Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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Interest Rate for Security Deposits

What is the current interest rate for security deposits?

Pit Bulls

Given the holding in the 2012 Maryland court case involving pit bulls, are  agents involved
with leasing property liable if a pit bull resides on the property?

May a Tenant Pay Rent in Advance?

If a tenant and landlord agree that the tenant is to pay rent in advance, is that a violation of the law limiting the amount of security deposit to two months' rent?

Brokers may Negotiate Commission

The buyer submitted an offer to purchase a property.  The seller's counter-offer included a slightly lower price and a reduction to the amount of requested closing cost assistance.  The seller also sought a reduction in the commission to be paid to the buyer's broker.  Does the seller have the authority to reduce the commission as offered in the multiple listing service by the listing broker?


Change the Offer of Compensation

When can a listing broker change the offer of compensation in the MLS?


Commission Due when Licensee Changes Firms

An agent was affiliated with my company.  She left the company before a transaction that she had been working on closed.  I paid her compensation but it was not the compensation she would have received had she remained with the firm.  Is there a law or regulation that obligates me to pay a full commission under these circumstances?


Commissions in Short Sales

I am a listing agent involved in a short sale transaction.  The lender has requested that I reduce my commission.  The selling broker will not agree to accept less than what was advertised in MRIS.  I included a comment in the remarks section that the commission was subject to lender approval.  What happens if the selling broker refuses to take a commission that is less than what the listing broker offered in MRIS?

Referral Fees and Payment to Broker

How should referral fees between agents be handled?  Can one agent pay another agent or must the fee go through the broker?

Variable Rate Commission

What is the definition of a variable rate commission to be used when filling out the MRIS profile sheet for listing a property?

Subsequent Offers when Short Sale is Under Contract

I represent a seller in a short sale transaction.  Where can I find guidance about the lender’s procedure for handling offers that come in after the property goes under contract? 

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