When I am meeting new Seller clients, this is one of the most frequent questions I am asked.

One of the basic rules of real estate is that the more interest that can be generated in your property, the more value you are likely to receive for your property, and the more timely the sale. So it would make sense, no matter what the value of your property, to expose it the highest number of buyers possible. The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) was created to expose your property to the greatest number of potential buyers, agents and brokerages, to generate the most interest in your property. Did you know that in the Kingston Area Board, there are over 560 Realtors®, any of which could have a buyer for your property? In addition, Realtors® in other Boards who have buyers for the Kingston Area, also have access to our local MLS, so they can view and recommend your listing as well. And, of course, when a property is on MLS, it also is uploaded to Realtor.ca, where it can be viewed by potential buyers all over the world.

If you sign an Exclusive listing, your property will not be on MLS. It will not be on Realtor.ca. Realtor.ca is the most effective tool and by far the most viewed website in Canada and internationally for buyers searching for properties in Canada and in your neighbourhood. If your listing is not on Realtor.ca, you are at a significant disadvantage. You will be assigning the sale of your property to one Brokerage only, and primarily to one Realtor®, not to all the Brokerages and Realtors® in the Kingston Area. In addition, your property will not be listed on Realtor.ca, so buyers starting their search on the internet will not even know about your listing. Realtors® outside of the Kingston Area will most likely not know about your property, unless they think of searching the website of the specific brokerage you are listed with. Most Realtors® and Buyers look for properties on MLS only, because that is where at least 99% of the listings are, in the Kingston Area.

When you sign a Listing Agreement on the MLS, you are also agreeing to allow other Realtors® to show your property, and directing your listing brokerage to ‘cooperate’ with other brokerages and Realtors® to show and offer on the property. A percentage of the fee you pay for a successful transaction will be paid to the ‘cooperating’ brokerage, and this is outlined in the Listing Agreement.

So, do I recommend an Exclusive listing to my Sellers? No, I don’t, except in very rare and unique circumstances that benefit my Seller. I do not believe the ‘reach’ is far enough, or that the maximum number of potential buyers are being exposed to it because it is not on MLS and Realtor.ca; therefore you may be jeopardizing a timely sale and maximum price for your home.

Read the Listing Agreement and discuss the options with your Realtor®. If you have questions about MLS vs. Exclusive listings, and are not currently listed with another Realtor®, I would be happy to chat.