Carlos Lagos, Home Buyer in Cape Coral, FL

I have been viewing homes with a realtor, never disclosed is a $295 broker's fees now being charged to me, the buyer separate from the contract.????

Asked by Carlos Lagos, Cape Coral, FL Sat Jun 15, 2013

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41
Jesse McGreevy 239-898-5329’s answer
FYI...agents that eat the fee out of the commission feel they are not providing the value you deserve. I love closing deals when people are so happy with my efforts they send me a bonus thank you check in appreciation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
I still wish this thing and a LIKE button, Robert you are dead on accurate!
Flag Sun Sep 1, 2013
You just insulted 100's of great Realtors with your opinion. I eat our company's fee, merely as my gift to the consumer. Generalizing and insulting other agents to look good is a sad approach to generating business Jesse. I know handfuls of outstanding agents who pay their company's fee as a gesture of decency to their client. It in no way represents their "value". That's just silly.
Flag Sun Sep 1, 2013
John - I gave an example and was in no way trying to defend or justify transaction fees. I do understand a lot of brokers charge these fees and personally I wish they weren't allowed to but I don't make the rules.

The 25k condo was an example however feel free to check our MLS and you will see I listed a condo several months ago that was a short sale and I did indeed negotiate the commission for handling it. I didn't seek out the listing - the seller sought me out due to my short sale skills. The selling price was 27k.

You will also see over the last year I represented buyers that purchased condo's under 50k which still doesn't give me thousands of dollars on a single transaction. I personally prefer handling single family homes but will help most anyone requesting my assistance which is why I took on the 27k short sale listing.

You are 100% correct about the 25k listings now being non existent which is truly a wonderful thing for homeowners as well as real estate agents and if we are all fortunate we will never again experience what we went thru over the past several years.

Again, I personally hate transaction fees and wish they didn't exist but the buyer that posted this question obviously worked with an agent that gets charged the fee by their broker. Bottom line is the fee should have been disclosed up front and now the buyer has been put in a bad situation that could easily have been avoided.

My point to you was real estate agents do NOT make thousands of dollars on every transaction. The general public sometimes thinks we do but this is simply not true. In reality anyone that has been in this business any length of time will have stories about buyers that looked at numerous homes and never bought so sometimes we have invested a great deal of our time showing homes and at the end didn't make a nickel.

Thumbs up Pacita - you gave an excellent answer!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Thanks for the compliment :)
Flag Sun Jun 16, 2013
This is interesting.....in one of your replies, you said you signed/nitialed a document at the time you were writing an offer. Please look at that document again and see if it binds you to future offers and for what period of time. Is there a buyer broker agreement as well?

Some agencies do charge for a transaction fee --- but most of the agents I know absorb that cost and don't pass that on to their clients.

If this fee is gnawing, grating at you, and it is damaging your relationship with your agent, make him aware of your discomfort and dissatisfaction. Perhaps he will absorb that cost to keep peace, and to keep you as a client. Otherwise, this relationship is damaged because you now have a certain distrust in how this brokerage operates.

Good luck to you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
The broker fee is there being you are using a real estate agent to represents you who has a broket that has to keep your records.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 8, 2013
I cannot remember seeing a deal closed where there was not a "broker's compliance fee" charged to both the buyer and the seller. Interestingly enough, I think that the fee has always been $295 too. At least it has been on my side. I remember that right when I started in Jan of 2006 the office manager was reinforcing to the agents that the fee was not $295 instead of $245.

This fee has not changed in 7 years. Consider how much everything else has increased since that time.
Web Reference: http://plymouthhomes.tv/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 7, 2013
Dear Carlos,

In regards to "broker transaction fees", these fees are designed to offset the cost to the broker for added paperwork and document storage in connection with governmental regulations, including those dealing with flood zones, radon gas, and lead-based paint.

Florida requires brokers to keep records of all residential transactions for a minimum of five years. These fees are totally legal, very common, and have been "accepted and understood" by about 98% of consumers (you can verify this percentage by going to NAR's website and researching this for yourself). Good luck!


