Assigned Out Of a Commission

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Assigned Out Of a Commission


Here is the possible scenario:

  • A real estate agent has a signed Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement with a buyer.
  • A property is found and placed under contract with this buyer using this agent.
  • The listing agent for this property has indicated via the Multiple List Service that a commission is being offered to buyer's agents, but not to sub-agents.
  • The buyer assigns the contract of sale to another agent.
    • The contract of sale that is typically used in Maryland does not allow for assignments.
    • Since this particular buyer is a wholesaler, the agent, buyer, and the seller agree to remove this clause from the contract.
  • The new buyer, the assignee, does not have an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement with the real estate agent and hence, has no obligation to pay a commission.
    • Arguably, there is not even a sub-agency relationship between the new buyer and the real estate agent.
  • Since the new buyer, the assignee, does not have a buyer agency agreement with the agent of the assignor, the listing broker has no obligation to pay a commission to the assignor's agent, who is no longer a buyer's agent, and the assignee, who has no buyer agency agreement, has no obligation to pay a commission.


The solution to this possible concern:

  • In the Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement, there should be a clause that states that the agent is due a commission if during the term of the agreement the buyer enters into a written agreement to purchase a property.  
    • In this case, the commission is payable to the agent's brokerage whether or not the sale takes place, not including contingencies that might prevent the sale from closing.
    • It is unlikely that the wholesaler would sign the agreement if there was a possibility that a commission would be due.

Comments (4)

Karen Krzniak
Zenith Realty - Towson, MD


Good post.  Good luck getting the wholesaler to agree to paying the commission.

Aug 24, 2023 10:58 AM
Kathryn Sparks
Zenith Realty - Baltimore, MD


There is a good chance that the listing broker would not offer a commission to sub-agents.  There is too much liability.

Aug 24, 2023 11:00 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Aug 24, 2023 11:48 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

We have so many who would not blink an eye about leaving an agent who has assisted them without a penny at the end of a deal.

Aug 27, 2023 07:24 AM