If you are ready to sell your home, you’ll likely want the help of a real estate professional. Most sellers choose to work exclusively with a single agent, but there is another option: an open listing. This sales strategy allows multiple agents to market your home in an attempt to find a buyer, and ultimately earn a commission on the sale.

Open listing: Definition

An open listing enables multiple real estate agents to try to sell your home. This setup gives the seller the ability to work with multiple agents at once. This differs from an exclusive listing, in which the seller works exclusively with one listing agent to find a buyer.

There are several reasons why a seller might choose to go with an open listing. These might include:

  • If the home was previously listed with an exclusive agent and failed to sell, an open listing gives others a chance at it.
  • If you need to sell as quickly as possible, having multiple agents marketing the home can bring in a larger pool of potential buyers at once, increasing its chance of selling fast.
  • If the property is unusual or difficult to market, having several different strategies at play by several different agents increases the odds that one of the strategies might work.

Open listing: Example

Let’s see how this could potentially play out in a real-life scenario. Imagine that you need to sell your home in under a month in order to move to a new city for work. You decide to sell your home as an open listing, and four Realtors express interest in promoting your home to potential buyers. Two of them end up working together to facilitate the sale within your time frame, and they split the sale commission after your deal closes.

Other ways to sell a house fast

If speed is of the essence, there are many other ways to sell your home quickly. Consider one of these options:

  • Sell to an iBuyer: An iBuyer, or instant buyer, makes quick offers — often within 24 hours — based on online algorithms. They do not operate in every market, though, and they typically will not offer you as much money as you are likely to make with a traditional sale.
  • Sell as-is: With an as-is sale, you cut out the hassle of negotiating and get straight to the bottom line, with no time-consuming back-and-forth between you and the buyer over repairs or other issues.
  • Sell for cash: All-cash sales, whether to a home-flipping company or a private buyer, mean there’s no mortgage financing to wait on. This both saves time and creates less risk, as there’s no possibility of a buyer’s financing falling through.

Bottom line

Selling your home via an open listing, rather than signing exclusively with one listing agent, can increase your chances of selling in some cases. However, agents may be less open to this agreement, as it increases competition and can lead to having to share commissions. Some agencies or brokerages may even have rules against it.