ReMax is charging $400 JUNK FEE to home buyers. I didn't find out about the fee until I went to put in an offer on a home.

Asked by Fake Name, Colton, OH Tue Mar 12, 2013

Which real estate companies do not charge buyers junk fees?

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Jill Wilson, Home Buyer, McLean, VA
Mon Jun 10, 2013
Annette, of course the broker/agent doesn't call the junk fee a "junk fee." It's called a "documentation fee" or "processing fee" or the like. Real Estate brokers are learning quite a bit from used cars dealers.

When you purchase a house with an agent, the agent gets a (substantial) commission, because the seller's/buyer's agents split the overall commission. Now some buyer's agents are expecting large fees ON TOP of that, icing on their very richly filled cake.

I had an agent insert such a fee in an exclusive buyer's agreement in fine print, just as I was ready to purchase a house. She didn't point it out, and only because I took the time to read every word carefully did I notice it. I told her I was declining to move forward because of that fee. Suddenly, the fee was able to be waived so I could move forward. I told her that ethics are important and I would not be signing with an agent that put surprise fees in quietly, and I was sorry.

I found another agent/broker that afternoon, and purchased the house. Perhaps my original agent was very proud of that fee, but she lost an enormous commission because of it.
3 votes
Roswell Moore…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Jul 12, 2013
@ Jill Wilson: Way to go!
1 vote
Roswell Moore…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Scottsdale, AZ
Sat Mar 23, 2013
Hi Val,

I can certainly understand why you are upset if this "Fee" was sprung on you at the last minute by the agent without previously disclosing it to you. I don't blame you. What happens if you tell your agent you aren't going to pay this fee?

I don't know what is customary for real estate agent commissions in your area, but in many states it seems to average around 6% to the seller, which is normally split 50/50; 3% to the Listing Agent & 3% to the Buyer's Agent.

It looks like the average listing price for the 48307 zip code is $185,000, so let's presume the average purchase price is $180,000. That would result in an average commission of $5,400 per agent. Now agents have different arrangements with their Broker's on the splits they receive from the commission.

With all that said, since you state you were not informed of this fee until you went to submit the offer, what would happen if you told the real estate agent to go pound sand & that you would find another agent who does not charge the fee? I am sure your current agent would find a way to set aside this fee.

On a side note, trying justify that a Junk Fee is OK because your bank charges you junk fees is ludacris. Vote with your feet, walk away, move the account to a credit union. Until we all stand up to all the "creative billing" techniques being throw at us, it's just going to get worse. Look at the healthcare system as one example that is just way out of control.

Good luck resolving this issue,
1 vote
Karen Paytas, Agent, Clinton Twp, MI
Tue Mar 12, 2013

Good Morning!

It has become pretty common for buyers agents to charge fees to buyers. It usually depends on the purchase price of the home you're buying but can also be a fee required by the brokerage. All fees and commissions are negotiable and should be discussed once you sign an agency agreement.

Good Luck,

Karen Paytas, GRI, CMS
Real Living Kee Realty
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Mar 12, 2013
"Junk Fees" many agents will know exactly what you are speaking will not find this term used anywhere in a contract document. This term is an unkind description of how many agents feel about their customers being assessed in this way.

These are fees that go beyond the broker's commission and are essentially "add ons." In our location most real estate companies throw in this additional "closing type fee" after the fact. That is after the customer has committed to the transaction. Some customers feel this is a prime example of "double dipping" on the part of the agency.

There are however, agencies that feel as you do, that a fee for professional services should cover the expenses involved in a transaction. You may be able to get an ides of agencies that do not resort to this fee by contacting the local board of realtors.

Good luck,

1 vote
Joe Bertera, Agent, Plymouth, MI
Tue Mar 12, 2013
I think most real estate brokers charge a buyer compliance fee, the fee is usually around $300. My brokerage charges only $150 fee which is more reasonable then $400. That fee is paid at closing, nothing upfront.

Joe Bertera
Remerica Hometown One
Web Reference:
1 vote
Natalie Woods, Home Buyer, South Lyon, MI
Fri Oct 14, 2016
Does a Buyer have to pay a Compliance fee ? My Real Estate agent said Yes, Brcause thats what Real Estate One in Michigan charges $250.00
0 votes
Laura Uphoff, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Tue May 31, 2016
No "Junk Fee" at Re/max One!! We value our clients! Buyers and Sellers are paying enough and deserve to be respected and fully knowledgeable about buying/selling a home.
0 votes
Jim Weix, Agent, Stuart, FL
Fri Jun 26, 2015
You can simply refuse to pay those junk fees. In most cases, the Agent will either dismiss it or pay it out of their commission.
If neither happens, tell the Agent that they are fired and just go to another real estate firm. These fees are all bogus and reputable firms don't charge them.
If you feel like the Agent tried to trick you into paying them, file a complaint against the Agent and real estate firm with the local Board of Realtors.
0 votes
Sally Witt, Agent, Brighton, MI
Wed Dec 10, 2014
Prudential Heritage Real Estate with offices in Brighton, Howell and Fowlerville and serving all of the State of Michigan has never charged a compliance/transaction fee in its more than 40 years in the business. 800-831-5027
0 votes
Douglas Kirc…, Agent, Ridgewood, NJ
Wed Jul 23, 2014
I work for Remax and I have never heard of this fee. I do want clients to realize that if yo do find a realtor you like and stick with them we do NOT get back until your house closes. With that said we spend many hours taking buyers from home to home, go to inspections (2-3 hours), go to appraisals, spend endless hours on email and the phone through the process making sure the lenders and attorney's keep us in the loop and the process moving forward. Now on top of that our commission gets split down. I know everyone thinks that 2.5% on a $300k house ($7500) is a nice pay day. The reality is that off the top there is a listing fee -200, then there is franchise fees 5%-12%, and then finally what your split is with the broker. On that $7500 commission a realtor can walk away with $4800-$5000. Now divide that out by the hours he or she spent with you.

