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 RE: New Thread - CARTUS

Created by:
John DuPriest, Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Penryn,  CA

Date: June 21, 2011, Number of Replies: 33

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Has anyone had any experience with CARTUS?

I am listing a very nice country home in the $695k range. The male owner is taking a job with G.E. in Texas who is paying to move him to Texas. Out of the blue I received an email with a contract attached informing me that;

"CARTUS Corporation, a licensed Real Estate Broker in the state of Connecticut is referring the above Customer to you (me), a licensed real estate broker/agent in the area of the proposed real estate transaction. In consideration for the placement of the referral by CARTUS and by your signature below you accept this referral and agree to pay CARTUS a referral fee of 40% of the 'Action side' of the gross commission received by your firm."

And if the customer generates another transaction within 18 months of this one I owe another 40%!

"In consideration of for the placement……."?!!! I have known these Sellers for eight years, I represented them in the purchase of this home seven years ago. THEY contacted ME as I knew they would. But I owe a finder's fee to CARTUS?!!

Any experience with these guys?

John F. DuPriest

Realtor®, Lic #527627 e-PRO

Keller Williams Realty

548 Gibson Dr. Ste 200

Roseville, CA 95678

Direct: 916/933-2185, FAX: 916/663-9366


Full time Real Estate Broker in the greater Sacramento

area and the beautiful Sierra foothills since 1972.

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Sandra Locastro Licensed Real Estate Agent,  Asheville,  NC

Date: June 22, 2011

I have had the same thing happen and tried to fight at the corporate level but were unable to get anywhere with getting this dropped. Also had to do a new status report basically a CMA every 2 weeks. It is not fair that even if you were not referred by them they want a referral fee.

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Amy Barron Licensed Real Estate Agent,  Lexington,  KY

Date: June 22, 2011

I am closing a relocation deal with Cartus on Friday... my client is taking a job with G.E. in South Carolina. I have known my client for several years and have done several deals with him in the past but that didn't seem to matter to Cartus. Their stand point is either you give us the 40% or we'll force the seller to list with an agent who will give the 40%. If the seller refuses to list with an agent who will participate with their program then Cartus takes away their relocation package and benefits.

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Ruth Gabbard Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Honolulu,  HI

Date: June 22, 2011

6/212/2011 @ 1L01 AM HST


@John DuPriest
Has anyone had any experience with CARTUS?


Aloha John:

I don't have any experience with nor have I ever heard of CARTUS, but your question about paying a referral fee for an existing client ("after-the-fact referral fee)" has been asked before on RT.

I have never been asked to pay a referral fee for a client I am working with but since I saw this topic discussed so many times before on RT, several years ago I added a clause to my contracts that addresses this specifically.

Our clients agree that any referral fee has to be disclosed upfront AND a separate referral agreement has to be executed if a referral fee is to be paid. This won't help you this time, but contact me offlist and I will be happy to provide the verbiage just in case there is a "next time".

With Warmest Aloha,

Ruth A. Gabbard (R), CRB, CRS, SRES, PB
Gabbard Hawaii Properties |
Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii
808-534-1850 | 877-ALOHA HI (256-4244) Toll Free
Agent2Agent Referral Network

Contact Me Online

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Carolyne L Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Serving Brampton ON Canada,  --

