When you and your Realtor submitted your offer to purchase, you set out very clear terms and conditions for how YOU wanted the transaction to proceed. Or at least how your agent wrote how you want the transaction to proceed.
There are a couple of ways that you could be responsible for this fee:
Did you sign a buyer-brokerage agreement where you agree to pay your agent a minimum percentage? The list agent could just lop the shared commission off and that agreement could force you to reimburse the difference in the reduced commission to your agent.
Did your agent include the MLS Broker's Synopsis as an addendum to your offer? If that negotiation fee is disclosed on the MLS form and you initialled it, you've agreed to that condition and could be locked in.
Now, the disclosure that was sent to your agent could be problematic, even if it wasn't signed. Your agent is required to have disclosed that to you, and if he didn't, it still doesn't change the fact that you are in a contract, so any backing out on your part will probably lead to an escrow dispute.
Here's how the process should have happened: You submit your offer. The seller needs you to pay closing costs, so will not sign the offer (and thus making it a binding contract) until you have signed the addendum they send you, you sign negotiation fee addendum and proceed to an executed contract from the buyers, or you disagree and cancel your offer.
I wish you luck,
short sales are not necessarily bargains and they're hard work.
Century 21 Professional Group Inc.