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Understanding Listing Agreements – What Are They?


Before we dive headfirst into the subject of listing agreements, there’s one vital thing that you need to remember: read everything before agreeing to anything.

If you’re putting your house for sale in Lakeland Florida, here’s what you need to know about the listing agreement between you and your agent.

What Is It?

Simply put, a listing agreement is a contract between a property owner and a real estate broker. It grants the broker the authority to act as your agent in the sale of the property. It means they can represent you and negotiate on your behalf. That’s a lot of power to wield, so it’s vital to understand the full extent of the contract.

What does the agreement include?

  • Duration

One of the first things the contract mentions is for how long you have to retain the broker’s services. If you’re selling a house, it’s in your best interest to negotiate a short agreement. That way, if you’re not happy with the agent’s performance and want to look for someone else, you can do it easily.

With a longer agreement, you don’t have that possibility anymore, and you will be stuck with someone who doesn’t satisfy your needs.

  • Commission

This part of the contract is pretty straightforward: it says how much the agent will get for their service. It’s a percentage of the actual sale, so they don’t get paid until they’ve finalized the transaction.

  • Responsibilities

The most important section of the contract concerns the responsibilities of the real estate agent. What can they do on your behalf? Read everything carefully and make sure you’re comfortable with all of their duties.

  • A Right to Sell

Most listing agreements have a ‘right to sell’ clause, meaning your broker has exclusive rights to sell your home within the agreed duration of the contract. As a result, you can’t use another agent during this time.

  • Broker Protection

This section of the contract is essential for your agent, as it roughly states that they are protected if you try to avoid paying their commission after the agreement expired. They put it there in case you find a buyer on your own and try to avoid paying their fee, so it’s generally always present in listing agreements.

  • Representation

Here, you’ll have to confirm certain things about your ownership and property to make sure the sale can be made. For instance, they’ll ask if you are the sole owner of the property. If you’re not, you’ll need the other owner’s consent.

  • Disputes

Another important thing for brokers is how any disputes will be resolved. This section will outline the steps for reaching an agreement with the agent in case of a conflict with them.


It’s in your best interest to understand the listing agreement because it is a legally binding document. Once it’s signed, everything goes.

If you need help with listing your home, the RE/MAX Lakeland FL Experts can help.