B-174625, JAN 17, 1972

B-174625: Jan 17, 1972

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ALLOWS REIMBURSEMENT AT THE BROKER'S COMMISSION RATE CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE IS LOCATED. REPRESENTING 7 PERCENT OF THE SELLING PRICE OF HIS RESIDENCE WHICH WAS SOLD FOR $24. WE HAVE HAD THE OCCASION TO VERIFY INDEPENDENTLY THE RATE OF THE BROKER'S COMMISSION FOR THE STATE OF COLORADO. WE WERE INFORMED BY THE DIRECTOR. REQUIRE THAT THE ALLOWABLE BROKER'S COMMISSION RATE BE THE SAME AS THAT WHICH IS CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE IS LOCATED. WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH.

B-174625, JAN 17, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - BROKER COMMISSION RATE DECISION ALLOWING A CLAIM BY MR. A. M. JOHNSTON FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT ALLOWED AND THE AMOUNT PAID ON A BROKER'S COMMISSION ON A SALE OF RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(4), ALLOWS REIMBURSEMENT AT THE BROKER'S COMMISSION RATE CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE IS LOCATED. SINCE THE RATE IN THIS AREA RANGED BETWEEN 6 AND 7 PERCENT, THE 7 PERCENT RATE PAID BY MR. JOHNSTON MAY BE REGARDED AS THAT CUSTOMARILY PAID. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

TO MR. C. H. LUCAS:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1971, REFERENCE 375, REQUESTING OUR ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER OF MR. A. M. JOHNSTON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION.

THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $249 REPRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A 6 PERCENT BROKER'S COMMISSION ON THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE, WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN ALLOWED, AND A 7 PERCENT BROKER'S COMMISSION WHICH MR. JOHNSTON ACTUALLY PAID AND ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AS AN EXPENSE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, TO HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON MAY 18, 1971, THE EMPLOYEE AGREED TO PAY A 7 PERCENT COMMISSION TO GALE & CO., REALTORS, FOR THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE AND THAT ON JUNE 28, 1971, AT SETTLEMENT, HE ACTUALLY PAID $1,743 TO GALE & CO., REPRESENTING 7 PERCENT OF THE SELLING PRICE OF HIS RESIDENCE WHICH WAS SOLD FOR $24,900.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT OF THE SIX LEADING REALTORS, INCLUDING GALE & CO., IN GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, FOUR CHARGED 7 PERCENT AND TWO CHARGED 6 PERCENT AS BROKER'S COMMISSION ON THE SALE OF CITY PROPERTY.

RECENTLY, WE HAVE HAD THE OCCASION TO VERIFY INDEPENDENTLY THE RATE OF THE BROKER'S COMMISSION FOR THE STATE OF COLORADO, AND WE WERE INFORMED BY THE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, DENVER, COLORADO, IN A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1971, THAT SUCH RATE RANGED BETWEEN 6 PERCENT AND 7 PERCENT DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF 1971. SEE B-174022, DECEMBER 28, 1971.

THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5724AA)(4) AS IMPLEMENTED BY SECTION 4.2A OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, REQUIRE THAT THE ALLOWABLE BROKER'S COMMISSION RATE BE THE SAME AS THAT WHICH IS CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE AREA WHERE THE RESIDENCE IS LOCATED. SEE ALSO B-165200, SEPTEMBER 23, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED.

IN LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING AND SINCE THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY PAID AT THE RATE OF 7 PERCENT, SUCH RATE MAY BE REGARDED AS THAT CUSTOMARILY PAID IN THE LOCALITY DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.