Article 3: REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.
Client A called on REALTOR® B to list a small commercial property. In stipulating the price at which he wished to list the property, Client A explained that he was aware that it was a relatively low price, but he wanted a quick sale and, he added, a higher price could benefit very little at that time because of certain tax considerations. He told REALTOR® B that a number of prospective buyers had spoken to him about the property within the past year. He gave their names to REALTOR® B and said he felt sure that among them there would be a ready buyer at the price. He told REALTOR® B that he wanted the property submitted to them first.
The next day, REALTOR® C, who had unsuccessfully solicited the listing and learned that the property was listed exclusively with REALTOR® B, called REALTOR® B to ask that he be accepted as a cooperating broker. REALTOR® B told REALTOR® C that because of unusual circumstances the best service to his client did not require cooperation; that a prospective buyer was at that time seriously considering the property; and that under the circumstances he preferred not to invite cooperation.
REALTOR® C complained to the Association of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® B with a violation of Article 3 by refusing to cooperate. Pursuant to the complaint a hearing was scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Association’s Professional Standards Committee.
During the hearing, REALTOR® B outlined fully the circumstances under which the property had been listed by him, and maintained that the interest of Client A would not be advanced by acceptance of cooperation by REALTOR® C.
The panel concluded that REALTOR® B’s reasons for not accepting cooperation in this instance were valid and that his action did not constitute a violation of Article 3.