If you are a real estate agent, is it illegal to pay a home buyer money for future referrals? Like $250 for every referral who buys a home from you.

Asked by investinothers, Irvine, CA Wed May 1, 2013

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Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri May 3, 2013
To my knowledge we can not pay a referral fee to past clients.

You can do things like send a basket or give a gift card to a local department store or restaurant.

You can make a donation to a charity in their name.

Referral fees are to be paid to lic real estate professionals, and are paid through escrow. Money does not change hands directly from one agent to another.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
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Julie Minter, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed May 1, 2013
Where I am, in NC, you can only pay referral fees to licensed agents. It is against Real Estate Commission rules to pay referral fees to non-licensed agents. I don't know if it is illegal, but if caught in NC, your license could be taken. So we don't do that here.

The Real Estate Commission was formed to protect consumers. But for real estate agents, the Commission is your FRIEND. I check with them if I have any doubt. A real estate agent needs to have integrity without question.
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed May 1, 2013
Would it be ILLEGAL for your Plumber to do that? Or your Car Salesman? How about the guy who sells you suits?
Why would you single out Real Estate Agents?

There are limitations; we may not/can not do that with Escrow Officers or Mortgage Brokers. And they cannot do that with us.
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