What is an open listing and why is it the norm in Nicaragua?

An open listing is a property that has been listed with one or more real estate agents. The first one who sells the property earns the commission. However no commission is owed if the seller finds a buyer, without the help of any agent.  It can also be referred to as a pocket listing or a non-exclusive listing.

Open listings are the most common form of listing in Nicaragua for three interrelated reasons:

  • There is no Multiple Listing System in Nicaragua so the facility by which a listing broker can publish a “unilateral offer of compensation” to other brokers in that MLS (and have this considered a contractual obligation) does not exist.  Click here for more on the MLS and Nicaragua.
  • In practice local agents act as both listing agents and buyers agents – working both sides of the deal and receiving the full commission.
  • The market is informal and unregulated, with little contractual protection for agents and no tradition of shared listings. Most agents prefer to go it alone to avoid the risk that commission splits are not honored.

It’s not hard to see that in this scenario, unless the property is very unique or inventories are very low, agents won’t spend much time or money in marketing a property as their efforts can easily go unrewarded if someone else ultimately sells the property.

Instead most local agents typically pursue a volume approach to listing – hoping to sell any property – rather than investing heavily in marketing a particular listing for sale.

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