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Real estate regulator advises fair play in discounter commission splits

N.J. Real Estate Commission says companies cannot retaliate against low-commission competitors

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A real estate regulatory agency in New Jersey has advised that it is unlawful for brokers to set a commission-sharing policy on property listings that retaliates against a discount competitor. The New Jersey Real Estate Commission announced in a notice today that state code "prohibits variations in commission splits that are 'punitive or retaliatory' in response to another broker taking listings at a lower gross commission rate than that charged by the broker offering the modified commission split." This notice elaborates on a Nov. 29 commission advisory issued in response to inquiries that the commission received. On Dec. 2, the New Jersey Association of Realtors trade group had sent a written request to the state Real Estate Commission in an effort to delay implementation of the commission's advisory notice until a public hearing could be held, according to a notice posted at the commission's Web site. Marshall McKnight, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Ins...