Deb's Lake Conroe Real Estate & Stuff! : Making money on a referral is one thing, but a vendor? I don't think so!

Making money on a referral is one thing, but a vendor? I don't think so!

Lately I have been receiving ads from different vendors that want to pay me referral fees for standard maintenance on my client's homes. I got a call and an email from a roofer today. I get these calls from my presence on AR and I love it. This just made me nervous. Have maintenance companies been offering you money for referrals? This is a practice I have never taken part in and I do not plan to do so in the future. It seems to me as if they will simply charge the client a bit higher price to give me the fee. Nope. Not going to do it. Recently we had a terrible hail storm in Huntsville Texas and Elkins Lake where I do have a listing. Don't want your money

A man called me today and explained he had been on the roof of my client and with the right insurance they would be able to have their roof replaced. They definitely had hail damage. Their insurance company would pay for the replacement and I should convince them to have it replaced. Cool I thought. This always will help the home to sell and this is one in the flood plain that is really giving me a tough time. I told him I would visit with them over the weekend and see if they will go for it. They will have no out of pocket and a new roof. This is hard to pass up.

But, then I went to my email and he offered me a $200.00 referral fee for helping to get him set up for the replacement. My stomach turned upside down. I have never and I will never take a fee such as this one! It just does not feel right or legal. In fact, a thank you fee to REALTORS is a maximum of $50.00 by TAR and NAR AND RESPA.

I have held to that requirement in all my years of Real Estate and I will continue to do so.

I was going to recommend my client to look at having their roof replaced anyway. I think what I will do is to set it up with him thinking I will take the referral and in the end I will have him deduct this from my client's bill.

Think I should?

I don't want the money. I am just doing my job the best I know how. I am not a money monger.

 

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Comment balloon 77 commentsDeb Brooks • October 08 2011 03:48AM

Comments

Deb

I'd rather that HE gave me a referral to his clients instead. That would be perfectly fine.  For the tradespeople I refer to my clients, I don't expect any money. But what I do get from them is their attention everytime I call and ask for help. And when I refer them, they do really good work. That's good enough for me.

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) about 7 years ago

I'm not sure we can take any type of referral fee from Vendors in my board. At one time we were able to receive an "incentive bonus" for every Home Warranty program we sold, but they stopped that a year ago or so.

Posted by Dale Samples, REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini (304.741.4705 • www.dalesamples.com ) about 7 years ago

Deb, it is okay to be a money monger in some case, but I agree with you, not in this case...way to stick to your integrity there...good job girl. would have done the same thing.  Did you ask him if he ever heard of RESPA?

Posted by Hrisco & Associates, -"Est. 2000 ~ Experience Matters" (Hrisco & Associates | eXp Realty, LLC.) about 7 years ago

Oh, I know where you are coming from.  I like to recommend people because they are good, not because they are paying me.  And, I llike to be referred the same way.

In this case, maybe ask if they can give that discount to your client.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago

I agree with asking him to reduce his fee by $200 and to return the favor of referring you to his circle.

Have a good one.

Cal

Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) about 7 years ago

Deb,

I agree with you. No referral fee just good quality work. Most realtors have a base of contractors to rely on. You do have to be careful with recommending someone, if there is a problem then it falls on your shoulders and if you received a monetary sum then you have opened up a can of worms and look out here come the lawyers. Multiple contractors for an estimate will give your client the best option and let them choose.

 

Make it a grat day !!

Posted by John Handschuh ABR SRES, Bucks County Real Estate (RE/MAX Action Realty) about 7 years ago
IhadITh had one contact me too. Same story except MY MOM gave them my number. Really?! Probably the same outfit!
Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) about 7 years ago

Deb, I would now, recommend to my clients, anyone but this business.  I have a referral directory online, that my clients have chosen the vendors, and as they recommend businesses, the directory grows.   Referring my database to the referral directory, makes this task easy for me.

