What is bribery and does it exist in residential real estate? You be the judge.
Guilty of Bribery: As taken out of context from a criminal commercial bribery statute we were able to come up the following general definition as to what typically constitutes bribery: Whoever corruptly offers, gives, or agrees to give directly or indirectly, any benefit, consideration, compensation, or reward to any agent or fiduciary of a person with the intent to influence the person’s performance of duties as an agent is guilty of commercial bribery. The same is true for those who receive a bribe.
If a builder were to secretly offer Realtors who represent buyers an extra Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), would this constitute a bribe? Do you think secret money being offered to buyer agents is intended to influence the agents’ advice and guidance in selecting a builder? If you were a consumer and found out that your Realtor was being offered $5,000 per transaction (for up to five transactions) from a particular builder, how would you feel? And who does that money really belong to, the Realtor or the buyer? Here’s a typical advertisement from a national builder sent out to Realtors and one from a local builder: