Different Types of Real Estate Brokerage Contracts: Simple, Exclusive, and Semi-Exclusive

In real estate, choosing the right type of brokerage contract is crucial for selling or buying a property. Three types of contracts are commonly used: simple, exclusive, and semi-exclusive. Each offers different features and implications for both property owners and real estate agents.

Simple Brokerage Contract

The simple brokerage contract is the most flexible type. In this arrangement, a property owner can engage multiple real estate agents to sell their property. They are not exclusively tied to any of them.

  • Greater exposure: Multiple agents work to sell the property, increasing the chances of quickly finding a buyer.
  • Flexibility: The owner is not tied to a single agent and can negotiate terms more freely.
  • Less commitment: Agents might be less motivated to sell the property since they know they are competing with others.
  • Possible confusion: Communication can be complicated with multiple agents involved.

Exclusive Brokerage Contract

The exclusive brokerage contract binds the owner to a single real estate agent or agency for a set period. The agent has the exclusive right to sell the property.

  • Total commitment: The agent is fully invested in the sale, as they have exclusivity.
  • Simplified communication: A single point of contact for all steps and negotiations.
  • Less flexibility: The owner cannot engage other agents during the contract period.
  • Risk: If the agent does not perform well, the owner must wait until the end of the contract to change agents.

Semi-Exclusive Brokerage Contract

The semi-exclusive brokerage contract is a compromise between the simple and exclusive contracts. The owner grants exclusivity to one agent but reserves the right to sell the property themselves.

  • Flexibility and control: The owner can sell the property themselves without paying a commission.
  • Agent's commitment: The agent remains motivated as they have exclusivity over other agencies.
  • Complex terms: The terms of the contract can be more complex to manage.
  • Potential conflicts: Disagreements may arise if the property is sold directly by the owner.


The choice between a simple, exclusive, or semi-exclusive brokerage contract depends on the needs and preferences of the property owner. It's important to understand the implications of each type of contract and to discuss openly with the real estate agent to find the most suitable option for their situation.