My point is that we are trying to make a living too. From our end we can meet a potential client at a property or show them properties for weeks and we don't get a pay check or that buyer goes and works with another realtor. Those hours aren't counted. My point being please be considerate of our time and if you do like working with a realtor stick with him or her.
0 votes
don't complain and switch companies,or do you like saying your with "ReMax" if you do don't complain because your gaining business because of the name.
Flag Wed Dec 16, 2015
I have a Remax agent charging me $495!!!!!! It's highway robbery. Definitely ditching him and going straight to the sellers agent for this house!
Flag Fri Oct 31, 2014
Pat Hensley, Home Buyer, Cary, NC
Thu Oct 24, 2013
Where are you located?
I'm a Remax agent in Cary, NC and I don't charge buyers a fee.

This may be just your agent's policy.
It's not a Remax policy.
0 votes
Sonic, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Thu Jul 11, 2013
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Wed May 22, 2013
I just came from a closing and there was an admin fee to both the buyer and seller. The Realtors I work with disclose fees like that in the very first counseling session with a buyer. If it is really the house you want make your offer to the seller for the list price plus $400 and have the seller pay your agent’s fee. That reduces your cash required to close, if you do this, suggest the list agent changes the list price before changing the listing status so it doesn’t mess up your appraisal.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference:
0 votes
Cris C. Dean, Agent, McLean, VA
Wed May 22, 2013

0 votes
Russ Ravary, Agent, Commerce Township, MI
Mon Mar 25, 2013
Many real estate companies are charging transaction fees. Ask your agent to waive it
0 votes
Lina Gerchak, Agent, Novi, MI
Sat Mar 23, 2013
There are certain costs associated with doing any kind of business these days. Check out your mobile phone bill - it's a goody usually...

Our office charges a $195 compliance fee, and that information is disclosed to a Buyer when exclusive relationship contract is signed. Theoretically, there should be no surprises when the Buyer is ready to put an offer on a desired property.

Lina Gerchak
Keller Williams Nortville/Novi MC
0 votes
The Rodgers…, Agent, Novi, MI
Tue Mar 12, 2013
Hi Val,

Some companies do charge a compliance fee. It does cover keeping all the paperwork in storage for 7 years. Just like Karen said, all fees are negotiable before signing on the dotted line.

Best of luck!

Jamie L. Rodgers
My Realty Select
The "Mr. Rodgers" Real Estate Team
The bros who are real estate pros
0 votes
Robert Visin…, Agent, Huntington Woods, MI
Tue Mar 12, 2013
And there you have it! Maybe Agent/Broker did not explaining the process of purchasing real estate. Buyer's and Seller's please talk to your agent/broker before looking for or selling a house. Go over all associated paper work, cost, expectations... before making a decision. I offer free buyer's/seller's consultations so buyer's/seller's can make a good decision. Most buyer's will put more time and effort into purchasing a phone than they do a house. FYI the $400 is not a standard RE/MAX fee. Some broker's do not even have it. Junk fee's tick me off too! Best of luck Val.

0 votes
Fake Name, , Colton, OH
Tue Mar 12, 2013
ReMax calls it a documentation fee. I don't expect anything for FREE. And I believe the honest people who work hard deserve to be paid a fair compensation.

But I resent being nickeled and dimed to death by the banks, the governments, the title companies, the National Association of REALTORS, home inspectors, insurance companies, lawyers, and the others who affect the costs.

Brokers should not want to be seen as sneaky. Traditionally buyers do not pay brokers directly, it's done on the seller end and the costs are all up front and open.

I spent a long time searching for a home and then find one I like, go to put in an offer and am surprised at the last minute with a $400 "JUNK FEE".

The home buying (or selling) process shouldn't be as stressful as it is. Moving is itself stressful enough.
0 votes
Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Tue Mar 12, 2013
In our area, I have never heard of an agency charging a fee to a buyer. We certainly don't. No one can charge you anything unless you've agreed to pay it first.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Mar 12, 2013
I have looked at hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of closing documents of the past few years and can not find a single line labeled "Junk Fee."
Now every buyer and seller most certainly can point their finger at fees they don't want to pay, that however does not make them 'Junk Fees." These folks just want everything FREE!
If you have looked at your bank statement recently, you will see lines and lines and lines and lines of 'Junk Fees.' As with most consumers, "Junk Fees' only become important when their is a face to connect to the transgression. That is the magic of real estate. It matters not who is imposing the 'Junk Fees' it is always the real estate professional who receives the complaint.

So Val, let get serious and pinpoint the "Junk Fee" to which you object.
Did you voice your concern to the agent?
Did you agree to this fee when you hired the agent?
Is this a broker fee or an agent fee?
Is the fee originating from your agent, your agents brokerage, the listing agent, the listing agent brokerage?
Could this be a fee your agent is required to pay your lender. Some lender promote a rebate program that comes directly from real estate agent compensation. This agent may be be redirecting the cost to you since YOU may have fallen into the lenders trap and selected the lender.
Give us more information so we can understand if you are simply infected with the "FREE" mentality or if indeed the fee is unwarranted.

Wouldn't it be nice if everything was FREE! .........for me.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL

Scotsdale Bluffs, Dunedin Home Tour
0 votes
Yes, Re/Max just tried to slip this in on me. It is called "Buyer Agreement for Broker Compensation". The amount on mine wasn't filled in. Of course, I wouldn't sign it. Realtor said it was for documentation fees. I guess they just put in whatever amount they feel like at closing. This has got to be a scam and very bad business.
Flag Mon Aug 3, 2015
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