Have you ever wondered what the MLS field “Variable/Dual Rate” is really intended for? Spoiler alert: It doesn’t mean what most agents think it means!

The “Variable/Dual Rate” field is defined by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) as a form of compensation in which the seller agrees to pay a specified commission if the property is sold or leased by the listing broker without assistance and a different commission if the sale or lease results through the efforts of a cooperating broker.

It is not meant to disclose when the listing broker is receiving a different amount than the cooperating broker. If the listing broker is taking a higher commission rate than the cooperating broker, they’re entitled to. The MLS does not require that this be disclosed in the listing. It is the listing agent’s responsibility to disclose the amount of compensation offered to cooperating agents, however they are not obligated to disclose the commission amount they will receive.

Per NAR and anti-trust laws, an MLS can only require that commission is offered to its Participants. If there is a dispute regarding commission, then the parties must arbitrate.

MLS Rules & Regulations, Article VII states:

Article VII Division of Commissions
Section 7, Cooperative Compensation Specified on Each Listing

The listing Participant shall specify, on each listing filed with MLS, the compensation offered to other Participants for their services in the sale of such listing . . . MLS shall not have a rule requiring the listing Participant to disclose the amount of total negotiated commission in his listing contract, and MLS shall not publish the total negotiated commission on a listing which has been submitted to MLS by a Participant. MLS shall not disclose in any way the total commission negotiated between the seller and the listing Participant.

Still have questions? Continue reading MLS Rules & Regulations or email compliance@bmls.com.


Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale has merged with the South Broward Board of Realtors® to form the 3rd largest local Realtor® association in the nation. The newly combined association represents 33,000 Realtors®, 35,000 MLS subscribers, and 5 regional boards across South Florida & the Treasure Coast. For more info, visit RapbGflrMerge.com or contact Communications@rapb.com.

Receive News Alerts