Home Buying in Las Vegas>Question Details

cindi_ashrise, Home Buyer in Orlando, FL

I am buying a duplex, and my realtor just announced he's charging me a $225 transaction fee. Is this normal?

Asked by cindi_ashrise, Orlando, FL Sat Nov 30, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


It's common in Las Vegas for agents/brokers to charge a $495.00 +/- transaction (junk) fee. Talk about punishing the client! The fee is offensive. Where is the value to the client?

We ran into a similar situation a number of years ago, before I was licensed. The agent sprang the fee on us as we were signing the offer. We said we wouldn't pay it. The agent wagged his finger at us and said he'd waive the fee the first time, but if we ever wanted to do business with him again, we'd have to pay it.

It was a perfect plan! We went on to do eight more transactions without him.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013
All of the things you describe are the cost of doing business.

You mention that someone has to pay for E & O insurance for the buyer. I haven't heard of a separate policy for buyers, so maybe it's unique to Las Vegas.

I truly do believe that when a client hires a Realtor, there should not be a transaction fee on top of what the Realtor and Broker make in commission. When I worked for a big brokerage that decided to charge the fee, I left and went to work with a different broker.

It is unclear as to what connection you think there is between me stating my opinion and personal experience and agents not showing my listings. I simply disagree with a fee and called it a name you don't like.

It's clear that you're unhappy with my opinion and chose to lash out and accuse me of being unprofessional. It is your right to do so regardless of the fact that your claim is baseless.
Flag Wed Dec 11, 2013
I dont know about CA , but in Vegas it is not a "junk" fee. Here were are required by law to have the buyers file backed up and in storage for 5 years, someone has to pay for E and O insurance for the buyer, store records for the buyer in case he needed years down the line to sue.Someone has to pay the the staff to do all of this...this all benifits the client and is even designed for them. Its agents like you that takes the professionalism out of Real Estate. That comment yo made "talk about punishment" seriously that will not get you more business but your peers arent going to give you respect. You need to be educated on professionalism.....seriously getting on a public forum with thousands of Realtors and you stepping on toes with your opinion, Agents would start learning , "dont show her listings" Yeah punish the clients cause we will be able to help him win a law suit because we have every form he put his name on.
Flag Wed Dec 11, 2013
It is very common here , because there are certain things required , such as storing the buyers file for up to use to be 7 years but now 5 years. It helps to pay the staff to put it all on cd and pay for storage. If a buyer doesnt pay it , it comes from our commissions. People think cause they see a 6% commission that is what we get. The agents usually split the 6% which gives them 3%, then out of the 3% they split what ever is agreed upon with the Broker, then most have a franchise fee to pay out of the split (our franchise fee is 6% of our commission. Then the Broker has the Broker fee for the storage of your files etc. Once the Agent gets his/her money there is not a lot of money there. So why should a Realtor be expected to pay for something that only benefits the buyer. That file that is stored could come in handy to the buyer if he ever had to sue for some reason. HOWEVER...if you are not made aware of this fee as you are signing the duties owed , which I do both forms together, your agent should pay for his own mistake.

Hope this helps understand the fee a little better.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 2, 2013
If I were you I would ignore the negative tones of some. This is an open forum and it is in your best interest to ask any question you may have about real estate. That is the only way to learn. Many of us including myself would never discourage you in participating in this forum. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

To some it all up for you here are the highlights.

-transaction fees are very common in Vegas right now.
-not every brokerage charges a brokerage fee (most do but not all, and some time cheaper doesn't mean better)
-sometimes the transaction fee is a set amount for every deal that goes through that brokerage.
-sometimes the transaction fee is on a sliding scale depending on the purchase price.
-sometimes agents can waive the transaction fee or pay it out of their own commissions.
-sometimes you can get a discount on the transaction fee if you do several deals through the same brokerage.
-there is no "standard" transaction fee

So as you can see there are a lot of variables and each brokerage has their own policies in regard to transaction fees, but I would not be alarmed by a $225 transaction fee.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards,
Robert Adams
The Adams Team at
Rothwell Gornt Companies