Regards,

Therese A. Clapp, Licensed Florida Realtor® MBA
GRI, ABR, SFR, AHWD, REPM
BROKER Associate

Century 21 Sunbelt Realty, Inc.
725 Cape Coral Pkwy W
Cape Coral, FL 33914

Main C21 Office: 239-542-8611
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 7, 2013
These fees should be covered in the commision that an agent/brokerage charges. In my opinion client's should not be paying a commision based on percentage plus additional transaction fees.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
THESE ARE JUNK FEES THAT BUYERS SHOULD REFUSE TO PAY!

They are equivalent to all of the junk fees that used to be attached to mortgages by the broker and by the title company. I have **never** paid this type of fee anywhere else in the country!

I just bought a home in the Cape. The fee was never disclosed to me, either, until I received a contract for me to sign to make an offer on a home. I REFUSED TO PAY IT!

I bought a $350K home, the $10,500 commission is enough to cover any fees. There is nothing that is "transaction based" that requires a "per contract" fee - like doc stamps, etc.

THIS IS ALL A NORMAL COST OF DOING BUSINESS - OVERHEAD - THAT THE OWNING BROKER AND AGENT SHOULD PAY FOR OUT OF THEIR COMMISSIONS.

I am a Finance Professional, with an MBA. I am a former VP at a Finance Company, and a professional investor who has purchased many, many homes over a 30+ year period.

Refuse to pay these fees. If they are presented late in the game, - at the offer stage - strike it out. Refuse to sign an offer with the fee included. Then complain to the owning broker - not just your agent.

Or go elsewhere, to someone who does not charge junk fees! You have the power when you have teh cash - you are the customer shopping for a service.

Successful agents/brokers should not need to add in meaningless "junk fees" to make a reasonable profit!

How about:

"Stapling fee", "Cell phone fee", "Clothing fee", "Tire wear fee", "gasoline Surcharge." etc. All just normal business overhead.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Robert, very good answer! Love the statement "You sound like the type of person who wants to make a lot of money investing, but has a problem with others making a living." Unfortunately we do have to deal with these types making for an unpleasant experience. I do agree that with a substantial commission an agent can pay these fees themselves but that is determined on a case by case basis. For instance: The purchase of a $10,000 lot would provide the buyers agent with a $300 commission with $295 to the Broker leaving the agent with $5. Would this Finance professional put in hours of work for $5?
Flag Tue Apr 15, 2014
If you are so experienced, then you should know not to generalize fees. You seem to lump any fee that is outlined as a junk fee, as something that is sinister. Some view surveys and a processing fee as a "junk fee". They can all be lumped into one fee if that makes you feel better, but itemizing them in no way makes them some kind of a bad fee. You sound like the type of person who wants to make a lot of money investing, but has a problem with others making a living. Stop generalizing and scaring consumers into thinking fees are a bad thing. The government regulates us, not you. Your statement that you have never paid fees anywhere in the country simply is not true. You say a fee was introduced to you before making an offer, but then later claim that it was "offered late in the game". And you suggest folks complain to their Broker, who is the one who set that fee? For a finance professional, your advice is suspect, and rude. If you don't like paying fees, don't pay them.
Flag Sun Sep 1, 2013
One of the reasons why I stopped working for a large national brokerage was they forced me to charge my clients $199 file storage fee, and charge me a $249 transaction management fee and above all that they collected 6% of every dollar I earned just for the franchise name.

Find an agent that works for a broker with none of those required fees....we are much happier agents to work with.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Hi Carlos,

In Florida this is becoming a very common fee but it should have been disclosed somewhere in your contract documents. My recommendation is to check your documents very closely. Many agencies use a "contract to closing" document that lists all of the commonly known expenses associated with the buyer's side of the transaction.

Ask your agent to show you where/when this "broker fee" was disclosed to you. If you don't get information that you feel is acceptable, the next consideration is deciding whether or not you are willing to pay the additional $295.