Posted by Frances C. Rokicki, Broker-Mentor,CRS (Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC) about 7 years ago

Deb, definitely pass the savings on to your clients.  They'll love it and you'll be abiding by our RESPA laws! 
Pamela

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) about 7 years ago

Oh geez, I am a vendor and reading this just made me nervous; and I'm not even a realtor.  I like the idea of Debbie & Cal (# 4 and # 5) of asking him to use that "fee" and convert it into a discount for the client.

Posted by Judith Sinnard, The SMARTePLAN Lady (SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas) about 7 years ago

How can someone taking money speak objectively about the person paying them without calling into question the dynamics of some doubt? I don't like money changing hands this way. Plus, we have ample evidence that proves human beings cannot handle this type of temptation very well. Many innocent toes cross over that line

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 7 years ago

It's enough of a liability to recommend a vendor to a client but taking money on top of the recommendation most likely violates RESPA and a fiduciary responsibility. Vendors must be pretty desperate to want to break the law. And agents who take kickbacks like that give everybody a bad name. I'm glad you held your ground, Deb. You might explain this to the guy.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) about 7 years ago
Bottom line is we are supposed to be paid by our Broker and these vendors are not our Broker. That view makes the decision easy.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 7 years ago

I have never heard of this! I do get a whole slew of emails but everyone just wants my money not to give it to me! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Hi Deb - We are obligated to disclose and obtain permission from our clients for any payment received that isn't part of the standard commission. That would be a very uncomfortable discussion. After years of developing a top-quality vendor list, we've never had anyone we'd really recommend offer us a monetary referral - they have sent us clients, though.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 7 years ago

Walking on tippie toes. Glad you shined though, as always.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) about 7 years ago

Not long ago I asked a contractor for an estimate and he asked how I figured in. I didn't know what he meant. When he explained, I said no, nothing, never. I get a real estate commission. I guess he has agents that want money when they refer.

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) about 7 years ago

I have never had someone ask for a referral fee. I suppose in theory it makes sense for them to offer one to get business.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) about 7 years ago

Hi Deb,  Good ethical issue for agents.  With the current economy my bet is that the offer of referrals is quite popular.  For me, the first issue is whether or not there is full disclosure to all parties.  I like your idea of reducing the cost to your client.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 7 years ago

Deb,

The fiduciary duty of accounting obligates a real estate agent to remit any proceeds directly to the principal.

So, the real question is when is someone you know truly a "principal"?

I think you score more points with a potential client by contacting them and letting them know.

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 7 years ago

In this day and age, I would even be hesitant to recommend a contractor whether receiving a referral fee or not!

Posted by Carl Pruitt, http://FHALoanAdvice.com (FHA Loan Advice) about 7 years ago

MONEYMONEYMONEYMONEYMONEYMONEY - I guess it drives people to do stupid things.  I wouldn't refer this guy - I would stay far away.  He has shown he's not ethical and I would not want to be associated in any way.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Deb, You are doing the right thing IMO. Like others have suggested above, have the vendor give the discount or credit to the clients. I only like to refer vendors who I know have done great work in the past.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com) about 7 years ago

Deb - this shows why I like you! I think that it's a great idea to ask them to put it toward the clients cost in the matter.

 

Posted by Lindsey Hasford, Bringing you home... (Edina Realty) about 7 years ago

Deb...

Let's think this all the way through...

First of all, I would NEVER accept the money but for different reasons....

It's probably not a RESPA violation because the roofer is NOT a closing agent ....

It may NOT have to be a disclosed fee because it is NOT directly related to the transaction. That is to say, if the contract demanded a new roof it would be part of the transaction.

Third ...

It probably isn't related to brokerage at all, because it falls outside the parameters of real estate brokerage. For example, if you were a painter and a part time real estate agent, would you refuse to work at a listed house???

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 7 years ago

I just hope the company is not "buying" the business, in others words they are not a very good company, have no testimonials etc. Always makes me nervous.

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Home Buyer Advocate (Barrington Realty Company) about 7 years ago

Lots of comments above are good.