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2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013
Thank you for your reply Rockinrealtor, but I must respond by noticing that your first sentence said a transaction fee "IS NOT an additional commission" , as if I was intimating that it was. I only mentioned "transaction fee." I'll wager that it may be easy to forget that we consumers are not savvy to all the ins and out of real estate transactions, and don't even know what certain terms mean. I am a first time buyer, and had never heard of this. It doesn't mean that I have a bad attitude about paying it, or begrudge the realtor or broker their right to charge it. You wagered wrong by assuming that I didn't ask or read what I was signing, or that I wouldn't re-read my contract afterwards to catch anything I may have missed. My realtor admitted that he completely forgot about it, and because I was unaware of it's existence or what it was for, I posted this question on line. If you realtors are really talking back and forth to yourselves through me, it sounds defensive and a bit angry. Please remember that many of us homebuyers are new at this, scared of what we're getting into, and putting our life savings on the line. Just looking for info, not trying to step on toes.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013
I gave you a thumbs up because I think what you pointed out is something many agents miss - we often assume consumers understand much of the "realtor talk/lingo" we use - ie - terms and expressions. Many don't take the time to really explain what the process is, or what the terms mean. You were right to question this "surpise" charge/fee, whether it is considered to be a commission or a transaction fee doesn't (in my opinion) matter, as it is something that should have been disclosed to you ahead of time. I am curious how your agent will handle this. Please let us know! By the way - not that it matters to you, in Las Vegas, but in NJ these fees are not typical at all.....not sure if they are typical in the northeast as a matter of fact, but....when in Rome...etc, etc.
Best wishes to you with your purchase!
Flag Tue Dec 10, 2013
Hi Cindi:

It sounds like you do not feel the agent informed you about this fee when you chose him. If this true, check your written agreement with the agent. If it is not outlined there (or, for that matter, if you have no written agreement), then simply inform the agent and your closing company that you absolutely will not pay a fee manufactured out of thin air at the last minute.

Ron Rovtar
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Real Estate of the Rockies.
Boulder CO
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Diann and Debra: Good luck with the name change. It has gone pretty smoothly here in the Denver/Boulder area. And it has been received well by clients and potential clients!
Flag Tue Dec 10, 2013
We are supposed to be changing over as well in just a few more months. My problem is, so far I can't remember the name at all!
Flag Tue Dec 10, 2013
ahhh see you have your "new" name already (switched over from Prudential). We are still waiting to find out what our new name will be - the part after the "BH Home Services", that is. It's a mouthful!! But our name won't change until Spring 2014, so will just have to wait and find out then!
Flag Mon Dec 2, 2013
This is normal and usually disclosed in the contract - so I doubt that he just sprung it on you. If your agent is using a standard GLVAR agreement from the Las Vegas Association of Realtors, then look at page 8 line 46. It should be there that it is checked and stated how much it will be. Almost every brokerage charges these fees and it is usually passed along to the buyer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
I just checked my contract line 46 was checked BUYER WILL NOT PAY BUYER'S BROKER ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION. There was a $500 transaction fee on the revised (final) HUD, it was not on the original HUD at signing. Per title rep they don't have my money so I should contact the broker, they paid it because it was on broker's commission instruction. Is this right? I never signed any agreement for this fee. Should I get the money back from title or from broker?
Flag Sun Dec 22, 2013
If he forgot then you should not have to pay it. It must be disclosed ahead of time, not after the offer is made.
Flag Sat Nov 30, 2013
Yes, he did just spring it on me, apologizing for having forgotten about it until now. This is happening in Orlando, Fl, and he admitted that he hadn't yet passed on any form for me to sign regarding this fee.
Flag Sat Nov 30, 2013
Can we move on from this already . Some will charge , some won't charge, so what , next question please.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2014
yes this is quite normal nowadays. The brokerages charge the fee. Not the realtor. And if they don't collect it from the buyer. They will collect it from the realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 2, 2014
In NV, it is normal and is legal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 28, 2013
Hi again, Cindi,

I hope you can tell that most agents tried to answer your question respectfully. You were smart to ask online and hopefully you got the issue resolved with your agent who freely admitted he forgot to tell you in advance. Mistakes happen, and it can be easy to forget something if you are particularly excited about a home you want a client to see. (The good agents can get very passionate about locating a great home for a client!) It sounds like he was honest with you about his error.

Local customs are different in every area, but it looks like the additional fees are very common across the country now. Though you can see by some of the reactions that this is a sore point for many agents? Most of us hate this extra charge - remember the agents don't get it, it goes straight to the brokerage. And we have to pay it if the client doesn't. (Though I understand why the brokerages charge it - costs have gone up over the past five years while revenues have plummeted.)

