Real Estate Agency Relationships and Information

Mason & Morse Ranch Company typically uses the Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing agreement when listing property for our selling clients. This type of agreement establishes a trusted working relationship between the firm, the agent and the seller. The commitment among all parties is a very important part of any successful real estate transaction.

An Exclusive Right to Sell Listing is a contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent or as the legally recognized non-agency representative (transaction broker) of the seller(s), and the seller(s) agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker, regardless of whether the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker, the seller(s), or anyone else; and a contractual agreement under which the listing broker acts as the agent or as the legally recognized non-agency representative of the seller(s), and the seller(s) agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker regardless of whether the property is sold through the efforts of the listing broker, the seller(s), or anyone else, except that the seller(s) may name one or more individuals or entities as exemptions in the listing agreement and if the property is sold to any exempted individual or entity, the seller(s) is not obligated to pay a commission to the listing broker.

Real Estate Agency Relationships Buyers and Sellers
  • Conventionally, the broker provides a conventional full-service, commission-based brokerage relationship under a signed listing agreement with a seller or a "buyer representation" agreement with a buyer, thus creating under common law in most states an agency relationship with fiduciary obligations. The seller or buyer is then a client of the brokerage firm referred to as the broker. Some states also have statutes that define and control the nature of the representation.
  • Agency relationships in real estate transactions involve the legal representation by a real estate broker/agent on behalf of a real estate company of the principal, whether that person(s) is a buyer or a seller. The broker and licensed real estate sales staff then become the agent of the principal.
  • A Non-agency relationship where no written agreement or fiduciary relationship exists, a real estate broker and sales staff work with a principal who is known as the broker's customer. When a buyer who has not entered into a Buyer Agency agreement with the broker buys a property, that broker functions as the sub-agent of the seller's broker. When a seller chooses to work with a transaction broker, there is no agency relationship created.
What is Designated Agency?
The most recent development in the practice of real estate is "designated agency" which was created to permit individual licensees within the same firm, designated by the principal broker, to act as agents for individual buyers and sellers within the same transaction. In theory, therefore, two agents within the same firm act in strict fiduciary roles for their respective clients. Some states have adopted this practice into their state laws and others have decided this function is inherently problematic, just as was a dual agency. The practice was invented and promoted by larger firms to make it possible in theory to handle the entire transaction without creating a conflict of interest within the firm.

Real Estate Brokers and Agents Typically Fall Into Four Categories
  • Seller's agents, commonly called "listing brokers" or "listing agents", are contracted by owners to assist with marketing property for sale or lease.
  • Buyer's agents are brokers or salespersons who assist buyers by helping them purchase property.
  • Dual agents help both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. To protect their license to practice, a real estate broker owes both parties fair and honest dealing and must request that both parties (seller and buyer) sign a dual agency agreement. Special laws/rules often apply to dual agents, especially in negotiating price. In dual agency situations, a conflict of interest is more likely to occur, typically resulting in the loss of advocacy for both parties. Individual state laws vary and interpret dual agency rather differently, with some no longer allowing it. In some states, Dual Agency can be practiced in situations where the same brokerage (but not agent) represent both the buyer and the seller. If one agent from the brokerage has a home listed and another agent from that brokerage has a buyer-brokerage agreement with a buyer who wishes to buy the listed property, dual agency occurs by allowing each agent to be designated as an "intra-company" agent. Only the broker himself is the Dual Agent.
  • Transaction brokers provide the buyer and seller with a limited form of representation but without any fiduciary obligations. Having no more than a facilitator relationship, transaction brokers assist buyers, sellers, or both during the transaction without representing the interests of either party who may then be regarded as customers. The assistance provided are the legal documents for an agreement between the buyer and seller on how a particular transfer of property will happen.


Our brokers are experienced and well informed about farms, land and ranches for sale "on and off" the market throughout the United States. When it comes to seeking out the right farm ranch or recreational land when representing a buyer, we have the ability to deal with all aspects of the purchasing process and can help with advice on property enhancements that may add value; Our brokers can provide information on ranch management, the value of water rights, conservation easements and habitat enhancement to name a few things. We look forward to assisting you as a buyer and helping you find the property that fits your needs.


As Americas' leading ranch brokers, farm brokers, luxury property agents and recreational land real estate experts there is a lot of land to cover...literally. Transactions involving farms, ranches, lifestyle luxury estates and recreational lands surrounded by national forest, BLM or state leases can be quite different than other real estate dealings. Water rights, livestock and farm production, mineral rights, easements, leases, capacity farm ranch management are just a few things to consider. You need to understand the lifestyle to know what to look for. Our brokers live the lifestyle every day and offer the experience you need to make an informed decision when selling a farm, a ranch or recreational lands. We have assembled a very select group of seasoned, knowledgeable land brokers who know how to take these types of assets to the market.

Update: Ranch Land Market Report 2024