Bill that would have required real estate agents be more upfront about commissions dies in committee

Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 12:00:28-04

DENVER – A bill that would have forced real estate agents to disclose their fees or commissions before they even agree to work with a buyer or seller won't make it to the house floor for a vote.

House Bill 17-1358 was introduced to the Business Affairs and Labor Committee Monday. The committee voted 12-1 Thursday to postpone the bill indefinitely.

If enacted into law, the bill would have required that anyone working as a broker on a real estate transaction – be it a sale or lease – disclose in writing how much they charge for their services.

The requirement would also have extended to any marketing materials or property listings.

That means that if you’re browsing listings in the newspaper or online through Zillow or Redfin, you would see the real estate agent’s commission clearly listed along with the sale price.

Agent commissions on home sales vary, but they are often around 6 percent. On a $200,000 sale, that would amount to about $12,000 split between the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent.

Denver-based Trelora, which already publishes agent commissions on its website, threw its weight behind the bill and sent out an email to its past and current customers asking them to contact their legislators and voice their support.

In a statement provided to Denver7, the Colorado Association of Realtors praised the bill's defeat and called the proposal unnecessary:

“As expected, HB-17-1358 was viewed as highly unnecessary and, as a result, was killed in committee this afternoon. This was a bill Initiated by one company to codify its own business model and improve its bottom line by recommending legislation that would force its business plan on an entire industry.

Broker compensation and fees are already transparent to the individuals involved in any real estate transaction. Fees are disclosed to all brokers through the MLS and among all parties and their brokers through respective brokerage agreements. A real estate commission rate is completely voluntary, negotiable and often varies depending on the type of transaction.

Again, HB-1358 was an attempt to mandate a specific business model on an entire industry and was seen as an unnecessary step in providing protection and transparency for consumers in our state.”


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