Date: June 22, 2011

I had a similar situation in 1987. Yes. That far back. The client worked for Manulife. Major firm that referred clients from and to various cities. The sellers had contacted me because I had done business with them previously.
Suddenly a relocation company was in the picture. At that time I worked for a nationally known real estate company (prior to opening my own boutique operation). The real estate company felt they had to honor the referral (35%) at that time because national head office did do business with the relo company. Their concern was that any action/reaction I might have, personally, could endanger their contract with the relo situation for other clients.
I thought otherwise. It was not a happy ending. I was given the choice of "giving up" my client and the office manager would assign another office rep to the file, or agreeing to pay the referral fee. I already had the house listed and was beginning the marketing process when I was notified. Had to pay the relo fee. Wanted to keep "my" sign on the lawn because it was in the heart of my trading area, where 60% of my business came from.
A few years later, after having opened my own company, I stopped doing business "referred in" by relo companies altogether. The paperwork (that no one seemed ever to read) generated by the relo companies was in the range of multitudes of reports and was not worth taking on. I continued to generate my own private referrals through various corporations and did "all" their relo work for years. Later, many of the companies closed down or left town permanently. Different market, different times. One of which was K-Mart. I had generated that account myself, and did all their local relo's for head office from 1982 until 1998 when they left our area permanently. They never used a relocation company for their head office buys and sells. I loved having those kinds of accounts. And on those, no referrals were ever orchestrated.

Here is another odd situation associated with that particular client at Manulife. Prior to my doing business with them previously, they had worked with another agent. When I listed their house at that time, the agent they did business with previously really got his nose out of joint and said I was doing business with "his" client... did I know that? And that I would owe "him" a referral fee when that house sold. Ya think?
Oh, my - your post brought back vivid memories. Let us know how this turns out.

Carolyne L
Serving Burlington and Brampton ON CA
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Bob Weibler Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Russellville,  AR

Date: June 22, 2011

I've dealt with them. They can't FORCE your client to work with someone else.

The last one I had was for a buyer who had already contacted me, and I'd already advised and shown some homes. CARTUS called and told me they wanted a 40% referral fee. I told them that when we do referrals, I expect about 25%, and that I wasn't even sure I'd do a referral with them. They agreed to a 30% referral, but I talked with my buyer, and he said it didn't affect him in any way, and that I should tell them to "jump in a lake" (not his exact words!). Bottom line - I sold them a very nice house, and didn't pay an extortion fee to anyone!

Hope this helps!


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Carolyne L Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Serving Brampton ON Canada,  --

Date: June 22, 2011

Carolyne L
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Catherine Myers Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Pleasant Hill,  CA

Date: June 22, 2011

As Ruth said, yes, this subject has been the focus of several hot topic threads over the years. I don't know the answer. All I know is that no matter how long term my clients, if they enlist me to sell, and they are moving "for their job," "being relocated," or just in general say the word "relocation…" I ask questions. I have many clients who work for big companies that move people in and out of my area all the time i.e. Chevron. If any call and say they're "relocating" I automatically know I have to ask about their benefits and who is handling their move. You may be able to fight it, but often their relocation benefits will be at risk if they don't relocate per their corporate policy and use their appointed relo company to manage the details.


Catherine Myers | Broker Assoc

DRE License #01337828

Windermere Bay Area Properties

1981 No Broadway, Suite 120

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

CELL (925) 683-2125

FAX (925) 465-1593




Description: WRE_email

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Beth Larsen Licensed Real Estate Agent,  Sedona,  AZ

Date: June 22, 2011

Yep. They are the referral arm for Cendant Corp (dba C21, Coldwell Banker, ERA etc). They rebate a portion of that fat 'referral' fee to the client, so that's where your problem lies. Good Luck.

I sure don't miss them.


Beth Larsen, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CDPE, CNE, RECS

e-PRO Certified Internet Professional REALTOR®

RE/MAX Sedona * 2290 W SR 89A

Sedona, AZ 86336 * Office: 800-282-4166 x252

Direct/Cell: 928-284-2501 Fax: 877-282-3808

Website: www.Move2Sedona.com

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Date: June 22, 2011

Cartus is a well known relocation company, who many view as necessary evil the relocation business. Unfortunately when a corporate client accepts a job with one of the Cartus clients, you are forced into deciding whether or not you want to play ball. Your client(the seller) is required to use Cartus or lose their benefits. You might be able to negotiate the referral fee, so that the referral might be less than 40%. By the way they will also ask for regular reports. The only good thing is they only make money if you sell the house, so they also have a vested interest to help you convince the seller that you need a reduction, staging, spruce up, or whatever it takes to sell the house.