I agree, it does feel like a "cheap shot" when brokers surprise customers with what many feel are "junk fees."

Stand your ground but don't put your transaction at risk over such a small amount but it's the principle of the thing especially when there was no notification or awareness.

Best wishes,

Bill
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Hi Carlos

If you would like to work with me, I do not charge this fee to my buyers or sellers.

My broker charges it, but I pay this fee on behalf of my clients.

Your agent should have disclosed this information to you before starting to look for properties.

I am always here and happy to help

Debbie Stack
239-677-7186
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
I'm with John. Transaction fees are just another money grab. As a broker I do not believe in charging transaction fees & feel that if more money is needed to be made then more real estate must be sold.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Horray to a Lady who is not afraid to speak her own mind! I wonder why it (the broker fee) is a line item in the standard contracts? At least that last one I had it was listed. Also the broker wants to keep 50% of deposit on sale if buyer just decides to not to purchase due to a personal reason or the like. I had never heard of this amount going to a broker before. Any comments on that one?
Flag Mon Apr 14, 2014
In our area, such a fee is unheard of. You are under NO obligation to pay it - UNLESS of course you have signed something to the contrary. If an agent, or a broker, is going to charge someone something extra, it should be disclosed at the very beginning, especially if it is not a universal practice in your area.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
I am not sure if your asking a question or just venting about being charged a fee, but I understand where you are coming from. I have never understood why agents feel the need when we are being fairly paid to stick another fee on top of their commission. Yes, we are usually charged a fee by our real estate brokerage, but that does not mean that we have to pass the fee along. What's even worse is that because it is such an awkward thing to be bring in casual conversation, "hey I know I am being paid thousands of dollars to help you purchase a home, but when we find the right one for you, I'm going to stick an extra fee on that I don't feel like paying to my broker myself", most just never say anything about it. I have had buyers for my listings hold up closings over undisclosed fees. If they never told you about it, demand it be taken off. No matter what they tell you, you are not obligated to pay it unless you have signed something saying you would. If they are willing to lose a valuable client over a$300 fee, then there are plenty of other agents out there who will be more than happy to help you.

John Martin
Sun Realty
239-246-3004
jrmartin.mig@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Hello Martin,
Thank you so much for your information.As it stands, the initial offer was not accepted; after some negotiation an accord has been reached that we have to approve and initial. Yes, in the heat of the moment I agreed to pay the fee ( initialed the form which by the way, was a separate form; not on the sales contract) however; the sales contract has not been effectuated since I still have to approve the changes. No deposit has been made, no money has exchanged hands. I still feel I should not have to pay this extra fee as it was never explained to me before showing me any properties. Thanks for any input!
Flag Sat Jun 15, 2013
It is not a fee charged by the Realtor but it is charged by the Broker. It sounds like your Realtor did a good job and was able to find what you were looking for. Good luck on the transaction.

jessemcgreevy@gmail.com
239-898-5329
http://www.Domain-RealtyGroup.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
I agree with you that it looks like you've been blind sided by not having this fee disclosed to you up front. It is very common in Florida to have these fees charged to the buyer and seller. But they are set by the Broker of each company, not the agent.

