Can An Agent Be Excluded From a Sale?

Real Estate Ethics and Professionalism

Real estate is a competitive business – from turning leads into clients to closing the sale with the best possible outcome for your client.

Real estate agents who are REALTORS® abide by a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. Each month in our Minnesota Association of REALTORS® Resource, we address some questions you have on a variety of topics – including ethics and professionalism.

Senior Vice President Linda Modlinksi recently answered this question about excluding another agent in a sale:

I am listing a home for sale and the seller wants to exclude a specific agent. The seller doesn’t want this agent to show the house or be paid a commission or referral fee or anything. Can I list the house under these circumstances?

At issue here is Article 3. It obligates REALTORS® to cooperate with their competitors when it is in the best interest of the client. When the client is requesting that a particular agent not be offered cooperation in the sale of his property, that would be considered an instruction from the client and listing agents/brokers are required to follow the client’s legal instructions. You would ask the seller to put this specific instruction in writing so you have a copy for your file. You would then proceed to place the listing in MLS following the normal procedures. Send a letter to this particular agent, with a copy to the agent’s broker, informing the agent of the seller’s instruction to withhold cooperation from him/her on the sale of this property. Include a copy of the seller’s instruction to show the agent and his/her broker that you are simply following your client’s instructions.

Do you have questions on ethics and professionalism? Just email Linda and we may include your question in an upcoming issue of our Resource.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 19,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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3 thoughts on “Can An Agent Be Excluded From a Sale?

  1. Just to play Devil’s Advocate… what would happen if the reason that the homeowner wanted to exclude a specific agent was due to that agent’s race/national origin, or because of the race/origin of that agent’s clients?

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