1. All fees are negoiable. What a buyer should think about is whether the fee being charged is "fair" regardless of whether a practice is common or not.
2. Some brokerages are charging these fees to increase an owner's group profit. The agent who is handling that specific transaction may not even benefit from such a fee. Others are charging this fee for processing paperwork. A local agency begin doing something similiar in my service area. As a result quite a few agents in that office has since left.
In our market center we don't charge such a fee. As agents we actually set rules and policies for our market center. I could not hold my license at place where policies are determined without my consent. I guess that's one big difference with Keller Williams Realty.
John J. Reinhardt
RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
It's kinda sorta like that fee you pay to your mechanic called a "shop fee" - it's an overpayment per transaction for rags and hand soap - stuff around the shop. At a BMW dealer recently, one of my clients paid $35 for this fee alone. Whoa...
But that is beside the point. Do you love your Realtor? Is the purchasing experience reamarkable so far?
If so, pay the $195.00 - that's the way that their broker does business.
Either that, or make your agent pay it because they brought this completely minor and insignificant fee up to you so late in the game.
Win / win or no deal, Bc, a home buyer in Atlanta.
The real question is do you want to continue working with this agent? Have they provide you with useful information, shown you homes that works, and do you feel comfortable with them? Is the answer is yes ask the agent to pay the fee or at least split the cost with you. If you are not happy with agent or this has caused you to feel uneasy, it's time to move on and find a new agent to represent you. If you choose to find a new agent, remember to ask them at your first meeting if there are any fees that expect you to pay.
Best of luck in your house hunt!
It was Bc that never had agency or the Buyer's Broker Agreement expalined nor the $195 Administrative Fee brought up until a couple of weeks later... someone might need 'remedial - training'... ;-) Have a good day.
P.S. Just because a company chooses to spend marketing money on a corporate name, the client and agents should pay for it ? That's ridiculous when the agent is already paying a considerable percentage to the broker AND even more ridiculous to expect the client to pay for the companies marketing efforts. Hmmm , I'm not following the logic on this one regarding the reply from Grayson.
The $195 fee is not standard with a lot of companies, but there are a few in the area that have this and some are quite a bit higher. I'm a Coldwell Banker agent in the Atlanta area, and I'm not a big fan of the fee, but I do understand why it's there.
Coldwell Banker pays a lot of money for marketing and training and just conducting business. Brokers have to keep records for 10 years. They don't, however, have to make it easy for you to get to them should you lose yours. We do. 8 years after you purchase or sell a home, call the Coldwell Banker home office and ask for a copy of your records. Done, and quickly.
Coldwell Banker agents are easily the best trained agents in the area. Working with a Coldwell Banker agent should be a good experience for you, and will more than likely result in a lower price for you at the closing table, even with the $195 fee. There is a reason that I started with them and am still with them. I have more tools at my disposal than most. And I think it's a good thing that a corporate center sets policies. The "every man for himself by however he wants to do it" frame of mind is never a good thing.
Essentially, if I am helping somebody buy and sell, I eat this on both sides for them. I also make some allowances for this. But, I will let you know that if I don't charge it to my client, I have to pay it myself. Just a cost of doing business.
And the point was made earlier - is your agent doing what they are supposed to? Are they going above and beyond your expectations, are they merely adequate, or are you having a frustrating experience? If you are having a great experience, it's a small price to pay. If it's OK, then let your agent pay it, just tell them now. If it's the latter, then go ahead and find another agent. It's easy to kill a buyer-brokerage agreement, and once you sign one with a new agent, your current one goes out the window. And yes, I tell my clients the same thing. And if you have already looked at homes with your agent and used their gas and time, then you owe it to them to at least have the discussion with them. Fire them if necessary, but let them know why.
Hope this helps.
While I'm not aware of the practices of brokers in other parts of the country, here in Washington state, the fee is not common. While I understand the logic of it being used as a hook to keep the buyer from getting information from several agents, I don't agree with the philosophy and would recommend you negotiate it out of the buyer contract or purchase agreement.
My broker does not charge this fee and I would not work for a broker who imposed such a thing. I've heard of it and know it's common in some areas.
Some use this fee to weed out the looky-Lu's from serious buyers. I think it scares off more clients than it keeps good ones. I would negotiate this fee out of your agreement. That's the first line of defense in stopping a bad trend from getting started!
I agree that any brokerage fees in not normal in todays market place. Shop the maket place, Prudential Georgia Realty does not have any buyer brokerage fees.
PS: I bet your agent will eat the fee if you ask....
Malcolm Boartfield, ABR
Prudential Georgia Realty
Actually I work for Coldwell Banker in NC. We do not charge any transaction fees. So as for national companies doing this that is not a nationwide deal. Yes I understand and know what the fee is for. I just know that we do not practice this here in the triad.
Coldwell Banker Triad
It seems a little "uncommon", in the Atlanta market, to charge an upfront fee IN ADDITION to asking you to assure a commission to the agent at closing. I am assuming that your agreement covers the agent for a stated period of time for any house you buy during that specific time.
From the way you stated your question it seems that you did not know in advance of receiving the buyers brokerage agreement that there would be a fee attached. I would be disappointed if my realtor did not tell me upfront that I would be expected to pay an additional fee. That would be my next conversation with the realtor. Your buyer's agent should be someone you can trust to be upfront with you and hand you no surprises. You don't want to go through the house hunting period wondering what else your realtor is neglecting to tell you.
Joyce Ray, Realtor
Yes I know of alot of agents that are charging "administration fees" or whatever they refer to it as. In fact a prior company that I worked with charges $395 for Buyer Agency agreements, and collects it at the time that the Agency agreement is signed. It was to make sure the Buyer was serious about purchasing a property. Especially if the agent would be putting in alot of time and effort to find what the Buyer wanted.
It was split between the agent and the company at closing.
Now, that being said- I have never charged an administrative fee on either my Buyer Agency agreements or with my listings.
So, as the other agents have said, if you feel that your Realtor is doing a good job for you, and you want to work with them, you may have to pay it if it's their Company policy. Otherwise, see if it is negotiable or interview other agents.
All the Best to you!
We charge a broker administration commission to all our clients ($294.00). It is common practice in our marketplace (Minneapolis) but the fees vary by brokerage. All commissions are negotiatable so discuss it with your agent.
Michael Doyle Realtor
We all have fees associated with working with clients but some of the larger national companies, the ones that aren't actually owned by Real Estate people, charge these and the agents pass it along. Also, it's become somewhat of an en vogue thing to do. Those practicing the Craig Proctor system also do this, sometimes to the tune of $500.
On one hand, kudos to those agents skilled enough to get a buyer brokerage signed and get money. On the other hand, I think it's pretty tacky and frankly pathetic that they haven't found a better system or have to pass the cost on to the buyer.
If you have a high octane, powerful Realtor, then it's $200 well spent, otherwise, RUN!
Seriously, I pay the fee and stay with Coldwell because of the tools and support I get. The fees get ridiculous sometimes, but like I said, it's a cost of doing business. And yes, it is "audacious", but again, Coldwell Banker can get away with it. I have had this same discussion with my broker, and the outcome is simply "it is what it is." Which is why I decide to pay it myself.
Sorry, Ramiro, I wasn't attacking you earlier. I was agreeing. And to me, I am a great agent, and being with a big well-respected name like I am just makes it that much easier for me to get into the door and prove it.
I will say that I usually pay it for my clients. There are some factors that influence this decision, but it's a cost to me of doing business.