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Realtor Partner Referral Program

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Question: 
I am a Realtor and a lender has ask me to participate in a Realtor partner referral program. They want me to refer and recommend other real estate agents to them. The Realtor partner receives leads from the lender, that is buyers that do not have an agent. No money is exchanged, and there is no pressure to send them my business. Is this a violation or not?
Answer: 

Money is not the only "thing of value" that you need to be concerned about. RESPA Section 8 prohibits giving or receiving ANYTHING of value in exchange for the referral of settlement service. They may be wanting you to list them as a preferred lender on your website - that is a thing of value. There could be any number of other "things of value" that they may be seeking or offering in this relationship. Seek legal counsel before entering into any type of partnership relationship with a lender.

First published on 03/08/2020

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