Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Hotline FAQ

a blog of the most frequently asked questions to the Maryland REALTORS Legal Hotline.

Cindy Sellers
Cindy Sellers
Cindy Sellers's Blog

Is it proper for the buyer’s agent to attach a document entitled, “Commission Agreement,” to the offer, which essentially increases the percentage of compensation the listing broker initially offered in the MLS?

No.Article 16 of the NAR Code of Ethics prohibits REALTORS® from engaging in any action or taking any action inconsistent with exclusive representation agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients. Standard of Practice 16-16 prohibits REALTORS® from using the terms of an offer to purchase to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation and from making the submission of an executed offer contingent on the listing broker’s agreement to modify the offer of compensation.
The Case Interpretations related to Article 16 make it clear that the Article is violated if the buyer’s agent fails to determine, prior to submitting an offer, whether or not the listing broker and/or the seller were willing to contribute to the buyer’s agent’s commission. Also, Article 16 is violated if the Buyer, at the urging of the Buyer’s agent, demands that a portion of the Buyer’s agent’s commission be paid by the seller or listing broker.

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