Sole-agency agreements refer to binding contracts between an agent or agency and a property owner. Most commonly associated with real estate, this agreement guarantees the agent payment when the property sells and comes with some potential disadvantages for the owner.

Payment Structure

One major disadvantage includes paying the agent, even if she did not sell the home or property. The amount agreed upon -- whether a flat fee or commission -- becomes due and payable; this is non-negotiable, with few exceptions. One exception is when the owner makes the sale to a buyer that has not dealt with the agent and still depends on the contract write-up.

Additional Fees

In addition to commission or fees from the sale, other expenses are common; advertising and maintenance costs are examples. Reimbursement for these services depends on the particular sole-agency agreement.


Sole-agency agreements are not easily cancelled. Termination guidelines vary by the laws in the particular demographic region. However, once accepted without dispute, the agreement remains effective for the stipulated period listed in the agreement.