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February 27, 2019


Word of the day


A written employment agreement between a property owner and a real estate broker authoriz¬ing the broker to find a buyer or a tenant for certain real property. Listings can take the form of open listings, exclusive-agency listings, or exclusive-right-to-sell listings. Most brokers prefer the exclu¬sive-right-to-sell listing.

Note that net listings, although not specifically illegal, are unenforceable under many state stat¬utes of frauds and therefore are not generally recommended.

A broker should be careful to check the true ownership of the property at the time of listing in order to avoid taking listings signed by unauthorized parties. It is important that all owners of record sign the listing agreement. The broker also has the legal and ethical duty to inspect the listed prop¬erty to ensure that all information included in the listing agreement is accurate and complete. Owners should not be relied on to confirm the accuracy of technical or detailed matters about which they could not know, such as the legal effect of certain recorded restrictions on the property.

Listings are personal service contracts, and as such they may not be assigned to another broker. This does not, however, prevent the broker from delegating to the sales office the task of procuring buyers for the property.

The time limit included in the listing agreement is extended by implication if negotiations to sell the property are in progress at the time the listing expires.

The listing usually states the amount of commission the seller will pay the broker upon the hap¬pening of certain stated conditions. If a listed property is transferred by way of an involuntary sale such as a foreclosure, condemnation, or tax sale, the broker is usually not entitled to a commission.

In a buyer’s listing, the buyer employs the broker to locate a property. 

The broker must give a copy of the listing agreement to all the parties signing it at the time of signing. The broker should not show the listing contract (including MLS listings) to the buyer—the listing is an employment contract strictly between the seller and broker and is confidential.

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