The Difference Between a Referral Fee and A Finders Fee

Under New York State Law a person may not be paid a referral fee on a real estate transaction unless he or she holds a real estate broker’s license. The one exception to this rule is that attorneys licensed to practice law in New York may perform any function that a broker may perform and thus are entitled to receive a fee as a referring broker on a real estate transaction.

A finders fee is a different matter. The finder does not hold a real estate license as either a broker , associate broker or salesperson. The finder must have introduced the purchaser to the broker who  subsequently purchased the property through the broker or the broker’s agent. The agreement between the finder and the broker must be in writing and the finder must not participate in the negotiations that led to the purchase.

Contact The Law Office of William J. Reinhardt, Jr. if you have additional questions concerning referral fees or finders fees. I may be reached by phone at 718-377-8880 or by e-mail at

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