Bart Erickson

P. Barton Erickson
REALTOR since 1987
Co-Founder of the HouseJeanie Team

LAMON Assoc.

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Corporate Real Estate Relocation Companies,
Real Estate Referrals and Referral Companies

and Other Real Estate Commission Skimmers

By P. Barton Erickson, e-PRO, SRES - June 2004


Refer To send or direct (to some person or place), as for treatment, aid, decision, etc.; specif.. to send for information regarding ability, character, etc.


A Real Estate Referral that requires a referral fee, with a few exceptions, adds no additional value to the home buyer/seller. The sole criterion for these fee required Real Estate Referrals is that the person on the receiving end is required to pay a referral fee. The person that receives the referral information (and does all the work) pays these fees to the referring person or company. Note that in most States it is illegal to pay a Real Estate referral fee to an unlicensed Real Estate Agent. In all States the referral fee has to be paid and received by the respective Brokers of Record.


Corporate Real Estate Relocation Companies or Relocation Divisions of large Real Estate Firms: These companies have complete control of the commission referral fees and the communication between the buyer/seller and the agent. Some companies require a weekly written report by the agent as to the status of the sale and in the case of the listing agent, information as to what has been done to market the property. The completeness of the paperwork in some cases determines whether the agent gets another referral from the relocation company.

Weichert Relocation Agent pays up to up to 40% of the agents commission to Weichert Relocation. (The 40% is from personal experience of the writer.)


Agent Referrals:

Agents out of area Agent to agent referral fees can range from 0% to 40% of the commission of the agent to whom the referral was made, based on mutual agreement of the two agents. The referral fee is paid to the referring agents broker who takes a percentage of the referral fee.

Agents or Broker/Associates in the same office Agent to agent referrals can range from 0% to 40% of the commission of the agent to whom the referral was made based on a mutual agreement.


Referral Companies:

Buyers USA Relocation -

Homegain Agent pays a monthly fee per zip code (fee can be as large as $1,400, depending on the zip code area). Number next to agent indicates the number homes sold with Homegain.

Housevalues Agent pays

Lending Tree Agent pays 35% of the agents commission to Lending Tree at closing for the name of the buyer or seller.

Service Magic Agent pays $30 per unverified name, address and phone number.

USAA (For Military Personnel) Agent pays a 30% fee to USAA, then USAA pays a small fee to the client based on this schedule:

Sale or Purchase Price          USAA members bonus$

50,000 - 99,999                                $200

100,000 - 149,999                            $400

150,000 - 199,999                            $600

200,000 or more                               $800

Most Realtors would be willing to reduce the commission amount equal to the bonus, thereby cutting out the middleman.

               - Similar to USSA
Homegain Agent pays

Realty Tracker Agent pays 29.95 per month for leads.  


Dot Com Web Sites Showing or Referring Real Estate Agents:
Agent Connect Agent pays $39 per year for a web page.
Connect 2Agent -
Christian Real Estate Network - $200 / 3yr. Membership plus a referral fee of 25% of the  gross commission on all transactions.
Real Estate Agent Finder Agent pays $39 per year for a web page.
RealEstatePros -
monthly prices are as follows: "FREE", SILVER ($7.95), GOLD ($14.95), and PLATINUM ($19.95) to have a link to the agents web site.
see referral companies above.
HouseReal - Three options: Agent pays per click to web site (min $0.10 per click);
RECIPROCAL LINK; $35 flat fee per year.

Housevalues see referral companies above.

Lending Tree see referral companies above. 

Homegain see referral companies above.

Realty Tracker see referral companies above.


Other Real Estate Agent Referral Companies:

UPromise Agent pays 25% of the agents commission to UPromise. UPromise keeps 2/3 and pays 1/3 of that 25% to the buyer/seller as an incentive to use UPromise.