Like you our company never changes such a fee and agents who say it's to cover desk cost or E&O are either confused or misleading their clients as the money goes directly to the franchise they work for.
If the majority of buyers and sellers simply took their business elsewhere these fees would vanishin less than 6 months. As long as their foolish enough to pay them they'll be around.
As agents we charge each other for items that lack value.
As agents we allow business to charge us for services that lack value.
As agents we charge each other for those introductions that have no material value.
It is transparent this question is NOT about ethics of augmenting revenue through goof ball fees, but to promote a brokerage that pretends to not add fees to a transaction. So, is a fee considered 'hidden' if it in reality was simply 'forgotten.'
Business models vary within this business. To declare one faulty while another is righteous is a bit silly, especially considering the forum (guilty of chronic misrepresentation) you have chosen to express you unhappiness. That is what is so great about real estate, the consumer had demanded and has received a wide spectrum of options from which to chose the right solution for their problem.
Some choose DIY.
Some choose pay as you go.
Some choose discounters.
Some choose flat fee.
Some choose part timers
Some choose newbies
Some choose establshed agents
Some choose full service
Some choose attorneys
And each may present a unique fee schedule. Hey, I found exactly the same thing at Best Buy when I looked into buying that new computer. Yes, I wish I could avoid being targeted by all those fees, but it just the way business is today. We don't have to like it. AND the consumer can ALWAYS SAY NO!
They don't seem to have a problem with that from my experience.
In the event customers refuse to pay these fees, what is the likelyhood of the agent being left holding the bag for this money...my guess is, pretty good.
I think is question is in appropriate.
However, if you want to work for me 40 hours per week for $10 per week salary with no benefits, I would interview you.