There are companies that do not charge these fees. My husband and I (both realtors) actually switched to our current Broker 2 years ago and largely the reason we picked this Broker to move to was because the Broker/Transaction fees are not charged. We personally had a hard time justifying this fee to our customers while we were at the old Brokerage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2014
Broker fees are not common in South Carolina but then again we are not as heavily regulated by the government as some other states as mentioned below. When the government puts more red tape and costs on the brokers, it usually gets passed on to the consumer. Instead of blaming the broker, write your congress person.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2014
Brokerages charge transaction fees and other fees. It is up to the agent to charge it back to their clients.
I personally pay it on their behalf , I believe that if there is going to be a fee, it should be disclosed before.
Vivian I Hyzdu
Fort Myers-Cape Coral Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014
That does not sound legitimate to me. I live in New York and realtors here compete for clients to show homes absolutely free of charge. Most of the time they drive you to the showings in their own car. They cant charge you for showing real estate, they make a commission from their sales. I would report this situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 19, 2014
Our brokerage does not charge additional fees for services. I negotiate a lot of short sales and have been seeing additional fees such as these being charged by realtors. I can understand both sides of the argument if a short sale is involved. With short sale properties, a lot of the times contracts fail etc because of the banks, buyers backing out etc. The short sale process can be tedious for the listing agent and take a lot of work and a lot of months only for the contract to fall through and leave the real estate agent with a lot of time invested for free. Still, I still never charge these additional fees. I feel this is the nature of short sales and the fact that I negotiate them is my choice and I should understand the nature of the beast.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 26, 2014
That should have been disclosed to you up front and in the exclusive right to represent contract you signed. I would read through that first and then discuss nit with your agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 7, 2013
Our Brokerage is one of few that do not charge brokerage or transaction fees. But in the defense of many Brokers that insist on charging these fees many will either wave them verse lose the sale or some very dedicated real estate agents will actually pay these fees out of their own pockets.

But to avoid any confusion it might be worth your wild to ask up front in the very beginning before you have a realtor show you house number 1 if you will be charged anything from that their brokerage.


Vicki Biehl, Realtor
941-628-6144
Biehlsells@gmail.com
http://www.Charlottecountyhomesales.com
Century 21 Aztec & Associates
“No Transaction Fees”
SMARTER.FASTER.BOLDER.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 16, 2013
Justin,

In an earlier comment, Carlos stated that the written disclosure was made when preparing an offer. So it appears that it was disclosed. The issue appears to be the clients dissatisfaction with the agent not verbally discussing their company's fee before going to make an offer.
Personally, I don't charge this fee.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 12, 2013
Carlos,

What is shocking is i haven't read any replies with regards to DISCLOSURE! The fee is negligent the question is DISCLOSURE. If the agent did not Previously DISCLOSE this fee; first, that is unethical and unprofessional second, you would not be required to pay this fee , because of NO DISCLOSURE (your buyers agent would have to eat it not matter what), 3. In 2009 U.S. District Court came down hard on these type of fees ruling that so called “add-on” fees violated federal law. And the real Kicker is:

HUD is now looking at the legality of these fees, especially in view of the new RESPA regulations which became effective January 1, 2010. The revised HUD-1 has line items where the commission charges can be listed. HUD has taken the position that if the total commissions exceed those quoted on the realtor’s listing agreement, then HUD would have the power to review the extra charges. If little or no services are performed to support the “add-on” fees then HUD would treat the additional fees as a RESPA violation.

Hope this helps...view more of my expert advise at http://blog.houseguy.org/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
Just to clarify the last response Carlos, Realtors can give you a credit or waive the fee. Lender credits come with higher rates. The higher the credit, the higher the interest rate you will pay. Dollar for dollar, you will be better off asking them to waive/pay that fee. If you take a higher interest rate to simple cover a small Realtor fee, you will end up paying thousands more over the course of your new loan. I am both a Realtor and Federally licensed Mortgage Broker, so I asure.you my advice is accurate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
But again, you are suggesting that he try to target a lender credit to pay a pretty small fee. This, economically speaking, is bad advice. He will pay for that credit for a much longer time, and over many years. We all know that lender rate sheets are relatively close in terms of rates and credits. But the bottom line is that lower rates can cost, and higher rates can come with a credit. Bank A, and Bank B maybe vary by small margins, but this is in fact how pricing works. No matter how you slice it, if he is wanting to cover that Realtor fee by getting a lender credit, then that means he would pass up a lower rate that was available to him to get that credit. If he wants to cover that fee with a lender credit he will pay much more than the actual fee. The easiest advice is to just ask the agent to pay it. That is what I would do. I certainly would never encourage him to pay the fee himself by taking a lender credit, which means he would lose the lower rate.
Flag Sun Oct 6, 2013
Carlos, Not all lenders will raise the rate to give you a credit. We are direct lenders and our rates with credits often beat other lenders without a credit. To be sure, shop around. I am confident if you check with me, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Flag Fri Sep 20, 2013
Carlos,

Like all said here, the fee is negotiable. It is automatically included and if you don't complain, then there it is!

