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Q & A: Open Listings

Q: What is an Open Listing?

A: “In the San Francisco Bay Area, off-MLS transactions rose from 15 percent of total sales in 2012 to 26 percent in the first quarter of 2013.” (Realtor Magazine, National Association of Realtors, November/December 2013)

Off-MLS transactions are also known as Open (or Pocket) Listings. As the seller, you have a choice as to how you want to market your home or property. Perhaps you wish to sell your home to a smaller, more exclusive set of buyers. Or you prefer more intimate meetings with potential buyers versus the traditional open house. Open Listings are non-exclusive agreements with an agent, allowing the seller to work freely with other agents or buyers at the same time. Commission is only paid to the agent who is the procuring cause and completes the transaction by closing escrow.

Benefits of Open Listings include:

  • Seller saves money $$$ with reduced commissions

  • Total commissions of 3-4% (vs. standard rates of on-MLS properties at 5-6%)

  • Seller has no obligation or exclusivity with agent(s)

  • Seller’s personal information will not be exposed on the MLS, maintaining his/her anonymity and privacy

  • High profile clients and luxury home owners can rest assured that listings are only marketed to a targeted group of buyers, specific to the seller’s requests

  • Seller can work directly with buyers through their own networking

  • Only the agent who is the the procuring cause, creates a meeting of the minds and completes the sale transaction will earn commission

House Network Realty are innovators in the field of Open Listings. In the late 1980’s, Licensed Broker and Realtor Cary Goldstone introduced the concept of Open Listings to his high-end clients in Long Island, New York. At the time, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was at its inception. Goldstone sold properties using the Open Listing method to luxury home owners. Listing homes in this manner was a groundbreaking feat, an alternative approach that provided more options to the seller. In today’s evolving marketplace, Open Listings are carrying more weight due to the lack of inventory available.

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