Neil Garfinkel is quoted in an article by Pat Curry in Bankrate.com – “The Listing Contract: What’s It All About”

An excerpt appears below:

There are three basic types of listing agreements, says real estate attorney Neil Garfinkel, a partner in the New York-based based firm of Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP. The most common is called an exclusive right to sell, or an exclusive listing agreement. This means that you give just one company the right to sell your house, as opposed to having signs from four different real estate agents in your front yard. In an exclusive listing, the broker gets the commission no matter who brings the buyer to the closing table. In an exclusive agency listing, you list the house with just one agency. If they sell it, they get the commission. If you wind up selling it on your own, you don’t pay a commission. The final variation is an open listing, which means you can sign up with as many real estate agents as you want to sell the house. It doesn’t happen very often and most Multiple Listing Services generally don’t allow it.