In the State of Colorado, a Realtor can represent a party in one of four capacities: As a Buyer Agent, a Seller Agent, a Transaction Broker, or a Customer. When a property is listed on the MLS, compensation (commission) is customarily indicated and paid to the cooperating Broker who brings the Buyer to the transaction, no matter in which capacity you are working with your party.
In Colorado Springs, we have a company (Homestead USA) that makes it quite clear in the MLS that they will not pay a commission to a Realtor who is working with a Client as a Buyer Agent. The first few times I saw that, I thought that it must have been a typographical error. When I asked about it, their reasons were ridiculous IMHO. Something about them not representing their Seller properly if the other Agent was advocating for the Buyer. Flawed and ill-informed (as far as I am concerned), and certainly not a professional representation of the Seller.
Sitting in a large class one day, I struck up a conversation during a break with the Agent sitting next to me. When I found out that she worked for this Company, I asked her, very very politely, if she didn’t think that she was doing her Sellers a disservice in their pay arrangement since most Realtors in town would not show the listings of her Company because they didn’t pay Buyer’s Agents. I sincerely wanted to know how they could believe that they were working in the best interest of their Client. I obviously struck a nerve, and she very angrily asked me if I would like to be brought up on an ethics violation because I refused to show their listings (she had obviously heard this argument from someone prior to me 🙂 ).
I very sweetly (pure ambrosia) replied that I was representing MY client, and in my Buyer Agency Agreement with my Client, there is an agreed upon commission that I will be paid for a successfully completed transaction. And that Buyer Agency Agreement states that if the Seller will not pay my commission, then the Buyer is obligated to. So I will tell my Buyers about the property, explain the commission process of this Company, and leave it up to them whether or not they want to view it. I explained that, thus far, no one had ever opted to view one of their listings. Very obviously angry, she stormed from the meeting room.
About ten minutes later she returned to the table, composed. She turned to me and told me that in twenty years of doing business with her Company, she had never had anyone explain it in quite that manner, and she finally saw why people didn’t want to show their listings (???!!!???). That was about six months ago. She is still working for the same company, so obviously I didn’t make too much of an impact on her. But I can’t IMAGINE thinking that that is fair representation for our Sellers. Am I wrong?