Homes with maximum visibility are getting multiple offers and sky high prices in the South Shore real estate market. So why are some agents promoting exclusive listing agreements? What are the advantages and disadvantages when signing this type of contract? Here's what you need to know.
Exclusive listing agreements are when a home is listed exclusively by one agent and marketed privately by that agent only. The listing does not appear on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or any public site.
According to Michelle Larnard, broker/owner, Michelle Larnard Real Estate, exclusive listings aren't ideal in the South Shore real estate market. "They don’t make good business sense in our region," she says. "Like the rest of the country, we have very little inventory. Homes that are visible to the general public attract the highest number of qualified buyers. As a result these sellers are getting top dollar for their homes."
Before choosing to sign an exclusive listing agreement, sellers should understand the pros and cons.
Disadvantages of Exclusive Listings
1. According to a recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 97% of homebuyers start their home search online. Today’s buyers choose what homes they want to tour based on this online research. When a listing is exclusive, it can only be viewed by agents within one particular firm. This limits the amount exposure and results in fewer interested buyers.
2. Exclusive listings can create a conflict of interest. Many times, when a listing is exclusive the same agent represents both the buyer and the seller. Known as “dual agency,” this arrangement is good for the agent but not good for the seller or the buyer. It is always best when the seller and buyer have independent representation to advocate and negotiate for their best interests.
Advantages of Exclusive Listings
In some instances, exclusive listing agreements can benefit the seller. These include:
- seller requires more privacy and wants more control over buyers, i.e. who should see the home and when
- seller wants to test the market value of the home before opening the sale to the general population
- seller wants to restrict access in order to have more time to prepare their home for sale
"At the end of the day, exclusive listing agreements here on the South Shore leave money on the table," says Michelle. "To get top dollar for your home, everyone and anyone should know it’s for sale."
Talk through your options with your real estate professional when you are planning to sell your home. They will provide the best advice for your specific property based on your home's features, the neighborhood, and current market conditions.