B-166764, MAY 21, 1969

B-166764: May 21, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT ALREADY REIMBURSED AND THE 10 PERCENT BROKER'S FEE WHICH HE PAID. YOU SAY THAT THE NORMAL BROKER'S COMMISSION IN THE STATE OF OREGON IS 6 PERCENT. WHEELER WAS UNABLE TO SELL HIS RESIDENCE THROUGH AREA BROKERS WHO ADVERTISED LOCALLY AND THAT HE SOLD THE RESIDENCE THROUGH THE BROKER CONCERNED IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE SALE WITHIN THE 1 YEAR ALLOWED BY SECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56. 5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (4) PROVIDES THAT "REIMBURSEMENT FOR BROKERAGE FEES ON THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE * * * MAY NOT EXCEED THOSE CUSTOMARILY CHARGED IN THE LOCALITY WHERE THE RESIDENCE IS LOCATED.'. WE HELD THAT A BROKER'S FEE WAS NOT REIMBURSABLE TO THE EXTENT IT EXCEEDED THE FEE NORMALLY CHARGED IN THE AREA.

B-166764, MAY 21, 1969

TO MR. REED H. JENSEN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1969, YOUR REFERENCE 6540, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER OF MR. EUGENE E. WHEELER, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, TO REIMBURSE HIM AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR THE REAL ESTATE BROKER'S FEE HE PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AT HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM ENTERPRISE, OREGON, TO SALEM, OREGON, IN APRIL 1968.

MR. WHEELER HAS BEEN REIMBURSED THAT PART OF THE BROKER'S FEE HE PAID WHICH DID NOT EXCEED 6 PERCENT OF THE SALE PRICE OF HIS RESIDENCE. THE VOUCHER PRESENTED IS FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT ALREADY REIMBURSED AND THE 10 PERCENT BROKER'S FEE WHICH HE PAID. YOU SAY THAT THE NORMAL BROKER'S COMMISSION IN THE STATE OF OREGON IS 6 PERCENT, BUT THAT THE BROKER WHO SOLD MR. WHEELER'S RESIDENCE CHARGES A 10 PERCENT FEE BECAUSE HE ADVERTISES HOMES FOR SALE ON A NATIONWIDE BASIS. FURTHER YOU INDICATE THAT MR. WHEELER WAS UNABLE TO SELL HIS RESIDENCE THROUGH AREA BROKERS WHO ADVERTISED LOCALLY AND THAT HE SOLD THE RESIDENCE THROUGH THE BROKER CONCERNED IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE SALE WITHIN THE 1 YEAR ALLOWED BY SECTION 4.1D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56.

5 U.S.C. 5724A (A) (4) PROVIDES THAT "REIMBURSEMENT FOR BROKERAGE FEES ON THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE * * * MAY NOT EXCEED THOSE CUSTOMARILY CHARGED IN THE LOCALITY WHERE THE RESIDENCE IS LOCATED.' SECTION 4.2A OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 CONTAINS A SIMILAR RESTRICTION. IN THE DECISION B-165200, SEPTEMBER 23, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED, WE HELD THAT A BROKER'S FEE WAS NOT REIMBURSABLE TO THE EXTENT IT EXCEEDED THE FEE NORMALLY CHARGED IN THE AREA, EVEN THOUGH THE HIGHER FEE WAS CHARGED TO EXPEDITE THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE.

UNDER THE CITED AUTHORITIES, MR. WHEELER MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CUSTOMARY 6 PERCENT BROKER'S FEE AND THE FEE HE WAS REQUIRED TO PAY. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.