The latest lawsuit will cause people to consider different pay structures for realtors. 

If realtors were paid less, could they at least get some of it up front? Yes, if approved by the commissioner:

Before a broker may solicit, advertise for and agree to receive an advance fee, the paperwork material is to be submitted to the Commissioner of the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) for approval at least 10 calendar days prior to use.

If the Commissioner, within 10 calendar days of receipt, determines the material might mislead clients, the Commissioner may order the broker to refrain from using the material.

To be approved, the advance fee agreement and any materials to be used with the agreement will:

  1. Contain the total amount of the advance fee and the date or event the fees will become due and payable;
  2. List a specific and complete description of the services to be rendered to earn the advance fee;
  3. Give a definite date for full performance of the services described in the advance fee agreement; and
  4. Contain no false, misleading or deceptive representations.

Further, the advance fee agreement may not contain a provision relieving the broker from an obligation to perform verbal agreements made by their employees or agents; or a guarantee the transaction involved will be completed.

It sounds like slipping a few thousand under the table won’t be tolerated!  The paperwork involved will probably make the big brokerages shy away from the idea, but we should consider alternative ideas.

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