The SCAOR Card – Issue #021 – REALTOR® Ronnie
From the desk of Ronnie, REALTOR®.
AGENT BONUS! I DON’T THINK SO!
How many times a week do we get flyers advertising $$$$$$$ Agent Bonus?
Are you aware you cannot pay a bonus to an agent? We need to go back to our Pre-Licensing class and remember the section on Brokerage. We are associated with a Brokerage, and that Brokerage owns all our listings and Buyer clients. When a listing gets sold, and the commission is paid, it is paid to the Brokerage, and the Brokerage then passes your share along to you. Likewise, if you were paid by a Buyer under some separate agreement with the Buyer, that commission would be paid to the Brokerage, and it would then pass through to you based on your commission split with your Company.
The same pass-through from the Broker to you applies also to Agent bonuses. A bonus cannot be paid to you; it must be paid to the Brokerage, and the Brokerage, through their Independent Contractor Agreement with you, passes along either the whole bonus or some portion of it, whatever your company policy dictates.
So let’s get those flyers right. The next time you’re offering a bonus, the flyer should read: $$$$$ Bonus to selling office (or selling broker) or $$$$ Agency Bonus or $$$$ Broker Bonus. When the bonus is paid at time of final settlement, the Broker, in accordance with your company policy, will either pass it in whole to you or share it with you.
And, oh, don’t forget. If you’re receiving a bonus, you need to disclose that to your client! Check out Article 1, SOP 1-13 of the Code of Ethics!
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