Legal FAQs for REALTORS®
— Commission Disputes
MLS Compensation Offer Different Than Contract Amount
A cooperating broker wrote an amount of compensation in the broker-information section on page 9 of the residential contract that's different than the compensation amount I, as the listing broker, offered in the MLS. When I called the matter to her attention, she said that she has always been paid that amount and would neither change the amount nor alter her practice. Can she do that? (updated March 17, 2014)
No. MLS rules state that listing brokers must specify the compensation being offered to cooperating MLS participants. These offers are unconditional unilateral offers. The unilateral offer becomes enforceable between the brokers when a seller and a buyer execute a purchase contract and the cooperating broker is the procuring case of that sale. No independent agreement between the listing broker and the cooperating broker is necessary or required in this type of unilateral contract.
In addition, Standard of Practice 16-16 under Article 16 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics states that a REALTOR® acting as a buyer's representative may not use the terms of an offer to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation or make the submission of an offer contingent on the listing broker agreeing to modify the compensation.
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