public site  |  contact  |  join us  |  members only / forms
TODAY IS:
REALTOR® Resources


Code of Ethics Case Studies

Case #3-8: REALTOR®'s Obligation to Disclose Dual Commission Arrangements

REALTORS® A and B were members of the same Board and Participants in the Multiple Listing Service. REALTOR® A, cooperating with REALTOR® B on REALTOR® B's listing, presented an offer to purchase signed by buyers offering the listed price, and a check for earnest money. The only contingency was a mortgage contingency, and REALTOR® A shared with REALTOR® B qualifying information about the buyers indicating there should be no problem securing a mortgage. The following day, REALTOR® B returned the offer to REALTOR® A with "REJECTED" written on it and initialed by the seller, and explained that the seller had accepted another offer secured by one of REALTOR® B's sales associates. REALTOR® A inquired about the seller's reason for rejecting the full price offer with only a mortgage contingency, and what had caused the seller to accept the other offer. REALTOR® B responded that he did not know, but with equal offers, he supposed the seller would favor the offer secured by the listing broker.

Later, REALTOR® A met the seller at a social event. The seller thanked him for his efforts in connection with the recent sale of the seller's home. The seller hoped REALTOR® A understood there was nothing personal in his decision, adding that the money he saved through his "special agreement" with REALTOR® B had been the deciding factor. When REALTOR® A asked about the "special agreement," the seller explained he had signed a listing agreement for the sale of his property which authorized the submission of the listing to the Multiple Listing Service and specified a certain amount of compensation. However, the seller stated that he had also signed an addendum to the listing agreement specifying that if REALTOR® B sold the listing through his own office, a percentage of the agreed compensation would be discounted to the seller's credit, resulting in a lower commission payable by the seller.

REALTOR® A filed a written complaint with the Board of REALTORS® against REALTOR® B, alleging a violation of Article 3. After its review of the complaint, the Grievance Committee requested that an ethics hearing be arranged.

REALTOR® A, in restating his complaint to the Hearing Panel, said that REALTOR® B's failure to disclose the actual terms and conditions of the compensation offered through the Board MLS resulted in concealment and misrepresentation of pertinent facts to REALTOR® A and to the prospective buyers served by REALTOR® A who had, in good faith, offered to purchase the property at the listed price with only a mortgage contingency. REALTOR® A told the Hearing Panel that if he had known the facts which were not disclosed by REALTOR® B, he could have fully and accurately informed the buyers who could have taken those facts into consideration when making their offer. As it was, said REALTOR® A, the buyers acting in good faith were deceived by facts unknown to them because they were unknown to REALTOR® A. Further, REALTOR® A said that REALTOR® B's failure to fully disclose the true terms and conditions relating to compensation made it impossible to have a responsible relationship with REALTOR® B and make proper value judgments as to accepting the offer of compensation.

REALTOR® B stated that it was his business what he charged and the Board or MLS could not regulate his charges for his services. If he wished to establish a dual commission charge by agreement with his client, that was his right, and there was no need or right of the Board or MLS to interfere.

What do you think the hearing panel concluded? Show Answer




Register for multiple classes
THUR
10/19
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
MD Code of Ethics
WED
10/25
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Reverse Mortgages
THUR
11/02
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
MREC Required Supervision
WED
11/08
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Legislative Breakfast
PGCAR's Legislative Impact
Sign up for future calls to action
September Home Sales
PGCAR website advertising
The Voice for Real Estate in Prince George's County
© Copyright 2001-2017 by the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® Inc.   All Rights Reserved.
Developed and Hosted by CyberVillage Networkers, Inc.

Prince George's County
Association of REALTORS®
9200 Basil Court, Suite 400  |  Largo, MD 20774
Phone 301-306-7900  |  Fax 301-306-8273
info@pgcar.com
PGCAR Facebook link   Full Site link