Just as a matter of interest, I do have to correct RockinRealtor. Even though many of us in the industry call this a transaction fee ourselves, the Nevada Real Estate Division has officially determined that this fee is, in fact, an additional commission, no matter what it is used for. Many agents in Nevada don't even realize it. I can't speak to the policy in other states, though.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013
Transaction fee is just additional commission. That should have been discussed when you were hiring your buyer's agent.

I have explained it in my blog post that I have linked in web reference below.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013
In my opinion the transaction fee is a legitimate expense to pass on to our clients especially if the agent is not getting full commission. I would have disclosed it to you up front . It should never be a surprise after you are in contract . The amount in California is more like $350.00 so $225.00 doesn't sound too bad . I don't think your agent is being unreasonable.

All the best to you, Julie
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 2, 2013
Transaction fees vary per brokerage. They have increased and become more popular since the prices of homes have dropped so much since the crash.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 2, 2013
There is no such thing as "normal" but this should have been worked out in the beginning of your working together. The broker will charge this fee to your agent if you don't pay it for E&O insurance and keeping files for up to 7 years. There's a good chance your agent is not getting paid the full amount on the commission because of current market conditions so this fee would be very expensive to your agent if he/she has to pay it. Matt
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Just to add to the conversation.......that kind of fee is NOT the norm in my area in NJ (outside of NYC)............and, if it were, I can't imagine enforcing it if the consumer was not made aware of it from the start of the business relationship!

Personally, I don't take kindly to surprise fees added after the fact - no matter what the service is I am paying for.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Your area median home price is 2 to 3 times at least what Vegas' that's why. Different world in Vegas they don't have real estate lawyers and close in 2 weeks
Flag Mon Dec 2, 2013
Each area of the country is different, but in Las Vegas, almost every brokerage charges a transaction fee. (There are a few small mom and pop companies with only a couple of agents that don't, but they are few and far between.) Most range between $295 and $395, but I have seen them as high as $950. It is part of our standard purchase contract in Las Vegas and signed off on at the same time as the contract is written.

Keep in mind that usually these fees are a company policy, and if the buyer or seller does not pay it, the agent has to. The agent is not usually receiving any portion of this fee. If your agent is good, it is usually money well spent to get the best ones!

Hope this helps!

Diann Tonnesen
Prudential Americana Group Realtors

The Tonnesen Team - with over 30 years of experience helping families call Las Vegas "home!"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Good day Cindi,
In Nevada, a Broker fee is typical. This is a fee that the is the profit for working with an agent in the company. Consider it the cost of acquisition of the property. As a rental property, the fee is deductible to you and may lower your tax liability.

By NV state law, the documentation for your transaction must be kept for at least 5 years. I am sure it is similar in all states. The storage portion of the fee pays for the cost of the storage and retrieval. We call it a storage and documentation fee. Due to RESPA regulations, if a Broker charges the fee, it has to be collected on every transaction. Sometimes the Client will pay, sometimes the Agent will pay, it will be paid by someone.

Did you complain about the costs that your lender charges and tell them you will not pay them?
Do you complain about the shop fee or recycle fee to have your car repaired?
Do you complain about the table fee when you visit a restaurant?
Do you complain about the fee to visit your doctor?
I hope you get the point by now?

These fees are to help keep us in business. We have costs just like everyone. The people that use our services, pay the costs to keep us in business.
As a simple exercise, add up the total number of hours that the Agent has been involved in working with you. Include travel time, research time, document signing time, after closing time completing the documents and getting keys. Look to see how many dollars they received. Divide the $$/hours to get the hourly wage.

Please report back and let us know what the you paid the hourly wage of the Agent you worked with. Compare that wage with what it takes to get your car repaired ($125/hour) see a doctor ($175 for 1/4 of an hour), call a repairman to fix your plumbing ($90/hour), talk to your attorney ($250/hour) , or any other professional assistance.

Don't look at it as just another expense. The Broker/Agent you are working with did their job in locating you a property meeting your needs. The Broker/Agent was also instrumental in getting the offer accepted. Your Agent will also go with you when you go to closing to review the documents before you sign them to be sure they are correct.
I have spotted incorrect addresses, parcel numbers, sale price incorrect, spelling of names, and lots more issues in documents that I review for my Client. I go to every signing with my clients. You should expect your Agent to do the same.