Sometimes at Christmas get a 1 pound box of See's candy, a can of flavored popcorn or stale cashew nuts from escrow, termite companies and lenders.  Let the roofer apply the kickback to a discount for the client so you don't violate RESPA or receive 'hidden' profits, although Richard (#25) may be correct; I'm not positive.

Here's my problem.  You said: I was going to recommend my client to look at having their roof replaced anyway.  So there must be some pre-existing issue with the roof.  Right?  It's not honest having the insurance company pay for replacement of a roof that needs replacement anyway. Realtors should not participate in insurance fraud.  If the hail damaged a good roof, that's a different matter.  But you were going to recommend that they replace it anyway.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) about 7 years ago

Deb, $50 is the limit, but people should make their own deals with these companies and leave REALTORS out of this.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 7 years ago

I like the idea of crediting it to the homeowner.  Also, I'd want to make sure that this contractor did good work before referring him.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) about 7 years ago

Lloyd, I thought I had better answer you first!!! You obviously misunderstood...when I said I was going to recommend they look into it I meant AFTER THE RECENT HAIL STORM!!! THEY DIDN'T NEED A NEW ROOF UNTIL A FEW WEEKS AGO! NO FRAUD HERE! There was no pre-existing issue.

Whew, I feel better getting to explain that one! LOL...


Gary, that's exactly what I was saying so yet again we agree.


Corinne, that's precisely why I don't want to get involved. Gary couldn't have said it better. We should not get involved.


Richard, that's why I wouldn't be involved in it. It seems the contractors are jumping in to take advantage of hungry Agents and that is no good for the client.


Lindsey, I would still want my clients to get other bids from other contractors too! This just feels wrong!




 

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

Jerry, yes! I have a list of vendors that I hand out to people when they ask but I also recommend they do their own research. I give the list with a disclaimer that I have no ties to the vendor other than happy clients. I would never attempt to make money this way. It isn't right no matter what RESPA may say.

 

Margaret! I agree! I don't take fees outside of legal "thank you's".

 

I like to sleep at night!

 

Carl, we are allowed to give out lists of vendors without recommending any particular one like a condensed phone book. That's all I do.

 

Brian, they are my clients. Elderly too. I am watching out for them like a hawk!

 

Bill, I really think that if they are good contractors they should be able to attain the business without a referral fee to a Broker! I couldn't in good concience take the money unless I disclosed to all that the fee would be credited towards the sale but even then....there is the question about scamming the Insurance company. It just doesn't feel good any which way.

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

Chuck, it does sound good in theory I guess but it made me nervous all the way around. How could any of that money be justified anyway? It's the roofer's responsibility to deal with the Seller directly. I don't want to get into any of that.

 

J. Philip, weird isn't it? I had never even thought of receiving a fee from a vendor. It feels like dirty money.

 

Loreena, you're cute.

 

Dick, I hadn't either. I think they are all so hungry they are trying to find hungry Agents. Personally, I would starve before I would do it! Thus the title, I Don't Think So! LOL!

 

Rosalie! Weird isn't it? OMG..."I will give you money to say my name if I get the job!" Whew..new one.

 

Cheryl, I just don't know for sure if this is covered by RESPA. I can assure you though IF IT DON'T FEEL GOOD DON'T DO IT!

 

Elizabeth, I don't think it's worth explaining to this guy! I think he can happily dance down the street!

 

 

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

RICHIE!!!!!

 

NO ONE COULD HAVE SAID IT BETTER!

 

How can someone taking money speak objectively about the person paying them without calling into question the dynamics of some doubt? I don't like money changing hands this way. Plus, we have ample evidence that proves human beings cannot handle this type of temptation very well. Many innocent toes cross over that line.

 

PERFECT. WISH I HAD SAID IT.

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

Judith, the more I thought about giving the money back to the client the worse I even felt about that! The reality is that it makes me feel then like the insurance company would be getting the short end of the stick. I plan to avoid this guy all together! Yikes...too much!

