Sometimes a real estate agent will ask you for an “exclusive listing” on a property that you are selling. If you agree, he or she will have the sole right to show your property and sell it. Other realtors and brokers are excluded from doing so during the specified period of time when the agreement is in place.

At first glance, entering into an exclusive listing agreement might seem like questionable idea. After all, there will be only one agent who can show your property when it first comes on the market. But if the agent gives you a strong indication that he or she will work hard to make a quick sale, agreeing to an exclusive can be a good idea.

There are advantages to this kind of listing. Usually a real estate agent will ask for one if he or she has a lot of confidence that it will be possible to sell the property quickly. He or she might even have a specific buyer in mind – someone who is looking for a property just like the one you are selling. In cases like that, the agent only wants to “line up the deal” and you might enjoy a quick sale.

When negotiating an exclusive listing agreement, you should specify a short term that runs no longer than 30 or 60 days. Once that term expires, the property will be listed in multiple listings and made available for other brokers to show too.

Another option is to offer the agent a low commission – say 4% or 5% – during the period when the listing is exclusive. An agent will probably agree if he or she is reasonably certain of selling your property quickly. Note that this negotiating tactic will succeed more often if you have an especially desirable property to sell.

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