Lenders can give you a credit to offset this fee and many other fees. If you thing the agent has done a good job so far, stick with them and find a lender with low enough rates to give you a lender credit without jacking up the rate.

Ray Stevens
Branch Manager
239 481-9514
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
Carlos, legally you don't have to pay the fee if you didn't agreed to do so.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 16, 2013
Many real estate companies charge a fee.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 1, 2013
For profit companies can require fees that they determine will help them run their business successfully. Consumers have the right to choose which company they desire to work with, and are able to negotiate fees. The government regulates the industry to protect you. Some companies charge a fee, some don't. Some clients are ok paying it, and some aren't. All of this in no way makes the company evil, with wicked intentions. Nor does it make you a jerk for taking the position that you prefer not to pay that fee. The only real problem here is that your agent should have shown you the respect of telling you about the fee earlier. A lot of agents just eat the fee and never mention it. But I can't state clearly enough that no matter what anyone says, that fee is not "bad". Is a $25 steak wrong, if another restaurant charges $10? Its all relevant, and embodies the capitalist framework of our nation. But Carlos, you are totally right for voicing this concern because it was a surprise to you. And that should be your position: "sir/ma'am, I appreciate your hard work, and understand your company has fees. But not telling me about it up front so that I could properly estimate my costs puts me in the position to have to refuse to pay it. Fair is fair". Carlos, they will pay the fee. Good luck to you sir. I hope you make a great buy, and welcome to my beautiful little town.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 1, 2013
Your Realtor has hopefully worked hard for you....done a great job and allowed you to find the perfect home. The Broker....not the Realtor charges the fee. The Realtor works for free if they never find what you are looking for. The Realtor takes their time and costs (fuel, vehicle, ridiculous carrying costs) and dedicated themselves to helping you. Have you ever paid 200 for a nice dinner? Did it last 1 hour? How much time did your Realtor invest in you? More than 1 hour? 295.00 will seem like a bargain if your Realtor was a good agent. I save my customers a lot of money because I am knowledgeable and experienced and can provide what it takes to take the best care of my clients.

It is all relative.....I can go out and hire a contractor right now for lowest cost.....and the job can be botched and horrible. Not worth it right? Cleaning up the mess will double or triple your cost. Well....considering a home purchase is one of the largest transactions an individual makes throughout their lives....what is 295.00? I would rather pay someone an extra 295.00 on a 1k job if I knew they were good. 295.00 on a purchase from 100k to 100 million.....come on....speaks for itself.

If someone provides no value....different story. You provide me no value.....no pay. Thanks for playing.

jessemcgreevy@gmail.com
239-898-5329
http://www.TheDomainRealtyGroup.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
My broker gives us the option to charge the $299 fee, but I usually pay it out of my commission. I believe that a buyer already has enough fees and closing costs to pay for when buying a house, so I provide that as a bonus for my clients and pay for that fee! Jelena Foskey 239 357 8969
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
This is surely a tough subject. Like the brokers say, "Everything is Negotiable."

As a Century 21 Agent we are required to charge this or it comes out of our pocket. Each office has a different policy and commission structure. Depending on the price range of home I am selling, this can be easily worked into my cost as a service to the customer.

We sometimes offer this discount for the opportunity to help a consumer reach their goals. This should always be your agents #1 priority. Helping people buy and sell a home for a specific purpose. As well as, giving them the best experience you can.

Yes, this is a fee that should be disclosed up front to all home buyers and sellers. It is considered a processing fee in our company. It typically, has nothing to do with the agent you are directly working with.

I have seen other companies charge much more than this fee.

