Exclusive Agency Agreement

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 3,979 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a legal contract?

Post Project Now

What is an Exclusive Agency Agreement?

An Exclusive Agency Agreement is a legal contract between a real estate firm and home seller that grants the firm the right to be the only entity to market and sell a property. In other words, this agreement gives the real estate agent the right to be the only agent to sell the property.

This is different from the exclusive right of sale agreement in which the seller cannot retain the right to market and sell the house without paying a commission. For exclusive agency agreements, the seller still retains the right to market and sell the home without paying a commission to the listing firm or agent, if the seller finds the buyer independently.

Anyone who hires a real estate agent signs an agreement. In case of sellers, it is the exclusive agency listing. In case of buyers, it can be the buyer’s exclusive agency agreement.

Difference Between Exclusive Right and Exclusive Agency

In an exclusive right agreement, the listing agent will receive commission from the seller regardless. After signing this agreement, the seller of the house will also have to pay a commission to the broker if they find a buyer and sell the house.

In an exclusive agency agreement, the seller retains this right. The biggest difference between the exclusive right and exclusive agency is commission. An exclusive agency will not guarantee commission but an exclusive right will.

Here is an article about different types of listing agreements.

How Exclusive Agency Agreements Work

There are key elements in any exclusive agency agreements. Here are some common ones used by firms and agents:

  1. Exclusivity :
    1. Exclusive right to sell : If the agreement is between a seller and a broker, it could include the exclusive right to sell, thereby giving the chosen firm or agent the sole right to sell the property.
    2. Buyer-broker exclusivity : Buyer-broker exclusivity in an exclusive agency agreement means that a buyer will only work with the firm or agent the buyer chose. The buyer cannot change or look for other firms and agents to work with.
  2. Term of contract : The term of the contract is the first part of an exclusive agency agreement where length of the contract is outlined. Term could be weeks, months and even years and can be negotiable if you feel that the term is too long or too short. It essentially sets the length of time the real estate firm will have exclusive rights to sell the property.
  3. Compensation: This lists the amount of compensation the agent will earn if the sale happens. Commission is generally 5-6% of the sale price but is negotiable. The document should clarify that if the seller pays the compensation out of the proceeds of the sale then the buyer is not obligated to pay anything extra.
  4. Property description in the contract : The agreement should define the property in question. You are only bound to the contract if this description matches the actual property in case you are the buyer. This would also include the type of listing.
  5. Listing Price : In case of an exclusive agency listing, the document should mention the listing price.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Daniel R.

8 projects on CC
View Profile

Kristen R.

39 projects on CC
View Profile

Todd H.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Matthew S.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Should You Sign an Exclusive Agency Agreement?

Before deciding if an exclusive agency listing is right for you, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement.

Advantages of Exclusive Agency Listings

  • Save Money : This type of listing can help you save money. If you find a buyer independently for your home and sell the property, you will not pay any commission to the real estate firm or agent.
  • Better Relationships with your Agent : Since an exclusive agency agreement gives the agent the right to exclusively market your property, greater trust is established between you and your agent, which can create a better working relationship.

Disadvantages of Exclusive Agency Listings

  • Agent Motivation : If commission is not guaranteed, an agent might not be motivated to market and sell the property as much as if it were. You may also create a sense of security for the listing agent, as opposed to hiring multiple that may work harder to create a sale.
  • More work for seller : Since the agent might not be motivated, there would be more work for you, or the seller, to market and sell your home.

You can compare the pros and cons of an exclusive right agreement before deciding which would be the best fit for you. Here are some pros and cons of an exclusive right agreement:

Advantages of Exclusive Right Listings

  1. Motivated Agent: Since the contract has a fixed term and the agent will earn a commission under an exclusive right to sell agreement, they are more likely to be motivated to find and sell the property.
  2. Multiple Listing Service: In order to sell the property quickly, the agent is more likely to use multiple listing services to provide exposure.

ContractsCounsel Exclusive Agency Agreement Image

Image via Pexels by Karolina

Disadvantages of Exclusive Right Listings

  • Cancellation policy of the contract: Some contracts do not allow cancellation mid-term. Read through the agreement before signing.
  • Pay Commissions Regardless: You may be able to find your own homebuyer but still be required to pay the agent commissions for the sale.

Want to know if an exclusive right listing is a better fit for you? Here is an article comparing the pros and cons of exclusive right listings.

Before signing an exclusive agency, agreement make sure to read thoroughly and ask questions. Do the following before signing an exclusive agency agreement:

  1. Inquire about a shorter term : If your contract seems too long, you can negotiate the term of the contract.
  2. Ask for a trial run: Before handing off your house to an agency, you might want to go for a trial run to ensure they are fit to sell your house. You can also ask your firm or agent for a trial run before signing an exclusive agency agreement to ensure you can work well with your firm or agent.
  3. Read the fine print : You will want to ensure that all clauses are agreed upon in the agreement. If there are provisions and conditions to any services being offered by the firm, be sure to read through them before signing the contract.

You can find templates online to draw up your own exclusive agency agreement. However, it is advised to consult a real estate professional to ensure a smooth deal.

