There are two issues....one is price fixing...the other is fiduciary responsibility.
Price fixing applies to the industry, not to a company policy. An agent cannot establish individual policy that contradicts their contract with the broker. Agents under the same broker will often have different policies, as long as each is consistent with the guidelines set forth by the broker. A broker can set a minimum for the broker. That is not price fixing.
The other issue is the fiduciary responsibility of the buyer agent to the buyer. If the buyer has been told that the buyer agent is only showing properties which meet a minimum payment criteria, the buyer agent may proceed accordingly. If the buyer believes the agent is showing and sharing all properties for sale, and the buyer agent has withheld certain properties because of the compensation offering, the buyer agent would be violating a fiduciary responsibility to their client, if that is their client.
Yes, an agent can decline to show properties that are beneath the agentâ€™s or companyâ€™s minimum compensation criteria, but the buyer must be made aware. I recently had someone inquire about a property where the compensation offering was 1% and the property was in the low 100â€™s. I spent about 10 minutes providing the details about the property, as a courtesy. I went over room sizes, taxes, etc. Then, I explained that I would not be able to show them the property, but was happy to provide them the listing contact info. I additionally stressed that the buyer may find other buyer agents who might be willing to accept the compensation, or that the buyer could agree to my fee structure. I gave the buyer all the property info, and an array of choices. At no time did I discourage the buyer from pursuing this property; rather, I gave them options on how they could. This buyer executed a buyer agency agreement with me, and declined to see this subject property.
If buyer agents were denied any ability to set forth minimum payments, and were required to show any and all properties, then why not just pay buyer agent $1. BTW, that actually has shown in MLSs.
As a sellerâ€™s agent, I strongly encourage sellers to offer a compensation to buyers agents that is competitive with the industry for their area. I have no comment about your offering, and do not support or oppose it. I have not reviewed your competition, and therefore, am not able to provide an opinion for your area.
In answer to your question, an individual agent setting a minimum fee structure for themselves is OK, as long as it is consistent w/ their employment contract. A broker or company can establish fee structure also. Competing companies may not adjoin together in setting prices, as that is illegal price fixing. Agents who work for the same company may not individually collaborate and determine that they, as agents will fix prices together.