Ok, so there are only three zeroes attached — or sometimes just two (vs. Wall Street’s five or six), but more and more MLS listings these days are dangling bonuses in front of the Buyer’s agent (called the “Selling Agent” once the deal has closed).

Unlike a fatter commission payout, which the Buyer’s agent has to split with their Broker, the singular appeal of a bonus is that the Realtor gets to pocket all of it.

In fact, bonuses are proving sufficiently popular now that the local MLS just had to wade in to clarify what is — and isn’t — kosher.

In a nutshell:  anything that’s contingent — on a minimum sales price, closing date, etc. — is NOT permissible.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way around that proscription, at least with respect to a calendar deadline (“bonus for an acceptable offer by Feb. 1”):   simply delete the bonus from the listing’s “Agent Remarks” field on MLS once the deadline has passed.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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