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Can Realtor Get Commission on Out of State Sale?

Questionwords wide Can Realtor Get Commission on Out of State Sale?

Q:  I have a friend who is a Realtor in another state. I am planning to sell my home and am in the market for a local Real Estate agent to help me do this. My out-of-state friend said she could refer an agent to me. She said, after my house sells, she would receive some sort of commission on my home sale because of the referral. Is this true? Is this legal? Will my friend have any involvement in my home sale? If so, what/how? – Melissa

A: Your friend CAN refer an in-state agent to you, and then she can collect a “referral fee” once the house closes – that is legal. Your friend will have no real involvement in your home sale beyond referring you to a local agent. Your local agent will be your primary contact in your home sale, but you can ask your friend for emotional support if you need it.

Leah Hill Pham is a Realtor® with Windermere Wall Street Realty in Seattle, WA.

A: What your friend is suggesting is a very common practice and it’s called a referral fee. Most Realtors welcome a true referral of either buyer or seller clients. I have personally both paid and collected many referral fees.

Does your friend know any of the top listing agents in your area? Or does she have a professional relationship through membership in a organization like the Residential Sales Council of the National Association of Realtors®?

If she has a personal or professional relationship with a Realtor in your area, then she’s probably turning you on to someone that can get the job done. On the other hand if she’s just looking for someone to agree to pay her a cut of their paycheck, you might not end up with the best or brightest.

It’s okay to talk to whoever she refers you to if you want; but for your benefit, I would talk to some other Realtors as well and ask for local recommendations from friends or co-workers that have had a recent, successful transaction with a local Realtor.

Jim Lee is a Realtor with RE/MAX Coast to Coast Properties in Portsmouth, NH. 

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