What Is A Broker Co-Op? Things Property Buyers And Sellers Should Know 

Are you thinking of buying, selling, or renting a house? You would most likely work with a realtor, real estate broker, or agent. It is almost impossible to seamlessly buy, sell or rent a house without any of these professionals. 

The realtor, broker, and agent are licensed professionals trained to help you buy, sell or rent your property. These professionals can also help you understand the difference between assessed value vs market value.

Though they are all trained to achieve almost the same results (buy, sell, rent), they are different. The difference is usually in their qualifications and their professional levels. 

When buying or selling a property, you need to know which professional you need, what they offer, and different terms that may arise—for example, a co-op broker. 

So, to the question:

What is a broker co-op? 

A cooperating broker is a third-party broker who finds a buyer for a property that another broker (the listing broker) is listing. In real estate, this type of transaction happens quite often. 

Brokers are always trying to find buyers for properties. It is of little concern to them if the property is under another broker’s listing. 

The listing broker and the cooperating broker usually come to an agreement that works. The cooperating broker gets a cut from the listing broker’s commission at the end of the sale. Sometimes, they might have a completely different arrangement. Whatever the agreement is, the cooperating broker gets a share. 

Continue reading for more!

Who Pays The Buyer Agent Co-Op Fee? 

The seller pays the buyer agent Co-op/commission. Usually, the payment comes from the seller’s profit after they have closed the sale. 

Due to antitrust problems, there is no fixed commission percentage in real estate. The rates may increase from state to state or decrease. For example, if there is a house for sale Tennessee, buyers and listing agents work for a 2.8- 3% commission. 

The Cooperating Broker Vs. Listing Broker 

The broker that helps another broker to sell a listed property is a Co-op broker. The broker who receives the help is most likely the listing broker. So, the selling broker (cooperating broker) finds a buyer for a property with a listing under a different broker (the listing broker) 

The listing broker has a signed contract with the seller. The cooperating broker doesn’t have a signed agreement with the seller, so they must go through the broker with the listing for the property to make the sale and get a commission. 

It is easy for cooperating brokers to expect commissions without prior agreement with the other broker (listing). If you’re a co-op broker, make sure you strike a good deal with the listing broker before the sale is concluded. It would make sense if you didn’t have expectations without an agreement. 

The broker would carry out the negotiations about a property under a listing broker. The cooperating broker shouldn’t negotiate with the property owner except with the permission of the listing broker. 

Other Terms Related To “Co-Op Broker” Commonly Used In Real Estate 

Real estate is broad, and it is easy to get confused by the numerous jargon used. To easily understand this post, here are a few real estate terms and their meanings 

Exclusive listing:

Exclusive listing is an agreement that gives an agent or broker the rights to sell a particular property or property within a period. This legally binding agreement is made with the property’s owner. Adopting a real estate CRM for listings can markedly improve the oversight of exclusive contracts, enabling a more systematic process in the conduct of property sales.

The property owner can make the sale if they find a buyer within the given period or beyond. When this happens, the broker or agent doesn’t get a commission. 


A broker is either an individual or a firm that represents someone. 

Real estate broker:

The real estate broker is a licensed professional who helps real estate buyers and sellers. They offer their services for a fee (commission). 

Seller broker:

The seller broker assists the owner/seller of a property find a buyer and negotiate for a commission. 


The subagent is similar to the cooperating broker. The difference is that the subagent is an agent, and the cooperating broker is a broker. 

A dual agent:

A dual agent represents both seller and buyer. Dual agents are usually real estate brokers or agents who work for the same real estate broker.

Is Being A Dual Agent Legal? 

Yes, it is. A real estate broker or an agent working for a broker can represent both buyer and seller in California. 

This representation is legal if and only if the buyer and seller are aware of the dual agency and are willing to work with it. 

The seller and buyer must give their written consent. The brokers are also expected to provide a disclosure form to ensure that the buyer and seller know the people involved in the transaction. The form also contains information on the buyer and seller’s agent duties and the agent representing both buyer and seller. 

Other states of the United States haven’t opened their doors to dual agency. 

The Benefits Of Using A Dual Agent 

When you hear dual agents, what comes to your mind first? Is it undercover agents or Spies? 

One of the reasons people find it challenging to trust dual agencies is because of the pictures the name conjures in their minds. To help with that and to enlighten you, here are a few benefits of using a dual agent: 

More Information:

The dual agent often has more information than a buyer agent or seller agent representing either the buyer or seller. The seller gives valuable information about the property to the dual agent, and because it is one person, it cuts short the information-passing process.

Shorter process:

The buyer has to works on offers with the buyer agent. The buyer agent would then send it to the seller agent, who would go through it carefully before passing it to the seller. 

Having one agent representing the buyer and seller would shorten the lengthy process. With dual agents, the agent may complete transactions in a shorter time. 

Reduced commission:

The dual agent may choose to minimize commission just because they would be collecting commission from both seller and buyer. 

Negotiating power:

This power is particularly for buyers. It is most useful when multiple offers are on the said property. It is easier for the dual agent to assist the buyer in making an offer that the seller would find irresistible. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Dual Agents? 

Like most things that are advantageous, using dual agents has its disadvantages. These disadvantages include:

No confidential information:

The California law prevents the dual agent from sharing certain information. So, if the reason you want a dual agent is that you think you would have access to certain confidential information, then think again. 

Divided loyalties:

The essence of having a seller or buyer agent is for them to help you get the best possible deals on your property. The dual agent owes this to both parties, which may complicate things. This complication comes from the question of who gets the most loyalty. Is it possible to be loyal to both parties? 

It creates ethical issues:

The dual agents might put themselves in an unethical position because they want to make a double commission. An excellent example of this is withholding useful information so a deal can go through. 

It may create legal issues:

These issues also stem from the fact that no matter how good the dual agent is, it may prove difficult to give both seller and buyer the best. 

If you have to sue, then you have only one agency or broker to sue. This situation means that only one insurance company would pay for damages if need be. 

Should I Avoid Dual Agency? 

The only time you should be considering dual agency is if you’re in California; if not, you may be committing a crime. Dual agency has its pros and cons. As a result of the complications that may arise from it, the California law on the dual agency is strict. 

The pros of using dual agents don’t outweigh the cons, so you should avoid them. Many of the reasons people choose dual agencies aren’t legal—for example, sharing confidential information. 

One of the only ways that using dual agents would be seamless and trouble-free is if both buyer and seller agree not to negotiate repairs, listing costs, closing costs, etc. And this would most likely not happen. So, it would help if you used a broker or agent solely focused on your transaction. 


Brokers, agents, and realtors make it easy for individuals to sell and buy properties. These professionals take their time to find the best possible deals for their clients because they are trained and legally bound. They also work for a fee (commission) given to them by the seller at the close of the sale. 

This post answers the question “what is broker co-op?” while giving helpful information on related topics. 



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