 

Lee and Pamela, I think what I should do if the client chooses someone that WANTS TO GIVE A FEE would be to have them take it off the balance of their bill and then the insurance company won't be involved in any scam either.

I just don't like this! Vendors....leave me alone. Unless you are ethical and have great testimonials and a good price and do not offer me anything but a pat on the back then go away! And, it's your job to sell yourself to the client! The end.

 

Frances, I have always felt a bit of trepidation towards recommending anyone. What if that time was the one time they messed up? It would come back to me.

 

JONI, bless your mom's heart. She was just trying to help! LOL...

 

John, thank you for READING my post! You realize I am not voting for this type of action! Thank you!

 

Cal, yes. But, after the offer of the money even that doesn't feel good to me.

 

Debbie, you gave the perfect answer till I had a change of heart. We shoudn't take the money from the insurance company to give back to the client either???? It just feels wrong.

 

John H, nope! I don't and won't have anything to say to him. If he's hurting that bad there must be a reason.

 

Dale, I remember a home warranty company offering incentives too. I never recommended them. I had no clue what kind of service they gave.

 

Pacita, you got it! When they are tried and true and will respond in a timely basis they are tops!

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

In Oklahoma we used to get commissions from the home warranty folks, but no more because of RESPA. I definitely think you did the right thing.

Posted by Steve Mangus (not active) about 7 years ago

I think in the case of contractors and service people word of mouth is the only form of advertising I trust. I don't want their money, I want them to make mt clients happy so that they will refer new business my way. That's worth much more than $200.

Posted by Nathan Tutas, Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 7 years ago

I am not going to address any issue (except that I think you are terrific) other than it has always been my understanding that if you are getting a referral fee for anything, it must be disclosed in writing to the Client.  Since I have never taken a referral fee for anything, and always tell them to take it off my client's bill (like you did), it is moot.  But that was always my understanding.  Full disclosure . . .

Posted by Mimi Foster, Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor (FALCON PROPERTY SOLUTIONS ) about 7 years ago

Deb, be careful with this vendor and have them checked out thoroughly before recommending them to your clients.  There are several roofing scams spreading across the southern states.  Just thought I'd pass along the information.

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate about 7 years ago

Deb - I haven't run in to much of this, and I think checking the company carefully is important too.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 7 years ago

Hi Deb; always go with what you know to be 'the right thing to do' even when it's not regulated by an agency - the conscience is our best guide when properly trained. I agree with you on the recommendation to deduct the 200$ from client's bill, afterall it's already calculated as an expense... Thank you.

Posted by Ruby Lee Sweeting, Your Bahamas Agent for Relocations & Second Homes (Darville Wong Associates Realty Bahamas) about 7 years ago

I would do it just like you planned.  In fact if they have an insurance "deductible" that should help cover that.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 7 years ago

It's refreshing to see an honest agent out here. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) about 7 years ago

Anyone can show up in a truck with the bare minimum contractor license, hammer in hand and a bunch of guys happy to jump on a roof for money. Very few will carry insurance and have a dedicated crew ready to do a great job and provide references. Give your client a list of 3 licensed and insured contractors and if they need more give them a phone book or access to the internet. Glad you didn't fall for their methods of getting business.

Posted by Randy Elgin, Sells Affordable Homes for sale in the San Antonio (Keller Williams, San Antonio, Helotes, Leon Valley) about 7 years ago

Deb - Wow this prompted a lot of comments.  I agree, one to stay away from definately.  Honestly, I do not even know if I would let them think I want the money.  Maybe, instead give your clients a list of other roofers and just let them make the decision.  That way there is no connection, even if you did pass the savings to the client.  It is so silly what people will do to try and get business.  I had a fence person, I had recommended for a job, and after wanted to give me a referral.  I told him no thank you, just do a good job and I will refer you again, otherwise I will find other vendors!!  Just do a good job! Whew... I guess that is a hard one to get across.  Congrats to you for taking the high road.

