There aren’t many real estate markets in the U.S. where the term “exclusive agreement” is prevalent. But in New York City, where minute vacancy rates and super small amounts of inventory prevail, the competition for listings is high. So it’s here where brokers will ask for and get exclusive listings from owners or landlords.

In sales, almost all listings in NYC are exclusives. The owner signs a contract with just one real estate agent to try to sell the home, usually for a period of six months. At the very high end of the market, (i.e., $10M plus), we can occasionally see “co-exclusives” where two different brokers are both trying, independently, to sell the apartment.

A rental listing is considered “exclusive” if there is a contractual agreement between the owner and a real estate agent authorizing the agent to represent the unit.

See examples of exclusive rental listings below:

central harlem rental

Apartment #1A at 48-54 West 138th Street.

Does StreetEasy Have Exclusive Listings?

Currently, StreetEasy only hosts exclusive sales and rental listings in an effort to deter bait-and-switches from occurring through the site. Though bait and switches occur most frequently among open listings, you should still follow the basic rule of thumb when searching for an apartment in NYC: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. In other words, if a $1,600/month two-bedroom on the Upper East Side has been on the market for 70 days, that’s a red flag.

In a market as cutthroat as New York’s, it’s good to explore both open and exclusive listings.

From a seller’s or landlord’s perspective, exclusive listings are preferable as they put the trust of accessing the apartment to one person. Also, because the agent is guaranteed commission for selling or renting an exclusive unit within the contracted period of time, the agent may be more dedicated and willing to spend money to further market the listing, speeding up the time to rent or sell it.

Can I See an Exclusive Listing With My Own Agent?

In rentals, usually no. The rental market supply is often small enough that the exclusive rental agent usually doesn’t want to (or need to) share the commission with another agent. However, at the higher end of the rental market, above $5K a month, more commission sharing could allow you to see the other agent’s exclusive rentals with your agent.

In sales, exclusive listings are almost always co-brokered, meaning the exclusive agent will split his commission with the agent who comes with a buyer. So yes, definitely bring your own agent to represent you and your interests!