They Are Not All The Same:
Most people when they sign a listing to sell a home are signing a document called “Exclusive Authorization to Sell.” The agent has the only right to list the property and sell, of course with cooperation. If the owner or anyone else sells the property, the “E” agent has a right to a commission. In home sales, these listings go into a Multiple Listing Service to notify other licensees that the property is for sale. There are some other types of listings that are not as familiar. Exclusive Agency listing is one where the “E” agent gets a commission if it is sold by them or any other agent, but the Owner can still sell the property and pay no commission.
The Open Listing Is the Most Casual:
A broker gets a listing from the owner and they get a commission if they sell it. However, the owner can still sell it without a commission and can give a listing to other brokers. This type of listing is used rarely in residential sales but many commercial buildings sell under this arrangement. There are thousands of things that can go wrong.
Multiple Listing is one that has been placed into a Multiple Listing Service. Net Listings are legal but not recommended by the Department of Real Estate and almost all companies. In a Net Listing the seller says that he wants to receive $425,000 and the Broker can keep anything above that figure. I call these listings, “a lawsuit waiting to happen” as there are so many conflicts of interest possible.
One Last Point:
Many members of the public think that all licensees are Realtors. That is not so. The National Association of Realtors is a trade group and members join, pay dues and enjoy the benefits. At this time there are about 420,000 licensees in the State (off from a peak of 548,000) and there are about 180,000 Realtors in California.