Legal FAQs for REALTORS® — Commission Disputes
MLS Compensation Offer Different Than Contract Amount

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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.

Legal Disclaimer: The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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