Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752


I picked up the phone the other day right before Christmas thinking my client was calling to wish me a Merry one.  Boy was I wrong!  Just when you think that you have heard it all, another bomb is dropped.

Buyer's that I have been working with for over a year finally closed about two weeks ago on a beautiful home.  The deal was extremely difficult and trying for all.  Through a lot of hard work and patience, the home finally closed.  Everyone seemed very happy.

When I saw their number pop up on my phone I eagerly picked it up to find out how things were going for them in their new home.  The small talk was nice but the tone of the conversation turned south in a hurry.  The next question out of the mouth of the client floored me!

"Hey, we were just wondering when you were going to send us the check for half of the commission you earned?"  The grunt "huh?" was all that I could muster as I truly had no idea what they were inferring.  Did I hear that correctly?

I probed with a few more questions to find out what they were really asking and again they said (and I quote), "don't you remember telling us that you would split your commission with us?"  "Um no", I replied, "we never had that conversation."  And, more importantly, had we had this conversation the commission would have been credited to you at closing."

For whatever reason, these clients were trying to convince me that I had told them this!  Simply amazing!  Hey, I am no spring chicken but I KNOW that my memory is not that bad.  I would never agree to do something like this.  And, after closing?  Certainly these folks don't understand the process.

Rather than argue over the phone with these people, I politely said that I would send them all of the paperwork and forms that they signed.  This would clearly indicate how the commission was paid and by whom.  There of course was absolutely no paperwork that would indicate me splitting my commission with them.  Where on earth did they come up with this?

I don't know about you all out there but this is the first time that this has ever happened to me.  We present all of the forms, disclosures, representation agreements, etc. and do our best to clearly explain what they mean.  Sadly as in this case, sometimes people really don't understand the process.

I have sent them copies of all of the paperwork and have not yet heard back from them.  Hopefully after going back over the paperwork and reading my in-depth explanation of how commission is paid, they now have a better understanding of what they were asking of me.

Also, I clearly pointed out the time, effort, expertise, negotiating and so much more, that my pay check was clearly EARNED.  I can't imagine asking someone to split their paycheck with me when they have provided me with a service.  Wow, just when you think you have heard it all!

Have any of you experienced this one?

Posted by

Beam & Branch Realty       

"Have you fully lived today?"

   Paula L. McDonald ~ REALTOR®

        Granbury, Texas 

 936-203-0279 Direct

Selling Hood County and surrounding areas! 



 John Maxwell

Farm & Ranch


          ABR                 Institute for Luxury Marketing                Institute for Luxury Home Marketing



Copyright 2019 Paula McDonald


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Kim Knox
Landline Real Estate, LLC of Southern Oregon - Medford, OR
Principal Broker

Wow, that would be surprising and upsetting call, to say the least! 

Sounds like you handled it well, in spite of feeling like you have been hit by a freight truck. 

I have never had that happen, but you have helped me gage how I would respond when it does happen.


Dec 27, 2011 11:25 AM #5
Debora Nichols
Residential Sales, Purchases, Investors, Vacation Homes - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor Anthem,Phoenix,Scottsdale,Glendale,Peoria

Wow,  Maybe they were thinking of another company that does something similar.  I can't imagine that.  Please send us an update when you here back from them.  Have a very safe and Happy New Year.

Dec 27, 2011 11:28 AM #6
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Paula - That's one I haven't heard before.....I would definitely remember telling a client that I'd be willing to split my paycheck with them.

Dec 27, 2011 11:29 AM #7
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Maybe they heard about other agencies that give "rebates" to buyers, and thought this was standard practice?  But that is a really sour note for a tough transaction.  I hope it ends up well.  

Dec 27, 2011 11:30 AM #8
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

That was very bold of them and very professional of you to handle it that way. It's amazing how many people think we are sitting ducks for "sharing" our income.

Dec 27, 2011 02:09 PM #9
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


No, this has never happened to me.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!'

Dec 27, 2011 04:00 PM #10
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Wow!  it just goes with the theme of "you just can't make this stuff up"

Dec 27, 2011 04:13 PM #11
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Did you talk about splitting the commission with the other agent?  If so maybe they replaced they were not paying a lot of attention and substituted the agent for themselves. 