I truly hope my answer helped with this discussion. Have a Beautiful Day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
My office has a form for buyers to sign if the agent elects to charge the buyer, This is given to clients upon first meeting or showing property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 28, 2013
An additional comment that I left in a reply below:

One reason these are "junk fees" is that there is nothing specific to this transaction - this purchase offer - that raises the cost to the Agent. Instead, it covers a base cost - fixed, overhead - cost of doing business.

With a Mortgage Loan, for example, you need to "pull" a credit bureau report for each application, so there is an incremental $15 charge, etc. Those types of fees at least make more sense on a "per contract" basis. They are a direct pass-through of a transaction based cost (although they could still be covered out of commission on a certain size loan or higher.)

This fee is not "volume based" in any sense. If you close 1 deal, you charge $295. If you close 10 deals, you charge $2,950 to cover **the same base charges**?? If you close 100 deals, you charge $29,500 - but the fixed overhead charges remain the same?

Where is the logic in covering "overhead" in that charging scheme?

I *can** understand a similar "pass through" of cost on lower price property, as discussed below. A 3% commission on a $5k lot amounts to $150. If you have a client that wants to look at certain properties, I could see disclosing - day 1 - that you would need to add a "fee" to cover your costs on similar properties.

And as someone mentioned below, you always have the option of not working on a certain type of business if you can't make a go of it! That would force commissions to be more rational in some areas of the market. It would be great to see certain types of sales (auction.com anyone?) be required to pay a **reasonable* commission to the agent if the industry boycotted the low end jobs. ;>)

Cheers!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Hi Carlos
As you indicated it is a Broker fee being charged.
The broker is providing office space, forms, desk, computers, phone, internet, web sites, print outs for the Agent or Realtor to use.

While it should have been disclosed, it is mute now in the event you have signed the contract.

Check if you have a Buyer Broker agreement as that makes it binding on your end.

Good luck
Perry
Web Reference: http://Ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Wow, it's nice to see such a highly charged argument on both sides! Terry, I have to absolutely dissagree with you on the points that you made regarding the need for these fees, and in fact the same points made by others. The first thing we should address: the $25,000 condo buyer! While we have all seen this person in the past, and might even still hear a question about our ability to secure such a transaction, show me the last $25,000 condo you have closed. Show me the HUD where you were forced to take such a meager commission. You can't because they don't exist. Not unless your farming that area and even then you have to be farming a very specific area to consistently do any business in the $25,000 range. If you ever do, I'll put you in contact with a broker who takes less money from you because they are not greedy. If you have, and I have, worked on groups of land than you would have worked out something regarding the fee you would get for securing that contract. If you didn't, I'm dissapointed in you. The next thing, all of the properties you had to show them in the $25,000 range. You could cover the entire MLS and still have plenty of gas in the tank. The bottom line: if your not satisfied with what you are paid you should not expect to bill your client for it. You make the decision to work with someone and if you feel they are worthy of a level you are preforming on, don't work with them or find a broker that doesn't charge YOU a transaction fee.

John Martin
Sun Realty
239-246-3004
jrmartin.mig@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Those are fees charged by the Broker not the agent. They MUST be disclosed or you have no contract to pay them. The problem is that is you refuse to pay then the agent that has been helping you gets stuck with paying that extra fee to their Broker, a financial punishment. Your best option is to ask your agent ahead of time what fees will he or the brokerage charge for the "buyers service". But in your case, since it has you are not under contract, yet you may. Tell the agent you will not pay for the fee and let them decide if they want to continue working with you. Find an agent that works for a Brokerage that has no such fees. Ask the agent to include the fee in the contract cost to the seller.
Was this answer helpful? If so please click on the "green thumbs up" or the "best answer".

