Limited Service Listings
A limited-service broker typically does not provide services normally associated with a full-service brokerage, hence “limited service.” The listing commonly requires that the seller pays a fee to any cooperating broker involved in the sale of the property. Canopy MLS must accept listings that, under state law, are legal exclusive right-to-sell or exclusive agency listings, and that offer compensation to cooperating brokers.
Limited-service listings must be identified by entering “no” in the “Full Service” field in the system so potential cooperating brokers will be aware of the extent of the services the listing broker will provide to the seller(s), and any potential for cooperating brokers being asked to provide some or all of these services to listing brokers’ clients, prior to initiating efforts to show or sell the property.
A listing is considered “limited” if the listing broker will not provide one or more of the following services.
- Arrange appointments for cooperating brokers to show listed property to potential purchasers. Instead, cooperating brokers are authorized to make appointments directly with the seller(s).
- Accept and present to the seller(s) offers to purchase procured by cooperating brokers. Instead, cooperating brokers can present offers to purchase directly to the seller(s).
- Advise the seller(s) as to the merits of Offer to Purchase contracts.
- Assist the seller(s) in developing, communicating or presenting counteroffers.
- Participate on the seller(s) behalf in negotiations leading to the sale of the listed property.
Agents often ask, “How do I list a property for which I am only being paid a fee to list with no other service provided? I see others doing it." To list a property in Canopy MLS, the following must be true.
- The listing must be subject to a real estate broker-in-charge (BIC), and agents must be affiliated with a BIC to list.
- The listing agent must be an active member of Canopy MLS.
- The listing agent must have a signed listing contract with the seller. There is no standard limited-service listing contract form provided by the North Carolina Association of Realtors®. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC) highly recommended that any broker who proposes to engage in providing limited-listing services consult a real estate attorney for assistance in drafting an appropriate contract.
- All required fields of the MLS listing must be completed in every detail which is reasonably ascertainable (examination of the property). NCREC requires listing agents, including limited-service listing agents, to assure the accuracy of any advertised information about the property. Brokers must competently perform any services provided under the listing agreement, including providing accurate information (including square footage) in the MLS listing in accordance with MLS rules. Limited-service brokers owe the seller the duty to exercise skill, care and diligence in listing the seller’s property in the MLS and servicing that listing. Note: While NCREC doesn’t require the reporting of the square footage of properties offered for sale (or rent), Canopy MLS does. As a general rule, the most reliable way for an agent to obtain accurate square-footage data is by personally measuring the dwelling unit and calculating the square footage according to the NCREC’s Residential Square Footage Guidelines or comparable standards. Agents can also rely upon measurements and calculations performed by other professionals, such as an appraiser or other real estate brokers with greater expertise. Use square footage from plans only with new construction. An agent should not rely on square footage information determined by the property owner or included in property tax records. An agent should also not rely on square-footage information included in a listing, appraisal report or survey prepared in connection with an earlier transaction.
- Seller must offer compensation to the buyer’s side.
Commissions on limited-service listings. Who pays the commission on a limited-service listing? Submitting a listing into MLS constitutes the listing broker’s agreement to offer compensation and cooperation to other MLS Member Participants. In other words, listing brokers must offer compensation to a cooperating broker (buyer agent and/or subagent) as either a percentage of the gross-sales price or a flat-dollar amount.
It is acceptable for the seller to agree to compensate a cooperating broker. However, the offer to compensate cooperating brokers is made through the MLS by the listing broker, and the listing broker is obligated to pay, and to arbitrate a dispute over, such compensation.