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Realtor® Legal Tip – Whats the difference between an EAL and ERS when listing a property?

January 16, 2018

Author: Curtis Bullock

ERS (Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement) – is a type of listing agreement where the listing brokerage is paid a brokerage fee regardless of who procured the eventual purchaser. This is the most common type of agreement.

EAL (Exclusive Agency Listing) – is slightly different type of listing agreement where the seller pays a brokerage fee only if the purchaser is procured through the efforts of that brokerage or the efforts of other real estate firms (i.e., a buyer’s agent). If the seller sells the property on her own, then no brokerage fee is paid.

Here’s an example. Suppose the seller sold the property to his nephew. The nephew learned about the property because of a direct conversation he had with the seller at a family get together. In that case, if an EAL was signed, then no brokerage fee is paid to the listing brokerage. However, if that nephew had learned about the property when her agent sent her a list of new property listings, then the seller may be required to pay a brokerage fee to the listing brokerage if it is shown that their efforts caused the sale to occur.

Since there is no standardized EAL form, a simple solution would be to use the ERS Addendum and amend section 2 of the typical ERS Agreement and indicate that a brokerage fee is paid if during the listing period the company or another real estate agent locates a willing buyer. Another option would be to consult with your brokerage legal counsel who could help draft a simple addendum for you.

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