A "selling contract" is an agreement between the owner of land and an agent who undertakes the sale of his property. Under such a contract the concern is therefore an agent, usually acting under a special agreement and having clearly defined rights, duties, and powers. The terms of such contracts vary greatly, but as a rule they give an agent the exclusive right for a definite time to sell, under stipulated conditions.

Frequently the agent undertakes to bear all or part of the expense of advertising, and sometimes that of development also. The agreement usually prescribes the manner in which the agent shall make payments to the owner, which is generally on a percentage basis, such as 50% of the cash collected monthly, or during some other stated period. The selling contract, like other agency contracts, does not necessarily oblige the agent to buy or to pay for the land until he has sold it.