The Internet has changed some aspects of the way we do business and encouraged all of us to think up innovative ways to practice real estate. Don’t forget, though, that the Code of Ethics and the law still apply in the online realm.
The law, RESPA, prohibits kickbacks, commissions, and rebates for referring a buyer or seller to a settlement service provider such as a lender. If the payments are for referring business, there’s a violation of RESPA, regardless of whether the broker or salesperson receives payment.
When seller clients instruct listing agents to disclose terms of competing offers, the agents should consult with their broker and attorney to ensure the disclosure is legal in their state and for guidance on how to carry out their clients’ instructions.