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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Jason A Greller

What is a Variable Commission in Wisconsin and How do I Include that in My Listing Agreement?

A variable commission is an arrangement in which the commission rate paid to the listing agent varies depending on specific conditions outlined in the listing agreement. The most common situation in which a variable commission is used is when the listing agent ends up representing both the seller and the buyer (dual agency). In this case, the listing agent may agree to reduce the total commission since they are not sharing it with a buyer's agent.


To include a variable commission in your WB-1 Residential Listing Contract in Wisconsin, follow these steps:

  1. Review the standard WB-1 form: The standard WB-1 Residential Listing Contract provided by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing includes a section that addresses the agent's commission. This section can be modified to include a variable commission arrangement.

  2. Specify the conditions: Clearly outline the conditions under which the commission rate will vary. For example, you might state that the commission will be reduced if the listing agent also represents the buyer in a dual agency situation.

  3. Include the variable commission rates: Clearly state the different commission rates that will apply under the specified conditions. For example, you might state that the commission rate will be 6% if the listing agent shares it with a buyer's agent but will be reduced to 5% if the listing agent represents both the seller and the buyer.

  4. Obtain agreement: Make sure both you and the listing agent understand and agree to the variable commission arrangement. Both parties should initial any changes or additions to the standard WB-1 form to indicate their agreement.

  5. Complete the contract: Fill out the rest of the WB-1 Residential Listing Contract, sign it, and have the listing agent sign it as well.

It's a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney to ensure that your variable commission arrangement is structured correctly and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

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