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Exclusive Agency VS. Exclusive Right of Sale Listings Explained

Can a Realtor® tell that you have a flat fee MLS listing?

Broker, Keith R. Gordon has been listing homes flat fee in the MLS in Florida since 2001. Through his years as a Florida licensed real estate broker, he has listed, negotiated and spoken with thousands of Realtors®, buyers and sellers. He has heard just about every compliant possible from sellers about how much discontentment many have for Realtors® as well as how Realtors® feel about just about every subject including discount real estate firms.

If a seller is coming to® to list their home flat fee in the MLS, they most likely do not want a full service Realtor®, unless they sign up for our PRO program where you get full representation at a flat fee price. That being said, sellers should realize that when a full service Realtor® inputs a listing into the MLS, the listing is identified as an Exclusive Right of Sale Listing as opposed to an Exclusive Agency Listing which is used to input a MLS listing when the seller is "self-represented" or flat fee listed.

By definition, Exclusive Right means the listing agent will receive a commission regardless of who sells the property (seller, listing agent, another Realtor®, foreclosure, transfer, option or any other form of transfer of ownership). As well, the listing broker/agent will receive a commission as stated in the listing agreement and perform certain duties such as (a) negotiate contracts; (b) show; (c) input the property into the MLS, etc. Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement is the listing agreement used by almost all full service Realtors®.

Why the distinction between Exclusive Right of Sale Listing and Exclusive Agency Listing in the MLS? So the Realtors® will know who to make offers to (with Exclusive Agency, they can be made directly to the seller). Self-represented sellers (flat fee) also show their own homes. As well, Exclusive Agency allows for a seller to sell the property themselves as a "for sale by owner," should they find their own buyer (who is not represented by a Realtor®).

There are a few drawbacks to being flat fee listed in the MLS as Exclusive Agency/limited service when it comes to getting the Realtors® to cooperate with you. Realtors® can tell you are a self-represented seller. One, because your phone number is displayed in the MLS with "contact seller directly" and two, the listing shows an Exclusive Agency Listing. While the majority of Realtors® will show a flat fee MLS listed property in Florida, some will not. Most buyer agents are truly motivated by commission and are often driven by their buyers who saw a home online ( However, feedback from our sellers tells us that some agents have admitted to discriminating against flat fee MLS listed sellers.

This small percentage of the Realtors® have said they do not want to negotiate with a seller directly or they simply boycott flat fee MLS listings because they feel they are bad for the industry despite the clear and convincing posture taken by the Department of Justice regarding such discrimination.

Our PRO full service program apears to Realtors® as any other full service listings in the MLS. PRO sellers enjoy 100% contract representation and many other concierge benefits. In every way, except for showing the home, an PRO seller receives the same or better service and marketing than any full service listing for a fraction of the cost. (Ex., A home has a sales price of $300,000 and is listed with a traditional full service brokerage. The seller typically pays $18,000 in commissions. Around 3% of that, or $9,000, goes to the listing agent regardless of how the property is sold. If a client chooses our PRO program, rather than paying $9,000 in commission, the seller would only pay $69 up front and $3,000 at close.)

Brokers negotiate all offers (regardless of how many buyers it takes to close a deal), handle all calls and schedule all appointments, and service clients with an Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement.

Broker, Keith R. Gordon, believes that having one of our contract representation programs is beneficial for several reasons:

The Realtors® can't tell you apart from other full service listings in the MLS and therefore can't discriminate against your listing. When a listing goes into the MLS as an "Exclusive Right of Sale," it doesn't have the description "Limited Service" like it would if you did not have contract representation. If an agent sees “limited service,” they may surmise that you are flat fee listed (self represented). Some Realtors® feel negatively about this because they assume it means they will have to work harder since no other agent is involved. Some sellers try to represent themselves and find that they are unsuccessful in executing a contract because they really weren't experienced in contract negotiations. If the seller isn't available by phone at all times, opportunities for showings can be missed. Lost showings potentially mean lost sales. Our contract representation programs include Agent Assure® which means we take all calls and schedule/coordinate all showings. Some buyers and Realtors® don't want to work directly with the seller. An experienced broker on your side during contract negotiations can save you money and even save a deal. Agents prefer to transact with other licensed professionals and so do many buyers since they may not have a professional representing them.