Tony Vega
Antonelli Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
This is a common fee however you are under no obligation to pay it if it wasn't disclosed to you up front. I do disagree with John Martin in regards to agents making "thousands of dollars". This is simply not always the case. I don't cherry pick my customers - I have represented buyers and sellers with transactions as small as $6,000 vacant lots, $25,000 condo's and all the way up to million dollar homes. Our commissions are based on the purchase price of the property and the commission amount negotiated with the seller. As an example say you are purchasing a $25,000 condo and the commission being offered to the buyers agent is 3% that results in a commission to your agent of $750 so if their Broker charges a $295 transaction fee and the agent pays that fee on your behalf they are now down to $455 which is a far cry from "thousands of dollars". Then lets consider how much time your agent spent working with you...did you view 15 properties with your agent prior to finding the right property? Also, don't forget your agent spends time handling the paperwork, attending the inspections etc... Depending on the situation and the price of the property your agent might have been lucky enough to cover the cost of the gas used. Obviously on a more expensive property all the numbers change. Any agent can waive the fee to you and pay it them self if they work for a Broker that charges this fee but it isn't always feasible for them to do so depending on the circumstances.

If you are buying a property where the agent is making a decent commission request that they pay the fee on your behalf and remind them it should have been disclosed to you up front. If they refuse to do so then you must decide if you want to lose the home you chose over $295. If you choose to lose the home and find another real estate agent discuss how they handle fees such as this when you first speak with them so you won't have any future surprises.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Thank you! The sales price is $110k, he has taken us to view homes on 4 separate occasions all within one week. My problem is that he did not disclose this broker's fee until we were sitting at the table writing-up an offer and on a completely separate sheet, not on the sales contract...
Flag Sat Jun 15, 2013
Hi Carlos,
You stated that this agent has already been working for you, showing you homes. I would recommend discussing the fact that you don't believe that you should be charged this fee. They may decide to pay their broker's fee out of their commision. If you're happy with the work your agent is doing, see if you can work it out.

Best of luck,
Nancy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
The buyers agent charges the buyer because the agents broker charges them. Its a ttansaction fee. Very very common.
Carolyn
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
I also found this in regard at http://floridarei.com/broker.php
BROKER FEES:
A recent trend has been for real estate brokers to add fees for themselves in addition to their commission to the contract.
These are often described as "processing" or "handling fees" and are assessed by the listing broker against the seller, and even against the buyer!
Because many brokers print up their own contracts with these fees included in the "boiler plate," the parties may not be aware of them. But when they sign the purchase and sale contract they are also contracting to pay these fees. The parties should carefully review the contract, and if you do not agree to pay these additional amounts, delete them from the contract.
Flag Sat Jun 15, 2013
Thanks for the reply. I guess I am somewhat miffed that this was never disclosed until the offer was made...I was always under the understanding that the seller pays any and all broker's/agents fees.
Flag Sat Jun 15, 2013
Without more details it's difficult to address this issue. I know that sometimes, on a short sale, there is a fee charged to the buyer for a negotiator. It is charged by the listing agent, not the buyer's agent and you can choose to either agree to pay the fee or find another home. Not sure if that is what we are discussing here or not, however, in these types of sales it is not unusual, not common but not unusual either.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
This is a "junk fee" that is common in the Cape Coral area. I have never seen this fee *anywhere else** in the country - Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, etc.

Supposedly, it is a "pass through" of Broker franchise costs, etc. What are usually a normal cost of doing business.

My other objection is that it is not "volume based." If you close 1 deal, you charge $295. If you close 100, you charge $29,500?? Where is the logic in "overhead coverage" to that? There is nothing that is a "per transaction" cost that justifies a "per transaction" fee.

The first time I saw the fee was when I got an offer via email to sign (contract) to be presented to the seller. Bad, bad, bad policy. Especially on a $350k home, with a 3% commission of $10.5K!!

Cheers!
Flag Mon Jun 17, 2013
I am in Cape Coral, Fl. This is not a short-sale, foreclosure, distressed sale. It is a normal sale to which after viewing homes I presented an offer. As part of the myriad of pages initialed and signed; came across a single page stating a $295 broker's fee to the agency...it is not in the sales contract nor was it ever disclosed to me until the offer was made.
Flag Sat Jun 15, 2013
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