- Episode 45 -
You get a great listing in an upscale, very exclusive development. Huge home on land, with a pool, totally upgraded with a very attractive price point. The property shows well and soon after you have a contract that ends up closing near the asking price.
The sellers think you’re amazing!
They are thrilled with the outcome of all the marketing and showings and, of course, the bottom line of the closing statement showing the proceeds that go to them. They are ready to refer you to everyone in the neighborhood…and you are so happy to get more listings like this one that you know could be potentially quick sales of gorgeous homes with nice commissions.
Is this a dream? What’s the catch? You know there is one, right?
The seller already has another deal in the works for you. He is very influential in the neighborhood and is ready to work with you to get those listings and the properties sold…for a price.
A fellow Realtor had this situation recently and thought it would make for an interesting blog on “where do you draw the line between ethics and the oh so sought after commission?”
In this instance, the seller who wanted to work with the agent to secure the listings wanted a cut of the commission, which we all know borders on ethical issues in most of the 50 states. In Florida, for example, a Realtor is prohibited from paying a fee or compensating someone who doesn’t hold a real estate license in Florida or any other state. And it is illegal for anyone to sell a property without a real estate license unless it’s their own home. They can’t sell the neighbor’s home, their friend’s condo, or do any other type of real estate transaction without that coveted piece of paper we all hold so near and dear to our hearts – our license.
I actually have a similar yet a bit different situation of my own where I do a lot of sales in a 55 and older community. I recently found out that the “captain” of the building is finding out when the residents are planning to sell and makes a deal with them to sell the condo for them for a “finder’s fee”. Unfortunately, he is breaking the law in Florida because he is still selling real estate that is not his to sell. I actually have the local news station working this story on an “anonymous tip” so stay tuned for more updates on this one in future blogs.
So back to our seller and the dilemma of the agent who wants the listings but can’t “pay” for them - she can of course give her seller a gift for selling his home up to a specific dollar amount but she can’t just give him thirty $100 gift cards as a thank you present out of the blue and well after his home has closed.
Keeping ethics in check and not doing anything illegal is that pledge we all took when we first got licensed and that is one that we all need to live by each day in our profession despite the alluring commission and high profile listings we come across.
I guess she will have to revert back to the old fashion way of acquiring those listings.
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›