What is the Most Common Listing Type in Real Estate?

What is the Most Common Listing Type in Real Estate?
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Published By Jennifer Jewell

Question: What is the Most Common Listing Type in Real Estate?
Answer: The most common listing type in real estate is the exclusive right-to-sell listing, where a seller engages one real estate agent or brokerage to represent them exclusively in the sale of their property, ensuring maximum exposure and marketing efforts.

What is the Most Common Listing Type in Real Estate? The Power and Reach of MLS Listings

When it comes to selling properties, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stands tall as the most prevalent listing type. Most real estate agents and brokers use this powerful tool to maximize a property’s visibility. In essence, MLS is a vast database of homes available for sale, where details about each property, including its price, size, and features, are presented for potential buyers and other real estate professionals to see.

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The beauty of the MLS system is its broad reach. Once a property is listed, a wide network of real estate professionals can access its details, ensuring that the listing reaches a massive audience, including potential buyers not just in the locality but also those scouting from afar. For this reason, the MLS remains a dominant force in the real estate market.

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Exclusive Listings: A Closer Look

Another listing type, albeit less common than MLS listings, is the exclusive listing. Here, sellers enter into an agreement with a single real estate agent or broker to market and sell their property. The listing won’t be shared on the broader MLS system but will be promoted exclusively by the chosen agent. [ 1 ]

This type of listing can offer a more personalized selling experience. Sellers might opt for this when they desire more control over who views their property or when they seek a discreet sale without publicizing widely.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Listings

In the realm of real estate listings, there’s a method some homeowners opt for – selling their property themselves. Known as For Sale By Owner or FSBO, this approach bypasses the use of agents and brokers. Instead, homeowners list, market, and sell their property directly to buyers.

While it might seem like an attractive way to save on agent commissions, it does come with its set of challenges. From correctly pricing the property to handling the intricate paperwork, homeowners shoulder all responsibilities.

The Growing Trend of Pocket Listings

Another intriguing player in the listing arena is the pocket listing. Here, agents hold onto property listings without immediately placing them on the MLS. The listing is, in a way, "in their pocket." These listings are often marketed discreetly to a select group of potential buyers or within the agent’s network.

Pocket listings might appeal to sellers who prioritize privacy or those wanting to test the market before going public. However, the limited exposure could potentially narrow down the pool of prospective buyers.

Auction Listings: An Alternative Path

Although not as widespread as MLS or exclusive listings, auction listings are worth noting. As the name implies, properties are sold to the highest bidder in a public auction. This approach can be an efficient way to sell a property, especially if there’s significant interest or if the seller wants a swift sale.

It’s crucial for sellers to understand the nuances of auction listings, including the terms of sale and potential fees. While it might not be the go-to for everyone, in specific scenarios, it can be a fitting choice.

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Concluding Thoughts on Real Estate Listings

The landscape of real estate listings is diverse, with each type offering its unique set of advantages. While MLS listings indisputably hold the top spot in terms of popularity and reach, other listing methods cater to specific needs and situations. Sellers should weigh their priorities and objectives before settling on a listing type, ensuring they make an informed choice that aligns with their goals.


1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/listing-agreement.asp

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