There are many questions you should ask a real estate broker when deciding where to hang your license: what training they offer, what they offer in terms of support, what do they pay for and what do you have to cover out-of-pocket.
Most believe the first question to ask is what the broker split will be – how much of your commission check are you handing back to the broker for hanging your license with them (presumably to cover the back-office fixed costs.)
In light of the shenanigans taking place here in the Phoenix real estate market recently, the first question has to be how are the commission disbursements handled.
When a property closes the title company cuts the commission checks. If a broker’s policy is for the commission check to be made out to the brokerage with them issuing a check to you after the fact, don’t settle for the answer.
Ask if the title company can cut separate checks to you and your broker; your broker has the option of holding your check until the necessary paperwork has been filed, but the check is in your name and not that of the brokerage.
If the answer is anything but yes, move on.
At least one and possibly two local brokerages have gained some notoriety, either for floating the agents’ side of the commission for up to a couple of weeks or for having commission checks that could bounce for lack of funds in the account.
Don’t put yourself in a situation where that could happen to you.
Ask how the checks are cut. Demand a separate check cut by the title company. And if you can’t get it with the broker sitting in front of you, move to the next one down the road.