonexclusive listing, allows the owner to market the property themselves while employing brokers to locate buyers and sell the property. The client may enter into open listings with as many brokers as they want to without becoming obligated to pay more than one fee, if any.

Thus, the owner under an open listing competes against the seller’s brokers to locate buyers. If the owner does locate a buyer, the owner does not become obligated to pay a fee under any open listing.

In contrast to other types of listings, an open listing does not grant exclusive rights to the seller’s broker and their agents to be the sole representative of the client. This is true whether the client is a buyer, tenant, borrower, seller, landlord or lender.

A broker fee under an open listing to sell real estate is due a broker only if the broker or agent procures a ready, willing and able buyer and presents the owner with an offer from the buyer to purchase the listed property. The terms contained in the offer submitted by the broker are substantially the same as the terms sought by the owner under the listing to earn a fee, whether or not the seller accepts it, called a full listing offer.  If other terms are offered by a buyer and accepted by the owner, the broker earns their fee.

Compared to an exclusive listing, an open listing provides significantly less assurance that a fee will be earned by the broker and their agent. [See RPI Form 102 and 103]

Related video:

Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listings: A Closer Look

For a broker to be entitled to a fee under an open listing, the broker or agent will present the offer to the owner before the property is sold to some other buyer located by another broker or by the owner directly.

Also, the offer will be submitted before the listing expires or is revoked by withdrawal of the property from sale or by the termination of the agency. [Calif. Civil Code §1086(f)(3)]