Good luck.

Raymond B. Wolkind, CRS,GRI, ePRO

Broker Sales Associate

RE/MAX of Princeton

343 Nassau Street

Princeton, NJ 08540




(609)216-7070 (direct)

(609)216-7071 (E-FAX)

Serving the Princeton real estate area since 1985

Editor's Note
 We have had many discussions on the topic of after the fact referral fees. I found this thread using the Search feature on RealTown.comhttp://www.realtown.com/community/RealTalk/view/00DT9I
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Betty Henderson Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Ocean Isle Beach,  NC

Date: June 22, 2011

John, welcome to the world of RELOs. You can refuse to pay the "referral" fee, but then CARTUS will find another agent who will. In order for your sellers to receive their company's relocation package, they have to work with CARTUS. FYI, you will also most likely have to complete an ERC form every few weeks, send copies of your ads, etc. I have never worked with CARTUS, but have worked with other Relocation companies. However, I have never paid more than 35% referral fee on the listing side or the selling side depending on the client.

Betty Henderson

Real Estate Connection

Sunset Beach, NC

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Date: June 22, 2011

Cartus is a very well known facilitator for companies involved in transferring and relocating employees. They contract to provide very extensive relocation services for these companies and are responsible to them. Large companies have found it more convenient, efficient, and economical to contract with an outside company for all of their relocations. In this case, GE is undoubtedly paying for all the associated costs and entitled to employ whoever they wish to facilitate the relocation. I personally think 40% is very high but it is certainly common. In many ways the whole referral game has gotten inflated - but it is what we have been dealt.

Robert W. Reece, Certified e-Pro Realtor�
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
100 S. Federal Hwy
Boynton Beach, FL 33435

561-512-3242 Direct
561-732-9875 Fax

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Brian Fossa Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Albuquerque,  NM

Date: June 22, 2011

Bob, et al,

Yes, they can force your clients to work with someone else, if they want the relo benefits (depending on the company, they can be substantial). Often, the relocating company is kicking in, but if you decline their fees,, they will definitely steer them to another agent, already signed up for a 40% referral, where they can recoup a substantial chunk of change. If you don't believe it, attempt to sign up for the Cartus Relo program. 1st thing you will sign will be a 40% referral agreement. Had several clients say "We love working with you, but our relocation specialist (Cartus rep) said we have to use a Cartus approved broker" . Game over!

Brian Fossa

Broker-Associate, e-PRO, CDPE

RE/MAX Elite

(505) 331-6743 "Sell" Phone

(505) 798-1000 Office

(866) 830-8280 Fax


logo mls

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Deede Wockenfuss Licensed Real Estate Agent,  Chandler,  AZ

Date: June 23, 2011

"Yep. They are the referral arm for Cendant Corp (dba C21, Coldwell Banker, ERA etc). They rebate a portion of that fat 'referral' fee to the client, so that's where your problem lies. Good Luck."

There is not a chance in hell that I would part with 40% of my commission in this market, especially if they are ALREADY your client. I would let the seller know that the relocation company is asking for 40% and, that in today's economy, you will have to pass, unless they waive their share of the 40%. I see NO REASON to go to the expense and trouble of selling a home in today's market - only to let the seller have some of your paycheck. Let them know that you do not give your permission for a commission rebate, at your expense, and see if they are still willing to list with you. If not, your value to them is obvious.

Deede Wockenfuss

Designated Broker

CybrSold Concepts

Chandler, Arizona

602-291-2368 Direct

888-877-3710 Fax


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Ed Hain Licensed Real Estate Broker,  Walnut/Diamond Bar,  CA

Date: June 24, 2011

Cartus is still around !?!?!? I thought we ran that pack of rats out of town a long time ago!!!! In any case, when they come calling just say "No" or, better yet, "Hello No."


Dirty Ed Hain

The Dirtseller

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