Posted by Kym Wright (Prudential California Realty) about 7 years ago

Lisa, yes I will...I am! I am blowing him off. I won't be recommending them. I feel it is their responsibility to approach the homeowner anyway. I would not want to have to depend on an Agent to tell me who to use. It isn't going to happen here. I am so glad you stopped with very wise words!

 

Christine, I believe we will all be hearing more from these companies! You will! I was shocked but I think they are all going to pick up on the same MO.

 

Ruby Lee, as always it's good to see you here! Yep! I agree with you totally. Doing anything beyond our good concience is not worth it! Good advice! Thank you.

 

Tammy, yes. I am going to do this right. It may not be using this company at all but I simply want the best for my client. Period. You and I are usually on the same page...

 

Donald, thank you so much. Had I had any intentions of not doing this the right, ethical and moral way I would not have written this. I appreciate what you say.

 

Randy, it's scary isn't it? I could put that together in a heart beat but would not have a clue how to execute this in a decent manner.  Your advice is welcomed! Thank you!

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

Steve,I believe they offered them here too. I never recommended that company because I had a history of success with others but I'm glad they stopped. It should be all about good service and not money!

 

Nathan, Word of mouth is the most powerful advertising ever! I agree.

 

Mimi, You are soo cute. No issues here. Just a discussion my dear! Really, I do not need the comments to make my own decisions. My decisions were pretty much made before publishing although the comments have managed to open up new concerns like the insurance...great stuff here in the Rain!

 

Kym, Truly! I do not want the money! It feels aweful to think of taking it. I can envision a good day at the spa but then I wouldn't be able to sleep that night or any night after. I like keeping it totally honest, moral and ethical. This guy's plan does not fit in with mine! Good to see you here. ;-)

Deb

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) about 7 years ago

Some vendors offer such a fee because they are not very good and need to buy business and hope this will buy repeat business.

Other vendors do this because, in the past, they've had some Realtor demand "ask" for such a payment, then find it drives them business (and suggests all Realtors would want this whether they ask or not).

And still there are vendors that do this because it is not an uncommon business model in some industries.

It is difficult to assume which this roofer is because it could be any of them. The offer is not necessarily unethical. After all, most Realtors have no problem accepting a formal, written referral with a referral fee from another Realtor. That is how the transaction model works and this is just an informal version of that arrangement.

That said, I believe that when doing your best to take care of your client, the proper course is to find a great vendor for them (which may be this roofer), then find the best price (which could mean applying his offer as a discount, which I bet he'd be glad to do!). 

Too easy to jump to broad assumptions that a guy is a snake. Care should be taken to be sure we are not calling our own behaviors (referral fees) unethical just because there is more paperwork.

Posted by Glenn S. Phillips, CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com (Lake Homes Realty) about 7 years ago

They are stretching the referral model a bit here.  I refer folks who I trust not those who give me anything. Besides, as you point out, there are laws and regs.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 7 years ago

WOW Great post! that does violates RESPA, Ethical and moral standards... buying business is not a good practice. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertising!!! Giving great service and fair prices helps me sleep good at night...... 

Posted by Frank Laisch, "The Insurance Guy" (1492 P&C AGENCY, LLC) about 7 years ago

Good for you!  I tell my agents, "When in doubt.....DON'T!"  And you didn't.  Keep up the good work making Realtors® look good.

Posted by Woody Edwards, A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone! (First Choice Realty, Inc) about 7 years ago

I think that in IL we have to disclose that we are receiving something for that business. I know that I have to disclose it for home warranties that I put with listings. I always offer the rebate back to the client for a cheaper fee. Some agents obviously don't do this.

I never heard of any $50 rule before this.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 7 years ago

I agree give the client the discount

Posted by Terry Gerling (Ultimate Realty) about 7 years ago

Before considering talking to your clients, I would ask him for references and check out his work. Just as there are good and bad real estate agents, there are good and bad roofers.

 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 7 years ago

Moving companies are always hitting up my team in NYC.  That's about it though.  Common law rules of agency require that any compensation received be disclosed and passed on to the principal (unless they tell you to keep it of course).  Undisclosed compensation is a breach of our fiduciary obligations.

Posted by Kate Akerly, Manhattan Beach Residential Sales (Kaminsky Group) about 7 years ago

As a professional home stager, I don't pay a referral fee to agents who recommend me. I hope they are recommending me because I do an excellent job and I make them look good for recommending me. I also don't expect to be paid a referral fee when I refer a home seller to an agent for listing their home. Yes, I frequently am contacted by home sellers who don't have a listing agent yet. I recommend the agent(s) that I feel are the best fit for the client in personality, marketing strategy and location.

What goes around comes around...

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) about 7 years ago

I've had a few companies offer these types of referrals, but I'm not interested.  On 2 occassions the referral offer came from past clients of mine.  One does high end audio/video installation and another was a client of mine who did landscaping.  I let them know that although I appreciate the offer, I would be glad to share their information with my other clients and would prefer they offered the 5% as a discount to the customer and let them know it is a discount they offer to clients of mine.

 

Posted by Damon Botticelli, Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate (Silver State Realty & Investments) about 7 years ago

Read Article 6 of the Code of Ethics. Any compensation or rebate, other than real estate referrals, have to be disclosed to the client and must have the permission of the client.

 

Posted by Sandra Wright Page, Serving buyers and sellers in Northern New Mexico (Keller Williams North Valley) about 7 years ago

Deb, I'm with you!  Can't stand those referral fees.  Sometimes I walk away from those vendors.  However, you could turn it around and ask for referrals in place of the fee, or yes, give it to your clients.  Kristine :)

Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Realtors (www.LiveWorkSiliconBeach.com, Santa Monica Real Estate :) ) about 7 years ago

Deb - you are so right on!   We help people not because we are getting a referral fee - but because it is what we do!  Thanks for a great post.

Posted by Louise Thaxton NMLS 69996, Military Mtg Specialist - 866-960-9115 VA FHA USDA (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp Louisiana NMLS#2289 Equal Housing Lender) about 7 years ago

Referral fees are a common practice in any industry yet it depends on what industry and any rules and regulations concerning referral fees in your business.

Getting a firm or lowest price from a vendor for service first, and after performing due diligence, then offering your client your referral fee to reduce their cost is reasonable and appropriate, so it depends on the circumstances. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 7 years ago

I have a list of vendors to give client's, it always have 2-3 choices on them

Posted by Jack O'Neal (Conway Real Estate) about 7 years ago

I have told these vendors that I want you to do a great job, be resonable, give the discount to the client, that's my incentive.  my homeowners, past clients trust me and when I refer your name, my name also connects with your job. I never took any referral fees from them.

This home improvement guy did a very nice job to few of my clients and received other referrals from them.

 

Posted by Jaishree Zilpelwar about 7 years ago

I would pass on the referral fee and the recommendation both.  My opinion is I am not willing to sacrifice a  good client relationship for a referral fee.  Should something go wrong with the work the vendor provides they will look to you as you recommended him/her.  It just isnt worth it.

 

Susan Wilson

Florida Realty

Posted by Susan Wilson about 7 years ago

Congratulations on the Feature, my sweet friend . . . hope you are well . . . know you must be tired . . . my daughter is in town and I have been working on taxes (gag), but I should be back around her tomorrow :)

Posted by Mimi Foster, Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor (FALCON PROPERTY SOLUTIONS ) about 7 years ago

I do not ask or accept those sorts of fees from Vendors.  I did used to get coffee at the Title Company but we cannot do that anymore in California.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 7 years ago

It might also be good to let your client know right away that the roofer offered this referral fee to you before they decide to go any further with this guy and then arrange for the referral fee to be a discount to the client.