Dec 27, 2011 10:37 PM #12
Brian Park
Danville, CA

It happened to me once, the client had a friend ask did your agent split the commission with you? ours did. And then why don't you ask him? Lots of agents do that!!!  So they called and asked, and I asked didn't I fulfill all my duties and do them extremely well, and didn't I find you a $180k home for $140k? I'll tell you what, you split the $40k I saved you with me and I'll split the $4k I grossed with you. Or if you really need the money right now, I'll give you half my paycheck now and then we can sign an agreement that whenever I need some money you will give me half your paychecks for awhile, which one would you prefer?

"Well, we were only asking because lots of other agents do it, you don't have to get nasty." Well, lots of people that do what you do for a living are willing to do it for a lot less money, should I call your boss and suggest it would be OK with you if he replaced you with one of those people, or at the least that you refund the excess he feels he paid you because someone else did it for that amount?  I saved you $40k and the commission was paid by the seller, not you, and your still not happy?  I'm not a diplomat so I promptly threw their follow up file card into the trash. No contact for about 5 years and then a call we are thinking about moving up to a better area now could you come out to the house? Me, long long pause, finally OK lets set a time.

Dec 28, 2011 01:06 AM #13
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I have had buyers spring it on me right before close but not after.  VERY STRANGE!

Dec 28, 2011 11:51 AM #14
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

That's very bold of the client! We are glad that you could provide the detail to them, so that they can hopefully understand your reply. Have a great New Year!

Dec 29, 2011 05:09 AM #15
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Well that is sad that it ended that way, especially on a closing that didnt end badly. That will be what is remembered and hopefully they will remember NOT having that conversation and will continue referring you business in the future.

Dec 29, 2011 09:02 AM #16
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Paula, I never had this happen but a client wanted half of a buyer agent bonus that was advertised on a home he planned on making an offer. That didn't happen either! The best to you in 2012!

Dec 31, 2011 06:35 AM #17
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Paula, this is a new one to me. I think you handled it like a true professionals. I'll be shaking my head over this one all day. I actually came by to wish you Happy New Year. I do think we will have a great 2012. Hope your celebrations for the New Year were perfect in all ways that today is special with those you love. Thank you for your friendship. You are special to me!

Thank you....

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Happy New Year

The ActiveRain Gift of Connection - Jeanean Gendron

Jan 01, 2012 04:47 AM #18
Mike Grumbles
Gray Fox Realty - Franklin, TN
The Relocation Engineer in Franklin TN



Maybe we should start askin for half their salary for the time we work with them?


They likely read something on another website about that rebate of commission like a fedrin site.  Good job of handling it. 


In my state cash rebates are illegal and shall remain as agents will lobby for it. 

Considering our costs and the business we are in, a single commission is always earned. 

Jan 01, 2012 05:51 AM #19
Ross Therrien
Prudential Verani Realty, Londonderry,New Hampshire - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Broker Associate

You'd think if they were serious they'd say something at closing.  Frankly, I can't see why anybody would split anything.  Your buyer agency contract states what they "owe" you.  End of discussion really.


Jan 01, 2012 10:20 AM #20
Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

So very much concur Ross.  Amazing still to think these folks would have the nerve to ever make the call.

Jan 01, 2012 10:37 AM #21
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

This is what happens when buyers and sellers alike start talking to their friends and family members who know absolutely nothing about the process.  I had a buyer ask me how much he needed to pay me to help him find a home.  Then, although relieved that I would not be presenting him with a bill he wondered if the people selling the houses would want more than they were worth so that THEY could pay me.  You just can't win with uninformed consumers and no matter how much education you provide, there's always something you miss!


Jan 02, 2012 11:39 AM #22
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor


From my amateur point of view, a Realtor cannot reimburse their clients without having this on the HUD.  Otherwise it's a RESPA violation.  Sorry to hear about your experience.  Nonetheless, new ones are expected to happen for 2012... g

Jan 03, 2012 01:05 PM #23
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

I honestly would be real worried that you are going to be getting a phone call or a letter from an attorney asking for 1/2. 

Jan 06, 2012 07:39 AM #24
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