Notes from the Field: Recent Legal Helpdesk Questions

Notes from the Field: Recent Legal Helpdesk Questions

There’s an old saying that if you have a question, someone else out there is probably wondering the same thing. So, in the spirit of sharing knowledge, AAR has reproduced a few recent Legal Helpdesk questions below. If they spark further questions, feel free to contact us

Q1: Are local Boards/ Associations permitted to charge higher fees to participate in an MLS for those who are not a member of the Board/ Association?

A1: Yes. Alabama is a Thompson state, meaning MLSs are required to allow non-REALTORS® the ability to participate in the MLS. This means that a local Board/Association must allow a person who wishes to join the opportunity to do so, even if they are not a member of the Board/Association. However, the Board/ Association may charge more for an MLS-only membership than it charges for a combined membership to the Board/Association and the MLS.

Q2: If a listing agent is a salesperson from one branch of a brokerage and a buyer’s agent is a salesperson from another branch of the same brokerage, is a dual agency agreement required to proceed?

A2: Yes.

Q3: How long after closing must a broker pay an agent the commission earned on the transaction?

A3: There is no required timeframe under Alabama license law. Instead, that timeframe should be included in the independent contractor agreement between the brokerage and agent.

Q4: I have a client who approached me about selling their tax lien certificate. Can they do that?

A4: Yes, Alabama Code § 10-40-187 allows tax lien certificates to be transferred and assigned. That being said, there are a number of legal considerations surrounding this process, and of course, it is not a good idea for a licensee to counsel the client about those legal considerations. Any client who is interested in selling or transferring their tax lien certificates should speak to an experienced attorney before proceeding.