Posted by Dale Shin, Real Estate Broker / Property Manager about 7 years ago

sorry if i touched a nerve here - I have Realtors say , if I give you this home inspection will you give me a $ 50-100  referral fee ( aka - k---   ba-- ) , I always decline this kind of request - bribe - .   My answer to them is - as soon as you close escrow , will you give your client 20%  of your commission and disclose it in the transaction documents ?  no comment and they hang up the phone ..........

We have conducted many Risk Management Seminars with our Local Realtor Boards on Risk Management with the Legal Council of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors and Delta Association of Realtors and we decided not to go to " Home Inspection Jail ".

In California - this is a RESPA issue

Tirso De Ubago,cio

Castle Rock Inspections

Chief Inspection Officer

Home / Pool / Condo / Multi Unit Inspections

PO Box 3431

Walnut Creek CA 94598

Cell: 925.518.1124

Toll Free: 1.800.995.8242

tirso@castlerockinspections.com

http://www.castlerockinspections.com

We Speak Spanish and Filipino

 

Credentials:

 *FHA Certified Compliant Inspector 
*(ASHI) - American Society of Home Inspectors
* (ASHI) American Society of Home Inspection Endorsed Training
* Code Check California 2009 / 2010 / 2011 Code Compliance Training
* NFPA 73 Residential Electrical Seminar for existing dwellings
* Graduate of ITA (Inspection Training Associates). ITA is the only California 

   Department of Education accredited inspection school. 
* Inspection Training Associates - Commercial Inspection Course
* Pool Inspection Courses, Pool Construction and Code Compliance Experience.
* (ASHI) Advanced & Commercial Electrical Inspection Training

 

Member:

* ( WCR ) Women’s Council of Realtors

* ( ASHI ) - American Society of Home Inspectors

* Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa

* ( NAHREP ) National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

* CCRIM - Contra Costa Realtors in Motion

* Contra Costa, Delta and West County Association of Realtors

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Tirso De Ubago,cio Castle Rock Inspections.com about 7 years ago

I completely agree - I never felt comfortable with the home warranty companies that pay a fee to agents either.  Seems kind of like conflict of interest. -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) about 7 years ago

Roofing has a lot of diffence in pricing.  You can get 5 bids and you will get 5 different proposals.

You are right to assume that your clients bill will be padded to pay the $2000.  It is ultimately taking advantage of the insurance company.

Advise your client to get 5 quotes.  Then dont take any money for your role.

You are doing the right thing.

Posted by Randal Jenkins (Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc.) about 7 years ago

I think asking for a discount for your client is an excellent idea.  All three parties win if this happens, but if you accept the $200, your client may lose.  In the long run, you will lose too.

Posted by Kathy Strader, ASP (Memorial Staged Homes) about 7 years ago

Deb, I would suggest making your clients aware of the offer and your refusal to take it.  I've been in this situation before and I don't want to look like a shill for a vendor.  I refer vendors to Clients who've done a good job for other clients. 

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) about 7 years ago

Good evening, Deb. I can understand your predicament. It is okay to recommend a trade when asked. It is another to endorse someone. Great points and congrats on the feature. BTW, you have a new subscriber...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) about 7 years ago

It's great when you can work out a better deal for your clients!

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) about 7 years ago

Deb,  There is always someone out there in our free country looking to hustle some businness.  But in a bad economy it gets worse!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) about 7 years ago

Wow, how awkward and unprofessional of him. I am sure it's because of the economy and his despiration but still...no surprise you drew the line:)

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, California Homes for Sale in the East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) about 7 years ago

I prefer to send clients to referral partners wiithout any compensation for doing so.  I want them to take care of my client, provide great service or product! That's all.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) about 7 years ago

I'm not 100% certain of the legalities or rules related to this, but I think it's a pretty good policy to avoid referral fees due to the conflict of interest.  It's never going to amount to much money anyway, so why take the chance.  I think you're doing the right thing.

Posted by Matt Robinson, www.professionalinvestorsguild.com (Professional Investors Guild) almost 7 years ago

Participate