If I understood it correctly, he's asking: Can he reward a U.S. civilian (non Realtor) for a referral for giving him a lead that lead to a referral fee, received from a closed transaction here in the states.
In other words, someone in my area calls AndrÃ©, and says ... "the guy next door is going to sell his place".. call you Realtor buddy Elvis who works here in the U.S. and give him the lead... and for that lead, Elvis will probably pay you a referral fee (allowed, since AndrÃ© is a real estate agent, right?). After that transaction, wherein I pay AndrÃ© a 25% referral fee, AndrÃ© sends his friend $250.00 finder's fee for the referral.
Since the recipient of the fee is not a Realtor... no foul.. Since, according to AndrÃ© S.A. rules allow him to pay a non-licensed person... where's the problem?
The governing body, over this referral fee, should be the RSA real estate licensing body, and since they have no problem with it, why should we? Certainly NAR doesn't come into play, the recipient isn't a Realtor. The local MLS has no complaint... again, not a Realtor. Where's the harm?
There certainly are no rules, in any State in the U.S. against a civilian receiving that remuneration. A civilian is under no compunction to follow our licensing laws. I don't see the conflict. Remember, he's not asking if a U.S. agent could make that payment.... he's asking if the South African agent can make that payment, and I don't see any barrier.
Disclaimer: I am not a Real Estate Attorney and do no practice in South Africa, and even my wife will tell you, at every opporunity, that I'm often full of lard, so don't listen to me.
We have international listings and do cooperate with international agents. Real Estate laws are governed state by state. I'd do a quick google search for a real estate lawyer in the state where you want to give a referral and see if they have some comments on their blog.
I frequently am asked by neighbors who are unlicensed and live near my listings whether I would pay them a finder's fee or referral fee if they send me a buyer for my listing or refer me to another neighbor thinking of selling their home. My answer, of course, is "no" because that individual is unlicensed and, in GA, the real estate commission prohibits me from compensating an unlicensed individual. Hope this gives you some additional perspective. Warm regards - Ted
No licensee may pay a referral fee to an unlicensed person who is not a principal to the transaction. In order to meet the license requirement, the person receiving the referral fee may be duly licensed as a real estate broker in either Illinois or the person's state or country of domicile. If the person's country of domicile does not have a licensing statute for real estate agents, then, in order to receive a referral fee, the person must comply with the laws, if any, of his or her country concerning the practice of real estate brokerage business.
Also remember, if you are dealing with an agent, all payments must go to that agent's sponsoring broker who then makes a disbursement according to the agreement between the broker and agent.
Hope this helps.
On the other hand if the money was sent to the uncles second-cousin twice-removed sister-in-law from escrow in the US then the American agent would have knowledge and that is not permitted.