Posted by: Roby Robertson | March 25, 2008

Lake Norman Real Estate: Beware of the Agent Bonus


Lake Norman Area Buyers,Beware of Agent Incentives and Bonuses 

I was talking to an agent the other day about some clients she had moving into town from Ohio.  She was very excited because the clients were going to write a contract in a community that was offering agent bonuses up to $5000.00.  It made me wonder if the agent had truly shown the client all the alternatives or just the ones where a bonus was being offered.  While I don’t think this would happen, it did concern me enough to write about it.

First of all, any kind of “kickbacks” from any service providers is simply illegal.  Secondly, the fact that an agent would choose an area to target for their clients based upon their own interests is a violation of our code of ethics.   This small incident led me to think again about agent bonuses and/or incentives; why I think they are all inherently wrong and the challenges we face trying to give back bonuses to my clients.

 There are different ways to handle this situation.  The first and easiest way is to have the builder/seller credit the bonus back to the buyer to reduce the cost of the property. 

When this can’t be accomplished, it becomes somewhat trickier.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has told me as long as the bonus was on the HUD statement and the lender agrees to it that it was definitely acceptable to gift a bonus to the buyer.  The key is it must be on the HUD statement and the lender must agree to it.  If the lender doesn’t agree to an outright gift then there are other options like paying closing costs or buying down an interest rate.

My belief is that as a REALTOR, I have a “fiduciary responsibility” to my clients which means I am to represent them and ALL of their interests…guiding them through their real estate transaction with the mission of representing their interests, and their interests only.  Any agent who would determine what properties to show their buyers based upon the commission offered or a bonus their might receive is violating their responsibility to their buyers.  If  this is true, then any “incentive” is just that, something that is trying to convince a buyer’s agent to show that property.  Since it is our job to show every property that the buyer wants to see or that meets their wants and needs, then why in the world would an incentive be appropriate since it should never be a consideration?  For this reason, I always give the buyer the bonus in some form or fashion.

By the way, these bonuses must be disclosed to the clients!

Check out these other posts to assist you.

Davidson Another Wonderful Lake Norman Town

Huntersville, Lake Norman’s Progressive Family Town  

On the West Side of Lake Norman, Denver NC

Cornelius is a Lake Norman Town Gone from Mills to Upscale Shops  

Lake Norman’s Best Kept Secret, Sherrills Ford 

Contact your Lake Norman Agent at 704 451 7051 for all your Real Estate Needs!


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