B-165200, SEP. 23, 1968

B-165200: Sep 23, 1968

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WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE IN JULY 1968. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE REAL ESTATE BROKER'S COMMISSION PAID BY MR. FOUTZ WAS BASED ON 8 PERCENT OF THE SALE PRICE OF HIS RESIDENCE RATHER THAN THE MORE USUAL 6 PERCENT OF SUCH SALE PRICE. FOUTZ INDICATED THAT THE 6 PERCENT RATE WAS "MORE OR LESS STANDARD FOR A THREE OR SIX MONTHS EXCLUSIVE LISTING. THE RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE 8 PERCENT RATE IS CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE WAS LOCATED AS IS REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (4) AND SECTION 4.2A OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE BROKER'S COMMISSION AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 6 PERCENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS PRESENTED.

B-165200, SEP. 23, 1968

TO MRS. NEDRA A. BLACKWELL:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1968, YOUR REFERENCE 360, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER OF MR. F. ELMER FOUTZ, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, TO REIMBURSE HIM THE REAL ESTATE BROKER'S COMMISSION HE PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER FROM BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA, TO BOISE, IDAHO, WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE IN JULY 1968.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE REAL ESTATE BROKER'S COMMISSION PAID BY MR. FOUTZ WAS BASED ON 8 PERCENT OF THE SALE PRICE OF HIS RESIDENCE RATHER THAN THE MORE USUAL 6 PERCENT OF SUCH SALE PRICE. IN A STATEMENT TO YOU MR. FOUTZ INDICATED THAT THE 6 PERCENT RATE WAS "MORE OR LESS STANDARD FOR A THREE OR SIX MONTHS EXCLUSIVE LISTING," BUT THAT HE AGREED TO THE 8 PERCENT RATE "TO SPEED UP THE SALE OF MY HOUSE AND GET MY AFFAIRS IN ORDER TO MOVE QUICKLY.' THE RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE 8 PERCENT RATE IS CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE WAS LOCATED AS IS REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (4) AND SECTION 4.2A OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56.

THEREFORE, REIMBURSEMENT FOR REAL ESTATE BROKER'S COMMISSION AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 6 PERCENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS PRESENTED. HOWEVER, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT TO REIMBURSE MR. FOUTZ FOR REAL ESTATE BROKER'S COMMISSION HE PAID NOT IN EXCESS OF 6 PERCENT OF THE SALE PRICE OF HIS RESIDENCE, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.