1. Are listing agreements required to be in writing?

A. No. The Statute of Frauds, which specifies those contracts which must be in writing to be enforceable, does not apply to listing or other agency agreements. Therefore, although not adviseable, you could have a verbal listing agreement with a seller.

2. Is a verbal extension to a listing agreement legally binding?

Answer: If a listing agreement does not provide that any changes must be made in writing, a verbal extension for a definite period of time would be enforceable. The problem with verbal agreements is being able to prove what was agreed to. Therefore, the prudent method to amend any agreement would be in writing signed by both parties.

3. A home is listed but your buyers are excluded from the listing agreement. Must you deal with the listing broker on this home or can you go directly to the sellers?

Answer: Under Ohio law, all negotiations must take place with a broker who has an exclusive listing with a seller. The best way to handle this situation is to contact the listing agent and notify them that you are working with the excluded buyers. As the listing broker will not earn a commission on this sale the listing agent will probably refer you directly to the sellers.

4. What is an open listing?

Answer: A listing contract in which the broker’s commission is contingent on the broker producing a ready, willing and able buyer. The listing broker will receive a commission only if the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker.

5. If a broker has decided to close his company and activate his sales license with another brokerage, can listings with the broker’s company be taken to the other brokerage?

Answer: No. Listing agreements are personal service contracts and are only assignable with the consent of the seller. The sellers would have to either sign such an assignment or enter into a new listing agreement with the other brokerage.

6. Does Ohio license law require any specific provisions in a written listing agreement?

Answer: A written listing agreement must contain a definite expiration date , the fair housing logo, fair housing language and a place for the seller(s) to sign and date.