Open

You agree to pay a commission to any agent as long as he or she is the first to produce an acceptable buyer. Again, you don't owe any commission if you are the first one to find a buyer.

This type of listing is most common when there is no multiple listing service. It's also the kind of listing often used by sellers who want to do most of the selling work themselves (see the preceding chapter for a discussion of fizzbos) but want the cooperation of agents in finding buyers.

The commission is typically half of the standard rate—say, 3%. The seller should notify agents of such an offer by putting the words "Brokers welcome at 3%" in newspaper ads and even on the "For Sale" sign. Then the seller signs a simple open-listing agreement with each agent who expresses an interest in bringing a buyer to see the home.

Make sure you specify an expiration date (not too distant) on every open listing, because you can't sign an exclusive listing with one agent if you have open listings still in force.

Generally, the shorter the isting period the better.

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