Can a broker charge a transaction fee for a listing and a termination fee?

Asked by Trulia Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL Fri Nov 16, 2012

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John Bourassa, Home Buyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fri Nov 16, 2012
Brokers can charge whatever they want as long as those fees are disclosed up front.

Because of the constantly increasing cost of doing business (whether it is owning a brokers office or running any other businesses, small or large) little fees or large fees seem to pop up everywhere in the course of operating a business.

Brokers fees (commonly nicknamed "transaction fees") were implemented in the early 90ies (maybe before) and became very popular in the half part of this millennium's first decade During the plunge of real estate sales from 2006 - 2011 when many brokerage firms, large or small, were forced to close down branches or even go out of businesses entirely. That period is also when those fees increased so brokers could recuperate some of their losses to stay afloat.

The "Termination Fee", on the other hand, is usually associated to listings only. For example: When an agent takes a listing of six months and three months later a seller decides to terminate the listing for whatever reasons, the listing Realtor has already spent three months of marketing that property (cost for advertising, flyers, fuel to and fro to show that listing, time wasted, etc.). So compensation - "Termination Fee" - is not unreasonable to demand but as long as such "termination Fee" is already disclosed in a specific amount in the Listing Agreement.
3 votes
Chad Gray, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Thu Nov 22, 2012
Trulia-initiated question.
0 votes
Jeff Holloway, Agent, Sebastian, FL
Wed Nov 21, 2012
Yes. As long as it is disclosed.
0 votes
Joseph J. Mi…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Mon Nov 19, 2012
I have never charged either. If a broker can not sell your house and you fire him or her why should you pay a fee for their non-performance? And if you pay a commission why would you pay anything over that? Shouldn't the commission cover the admin fees?
0 votes
Antonio Vega…, Agent, Saint Cloud, FL
Mon Nov 19, 2012
They are distinct of each other. Transaction fees only happen if the listing gets sold, termination fees if you break the listing contract before it expires. You will not have to pay both fees for the same transaction. Not all brokerages have transaction fees.
0 votes
Iliana Ivano…, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sat Nov 17, 2012
Both transaction and listing termination fees are legal as long they are disclosed in writing in the agreement between the broker and the client ( buyer or seller).
0 votes
Marsha Umans…, Agent, Tamarac, FL
Fri Nov 16, 2012
Each fee is a legitimate fee in itself. The transaction fee is a fee charged on a completed transaction to cover certain administrative costs. The termination fee is charged in case of an early termination of a listing, when there is no transaction. I do not see how one can justify combyning the two and charging them simultaneousely, if this was your question...
0 votes
Meir Aloni, Agent, Plantation, FL
Fri Nov 16, 2012
As long as it was disclosed and it is part of Buyer Broker Agreement, I'd have to say YES....

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