Are finder's fees illegal? - Posted by Alan-Baltimore

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on March 24, 2001 at 11:22:28:

your own question.

In most states the activity of bringing buyer and seller together is called real estate brokerage.

This requires a real estate brokers license (in most if not all states), and some brokers have agents which is what you mentioned.

You be the judge, and if in doubt you might just consider reading the laws of your state (which will say YES what you propose is illegal).

Are finder’s fees illegal? - Posted by Alan-Baltimore

Posted by Alan-Baltimore on March 24, 2001 at 11:11:10:

I’ve got a rehabbed property that I’ve been trying to sell for the last few weeks with no success so far. I had the idea to distribute “Reward” flyers around the neighborhood offering a $500 finder’s fee to anyone who sends me a buyer. However, before I do this I want to know if this might be illegal since the finder is acting in the place of a real estate agent. Has anyone else tried this approach to selling?

Re: Are finder’s fees illegal? - Posted by Bill Gatten

Posted by Bill Gatten on March 25, 2001 at 15:23:15:

Bad news: Good news:

The penalty for dealing in RE w/o a license in Ca. $10,000 fine, and or six month in jail (or that was the case 10 years ago…may be more now).

However, since you are not a Realtor (I presume) and since you are merely seeking a buyer for your own property, YOU would not be guilty of brokering without a license. AND…if your finder were not involved in advertising, soliciting, negotiating or showing the property…he or she would not be in violation either.

Therefore, if my presumptions are correct about your broker status, you’re good to go with offering a finder’s fee.

Someone here recently distributed flyer that said essentially:

LOST…Buyer for my beautiful home at xxx St.

DESCRIPTION OF MISSING PERSON: Has good job and appears to need nice 3+2 cozy home with reasonable payments ($xxx) valued at $xxxx. Credit not an issue, no down or bank qualifying need. 3 Pmts and Closing Costs constitutes total move-in.

$500 paid for information leading to lthe finding of that needy couple or person in search of a wonderful place to live.

Call xxx xxx xxxx

Bill Gatten

Re: Are finder’s fees illegal? - Posted by Ward (CA)

Posted by Ward (CA) on March 24, 2001 at 16:30:44:

Well, in CA you can legally pay a finder’s fee as long as the finder does nothing more than introduce A to B. The finder cannot be involved in any of the negotiating regarding the sale of the property.