A listing contract is the written agreement between the owner (“seller”) of the property and the Real Estate brokerage or agent who is representing the seller. Most contracts will be an exclusive agreement, meaning you will allow only one agent or broker to represent your home. An exclusive agreement (“exclusive right to sell”) is best for selling your home because you are giving your agent a full opportunity to sell your home.

Other kinds of listing agreements are “open,” which is usually a “for sale by owner” type of listing. This means the seller will sell without an agent and without paying a commission. If you plan on listing your own home, you should consider advertising and selling it as “broker friendly” or “broker protected,” meaning that you will pay a buyer’s agent a commission for bringing the buyer. This will give the buyer’s agent more incentive to sell your property.

Another type of listing is an “exclusive agency listing.” This type of listing can overcomplicate the process, since a seller is still able to sell their own home without paying a commission, and while the home is listed with one agent, another willing and cooperative agent could take the commission if they sell the home. Many agents will not go into this kind of listing, since there are no commission guarantees and they pay for marketing your home out of pocket.

If you decide to go with an exclusive right to sell listing, your property will be given a listing number. This number will help other agents easily locate your home in the MLS. Your “listing” should include clear, recent photos of the home as well as a description of the property and updates. Once your home is listed in the MLS other agents can search for your home, if, say they searched for “Denver real estate for sale.”

Most listing agreements will be a minimum of six months, but you can negotiate a smaller period. A property priced at market value should be able to sell within two to three months, but sometimes a seller wants top dollar, which can take longer. Sometimes a buyer wants a closing for a month or two out, and sometimes holidays and seasons can make a sale take longer than expected. If you plan on listing a normal sale, six months is a fair amount of time to give your agent. If a “short sale” is in your plans, you will want to give your agent anywhere from a year to a two year listing. Short sales can take up to two years and sometimes even longer to sell, since your bank will also need to cooperate.

About PorchLight Real Estate: PorchLight Real Estate Group has the most experienced and knowledgeable Denver real estate agents in Colorado. For more information about homes for sale in Denver CO or specific neighborhood homes please visit www.porchlightgroup.com.