ISSUE:

A listing broker represents an REO property. The listing broker has a listing agreement that will pay them a 6% commission. The listing broker lists the property in the MLS offering a 3% co-broke commission. A buyer makes an offer on the property. The REO seller will accept the offer but only if the listing broker reduces their commission to 4%. The listing broker agrees to the reduced commission. Can the listing broker require the buyer’s broker to split the reduced commission after the sale of the property?

ANSWER:

No. A broker is never required to accept a reduced commission. See A.A.C. R4-28-1101(D). However, a broker can voluntarily change their listing agreement with the seller if both agree. Likewise, the listing broker’s offer to pay a 3% co-broke commission in MLS is a unilateral contract with the buyer’s broker once the sale is complete. The buyer’s broker is thus entitled to the 3% commission.

Arizona REALTOR® April 2009