The Broker/Agent deserves to be paid by you and not stiffed out of the Broker fee.

If a Broker is paying to train, providing insurance, providing an office, fax, computers, office staff, etc., to the Agent, the Broker has to make a profit. This is the same as a delivery fee or dealership fee, or prep fee, when purchasing a new auto. A portion of the Broker fee will be disclosed as the profit portion.

A Broker fee should be disclosed at the time of meeting. This is a cost of doing business with the Broker. The consumer (Buyer/Seller) should be provided the choice weather the cost to do business with the broker is warranted.
A Broker fee is not allowed on some transactions such as when the Buyer is getting a VA loan. Someone else pays it and not the Buyer.

Typically, there is a disclosure signed when the contract is is signed outlining the fee. If the Agent forgot, then you did not sign it, and you are not responsible for the fee. If you signed the disclosure, then shame on you for not reading it. Pay the fee.

I agree with the past comments. If the Agent forgot to mention it, I suggest you forget to pay it at closing. End of story.

Have a great weekend. I wish you well in being a landlord like myself.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Yes that sounds fair you can also let them know you had a friend who didn't pay anything
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Yes it Normal....Most charge more than that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
It depends on the brokerage.

However, that should have been disclosed up front--when you signed a buyer's agreement with the agent. It shouldn't just be sprung on you at the end, if that's what happened.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Let me guess....Coldwell Banker? I never understood why some companies charge this fee. (it's probably not your agent's decision, but a company policy).

When I worked at CB, they charged a $199 fee. Most agents ate that fee themselves because they felt uncomfortable charging their clients for it.

I'd tell him you're not paying it, and he can pay for it out of his commission!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
That is true, it is negotiable. I would first start by telling them that you don't plan to pay it and see what they say. This fee is not the norm in Illinois.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
In Las Vegas , most of the real estate brokers charge both buyers and sellers a transaction fee. The amount varies from different brokerages. It is negotiable and you can discuss the fee with your agent what fee coveres .

Rena Levy
Realty Executives Of Nevada
702-992-7754 direct
Web Reference: Http://www.cvegashomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
For some it is; for others, no.
You could try and negotiate the fee or asked to be referred to another agent/company.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Well, it really depends on what you think is "normal". Some agents feel it's normal to charge, some don't. However, it's always better when buyer's agent don't charge a dime to the buyers. What I usually do for my buyers is "abnormal"... I don't charge them any fees, in fact, I refund some credits to them so they can be HAPPY BUYERS!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2014

Many agents do charge a fee to their buyers. I do not charge my buyers a transaction fee - I pay this $295 on their behalf. The seller pays a commission to both agents, which is in my opinion a fair amount of money. I don't see a reason to pass on a fee to the buyer.

For those of you out there still looking for an agent, please consider my services.


Angela Brasser, ABR, CRS
Prominent Realty Group, LLC

(702) 460-2515 Talk/Text
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2014
As a Military spouse and REALTOR for nearly 20 years in several different cities in which we have lived, EVERY single brokerage I worked for AND various brokers I closed deals with, charged this fee. I've seen it range from $199 on up to $995 and charged to both buyers and sellers. IT is however illegal to be charged to a VA buyer UNLESS the seller is paying enough in closing costs to cover this fee. But many real estate firms do NOT let the agent keep the money. The broker will keep it and if the agent doesn't collect it, then the agent has to pay the broker out of their own pocket. Car dealers are charging this fee, Lawyers are charging this fee and there is a "specific form" that the Las Vegas Division of Realtors came out with called "Broker Compensation Notice And Invoice" that was created just for these fees. So yes, it is quite common here in Vegas.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 23, 2014
Hello Cindi,

This is happening all over. Many brokerage offices are charging these rediculous fees to Buyers when they are being compensated by the Owner of the property through the Owner's Listing Broker. As a Broker myself, I don't think it's right to do this. What the agent is trying to do is offset his own office fees (having you pay his office fees for him). My suggestion to you is to tell him you won't pay this fee. If the agent says there is no getting around it. Tell him you will purchase the property with another Broker then. He will shut his mouth so fast to get the deal closed.

