MLS and BTSAs – A Michael Clapp Dagnabbit

If a MLS listing advertises or offers a certain compensation for an agent to bring the buyer, that compensation cannot be changed or conditional. For example, if the MLS states “$2,000 BTSA to agent with acceptable offer by the end of July” that would be improper and against MLS rules.  Also, if the MLS states “3.0% + $2,500 BTSA” then that is what needs to be paid.

So, here is how it plays out.  You bring the buyer, during the negotiations the listing agent makes a statement that the seller cannot accept your buyer’s last offer unless you’re willing to reduce or remove the BTSA.  This would be improper.  The listing agent needs to consult with the seller that offering a BTSA has to be on the table throughout the negotiations and cannot be rescinded. However, the buyer’s agent could possibly concede the BTSA or a portion of it to his client at closing to make up for the difference in the deal.  This is how it would need to be done.

If you’re offering a BTSA on one of your listings currently, please make sure you discuss this issue with your seller prior to reviewing an offer. The BTSA cannot be conditional.  If you’re the buyer’s agent, you’ll possibly need to concede a BTSA to your buyer if the negotiations are tight.  But that is your call to make.

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