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Dual or Variable Rate Disclosure in the MLS

It’s a small but misunderstood field in the MLS. 

CVR Rule 6.5, as well as Article 3 of NAR’s Code of Ethics require listing agents to disclose the existence of a dual or variable rate commission arrangement. 

In short, a dual or variable rate exists when the seller and the listing agent have negotiated a specified commission rate if the listing agent or the listing firm represents the buyer that is a different commission than if the sale results through the efforts of a cooperating broker.  It’s important to disclose the existence of such an arrangement to potential cooperating brokers and their clients, especially in multi-offer situations. 

As part of the CVR MLS rules, the listing agent should note “Y” in the Dual/Var field in the MLS listing. This field is a drop-down field found on the Compensation tab in the Residential, Multi-Family and Lot/Land Input Forms in Matrix. 

Many agents confuse this field to simply mean that the seller will allow dual or designated agency.  While it is slightly related, the field serves as the necessary disclosure required by the rules to indicate the difference in the compensation arrangement.  It does not and should not be used to indicate the seller’s authorization of dual or designated agency. 

It’s important that listing agents and buyer agents fully understand the meaning of and what can be disclosed when dealing with a dual or variable rates situation.  For example, Buyers’ agents may ask, and the listing agent should disclose, the differential (the difference between the blanket offer or cooperation and the dual/variable rate) but listing agents are not obligated to share the commission amount they will receive. 

Below are a few resources which will help explain dual or variable rates.  You should talk to your broker if you have questions or need some guidance when managing a dual or variable rate situation. 

CVR MLS Rule 6.5 – Dual or Variable Rates

NAR Code of Ethics (2024) – See Article 3, Standard of Practice 3-4

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  • 14-Feb-2024