Side Note: If the Broker has an Exclusive with you and he has disclosed this fee at the time of the Exclusive being signed, then the fees previously disclosed would be valid.


Adam Weintraub - Broker / Premier Estates Director
Malibu Estates
Residential & Commercial Real Estate
BRE 01221622
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
In Las Vegas that has to be disclosed. There is also a place on the 11 page contract where the agent discloses it. My company provides a full explanation of where the funds go.

I wish you luck.


Search http://www.Las-Vegas-Real-Estate-Home.com

Phil Scheinman, ABR, GRI, E-PRO
Broker * Sales Agent * Realtor
Realty One
2831 St. Rose ParkwaySte. 100
Las Vegas, NV 89074
Direct: 702-580-9198
Fax: 702-405-7659

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 1, 2014
I guarantee you this was disclosed to you before you signed anything. Why didn't you discuss it before.

David Cooper
Working with Buyers to Find Awesome Deals Since 1994
phone 1.888.616.6226 or http://www.lasvegaswinner.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 1, 2014
Quite normal here in Las Vegas, sometimes I try to compensate the buyer by asking for closing costs so buyer does not have to come out of pocket completely...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 1, 2014
A transaction fee IS NOT an additional commission . A transaction fee is a fee that a broker charges per transaction for administration costs and filing storage . The agent works for a broker and the agent does NOT receive any portion if that fee . The fee usually does not fluctuate with the price of the home like a commission does .
A commission is usually a percentage of the sale paid to a buyer or sellers agent agreed to by the seller and the agent at the time of the listing . A cooperative compensation is offered through the multiple listing service for a buyers agent who brings a buyer . Any commission that an agent warns are paid through the broker of the real estae office . The agent is then paid their share of the commission .
Each broker is different in the administrative fees they charge .
Please do not confuse this fee or call it an extra commission . There are costs involved in running a business . Many brokerages have transaction coordinators who make sure that the files are in order and all paper work is in compliance . This helps a client to save costly litigation issues . So iid say a penny of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's the cost if doing business . I do agree that all fees need to be disclosed prior to working with the agent . But I'm gonna wager you signed something and just forgot about it . It happens look over your paperwork .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013

The part that needs explanation is the "just Announced" part. Were you already in contract? Did the agent not disclose the transaction fee to you in advance?

If not then I would venture to guess if the rules of disclosure are the same as in Nevada then a nice sit down with his broker is in order. FYI - If you do not pay the transaction fee then the realtor does here in Nevada. When our market declined rapidly in 2008 passing on the transaction fees to the client became much more common in Las Vegas, especially when the transaction fee became 10-20% of the agents commission. Now that things are climbing back up many agents are still keeping with the recent tradition of charging the client the transaction fee. Either way, it must be disclosed and approved by the client in the state of Nevada. You will have to check with the Brokers in FL for the most accurate answer.

Good luck on your duplex.

Search http://www.Las-Vegas-Real-Estate-Home.com


Phil Scheinman, ABR, GRI, E-PRO
Broker * Sales Agent * Realtor
Realty One
2831 St. Rose ParkwaySte. 100
Las Vegas, NV 89074
Direct: 702-580-9198
Fax: 702-405-7659

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 2, 2013
No it's not normal. Too little in my opinion. I charge $495.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
I agree, thats about what we charge as well. I have only had to pay it once, so I got a good plan at first time meeting to never have to do that again. Im a 100% agent but still commissions are just not good these days.
Flag Mon Dec 2, 2013
nice way to impress a consumer - make a snide remark.and repeat it twice
Flag Sat Nov 30, 2013
This should have been disclosed in the beginning. It may have been disclosed and you may have signed something in the paperwork . i would go back and review what you signed. Its easy to forget what was signed and discussed the beginning of a transaction. These fees are certainly standard and most companies charge an administrative fee. the Realtor is usually just following the brokerage policy and procedure. Although Realtors are independent contractors , they must follow the procedure of the brokerage office they work for. Often times that is a fee the broker charges to cover administration fees to manage your file . Sometimes , if the Realtor does not collect that fee from the client , then the broker takes it out of their split of the commission. Reread your agreements with the Realtor and the brokerage. If the fee was not disclosed , then you should ask about it . if it was , you should ask about it anyway . Its up to you .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
Does the Realtor charge all the clients the fee, if the Realtor does then, yes it is normal for this Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 30, 2013
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