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Bonuses & Commissions

Why can't I accept a selling bonus from the builder?"

Some sellers like to offer sales bonuses. An owner whose property has been on the market for a long period of time or builders with unusually large inventories may choose to offer a bonus in hopes of increasing sales activity. Offering such bonuses does not violate the license law.

However, a licensee who accepts a bonus of any kind directly from a seller may violate the license law. The license law provides that a licensee may accept compensation for real estate brokerage services only from his broker unless he has the consent of his broker. [ See O.C.G.A. Section 43-40-25 (a)(8) .] Thus, a licensee who accepts a selling bonus without his broker's consent violates the license law.

Does the form of the bonus (for example, check, cash, trip, or merchandise) make any difference in how the law applies to bonuses? No, sellers and licensees must comply with any legal requirements regardless of the form of the bonus.

Since brokers are responsible for the actions of their affiliated licensees, the law allows brokers to control compensation arrangements. While a broker may pay all of a selling bonus to the affiliated licensee who earns it, the broker and the affiliate must agree on that arrangement in advance.

The information contained in this article is believed to be current and accurate. The GREC staff reviews the contents periodically and updates it when appropriate. If you have questions or comments about this article, you may contact us at . Last reviewed August, 2006.