Get Help with a Buying Agency Agreement

Do you have any questions about buying agency agreement and want to speak to an expert? Post a project today on ContractsCounsel and receive bids from real estate lawyers who specialize in real estate law.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Exclusive Agency Agreement Lawyers

Craig M. on ContractsCounsel
View Craig
5.0 (3)
Member Since:
August 2, 2021

Craig M.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in ME
New York Law School

I have been practicing law for more than 4 years at a small firm in York County, Maine. I recently decided to hang my shingle, Dirigo Law LLC. My practice focuses mostly on Real Estate / Corporate transactions, Wills, Trusts, and Probate matters.

Melissa G. on ContractsCounsel
View Melissa
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
August 5, 2021

Melissa G.

Owner/Managing Member
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
19 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, IL, OH
University of Michigan

Melissa Green recently opened her own law firm which focuses on providing general counsel subscription services (think of it as your attorney "on-call"), business formation services, and contract services (including review and mark-up, custom contracts, templates, and negotiation assistance). Prior to opening her own firm, Melissa joined the American Medical Association (AMA) as an Assistant General Counsel in November 2019. In her role at the AMA, Melissa supported the CPT and Masterfile licensing programs, in addition to supporting the legal needs of the Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability business unit. Prior to arriving at the AMA, Melissa was the Chief Legal Counsel and Privacy Officer at The Chartis Group, a healthcare advisory services and analytics company, headquartered in Chicago, where she was responsible for commercial transactions for Chartis and its wholly owned SaaS company, and also served as the organization’s privacy officer responsible for HIPAA compliance. Melissa started her legal career in Cincinnati, Ohio at the law firm of Frost Brown Todd where she served as an associate in the Corporate department doing healthcare transactions, securities, and general corporate work. In 2007, Melissa transitioned into her first in-house counsel role at GE Aviation. During her time at GE, she had many roles including supporting new engine sales transactions for the Europe/Middle East/Africa region, its Electric Power business located in Dayton, its Engine Services business (supporting the CF34 and CF6 engine lines), and compliance. Upon leaving GE, Melissa had a brief stint at MedStar in Virginia before accepting a full-time position at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Maryland in July 2013. Originally from East Lansing, Michigan, Melissa received her bachelor’s graduate from Michigan State University’s – James Madison College and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Sam W. on ContractsCounsel
View Sam
Member Since:
July 30, 2021

Sam W.

Entertainment attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Los Angeles
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America

Entertainment attorney and film producer. Counsel clients on all matter of entertainment-related contracts, including talent representation, crew deals, financing agreements, and production legal. Former litigation attorney and owner of a documentary and scripted film and television production company. Well versed in small business foundation and general business contracts.

Robert D. on ContractsCounsel
View Robert
Member Since:
August 3, 2021

Robert D.

Solo Practitioner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Cincinnati, OH
29 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, NY
University North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law

Robert is a skilled corporate lawyer, licensed to practice law in NY and DC. He has over 25 years of experience, with a focus on Venture Capital, Private Equity, M&A, General Business Law and Company Formation. Robert brings business side experience to every legal transactions. This allows him to shape a client's legal needs around its business goals to drive success in an effective and efficient manner.

Tim M. on ContractsCounsel
View Tim
Member Since:
August 3, 2021

Tim M.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Cambridge, MA
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MA, NY
Boston College Law School

Tim has 20 years of experience representing a wide variety of emerging and established companies in the technology, software, bitcoin and professional services industries. He works directly with his clients’ executives and boards of directors on corporate, intellectual property, and securities law issues. Recently, Tim has advised clients on Series A and Series B financings, corporate structuring, complex video licensing agreements, and structuring new hedge funds. Tim previously served as Forrester Research, Inc.’s General Counsel and Secretary where he was chief legal officer, led the company’s legal group, and managed the company’s legal and regulatory affairs. Tim played an integral role in the company’s initial public offering in 1997 and coordinated its secondary offering in 2000. He directed the legal process in the company’s acquisitions of Giga Information Group, Inc., Fletcher Research and Forit GmbH and oversaw over $125million in transactions. He also managed the company’s intellectual property assets. Tim is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York. Tim holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Boston College Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College

Spencer W. on ContractsCounsel
View Spencer
Member Since:
August 4, 2021

Spencer W.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Columbia Law School

I’m a New York based attorney with substantial experience in media and art law, corporate structuring and commercial contracts. For the past several years, I have been advising startups and new business on their legal needs, with a special focus on tech and entertainment.

Robert Jay H. on ContractsCounsel
View Robert Jay
Member Since:
August 4, 2021

Robert Jay H.

Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York, NY
42 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
New York University School of Law

My Legal career hasfocused on representing businesses (corporations and limited liability companies) as general outside counsel. In this capacity, I have drafted a broad range of legal documents as well as analyzed proposed agreements drafted by the other party's attorney to the agreement for the pupose of determining the risks to which my client would be exposed. I maintained the client's minute book if no one in-house was available for that task. Additionally, if rquested, I served as a general advisor to the client's executive offers and to its Board of Directors.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call