Q. Who benefits from Exclusive Listings?
A. Only the Listing Agent and his/her agency benefit. Sellers get nothing out of this style of listing agreement except for fewer options and, most likely, less money for their home. This is why I strongly disagree with Exclusive Listings and refuse to take them for the good of my own clients.
Many homeowners have never heard this term until an agent tries to sell them on the idea. An Exclusive Listing is what happens when a Realtor takes a new listing, but doesn’t put it on the Multiple Listing Service for other Realtors to see. (You may also see this called a Pocket Listing.) Only the listing agent or other agents from his or her office can sell the home. Sellers often accept this idea because they don’t want to worry about cleaning up for showings and big Open Houses. Exclusive Listings sound like less work. I understand this and it’s natural to want your privacy but, when it’s time to sell your home, this is totally counterproductive.
Think of it this way – If you have an exclusive listing and your agent brings you an offer the day after you list with him, you’re probably going to take it – whether it’s under the asking price or not. You know that only he and his office will be seeing it and bringing offers, so the choice is clear.
But wouldn’t you rather have the largest selection of eager, qualified buyers possible? Thousands of local Realtors could be seeing your home as soon as it pops up as a new listing online. You never know how many of them have a buyer who’s been waiting for a home just like yours. Getting your home seen by as many people as possible is a crucial part of getting the best price. In today’s hot market, good exposure can result in bidding wars, over-asking-price offers and plenty of back up offers in case the first one doesn’t work out. Don’t lose out on that golden opportunity!
Additionally, keep in mind that for every buyer who’s already working with an agent, there are dozens – possibly hundreds – who are shopping on their own online and at Open Houses. They will never know your home is available. This means that even more buyers are guaranteed NOT to buy your home.
Remember the old saying – You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It’s true in all parts of life, including Real Estate. Don’t cheat yourself out of money because you’re promised an easy sale. You deserve the best return on the investment you’ve made in your home.
Note: Please don’t confuse Exclusive/Pocket listings with an agents’ Exclusive Right to Sell. This is standard in NJ and all it means is that your home is listed with one Broker and that you cannot sell it on your own during the period specified in your Listing Agreement.