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Katherin T., Renter in Burtonsville, MD

what is an administrative fee?

Asked by Katherin T., Burtonsville, MD Wed Oct 30, 2013

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First, did you sign anything that says you have to pay a $500 fee? If you agreed to it, there's not much to argue really, unless the fee is being charged in a way inconsistent with the commission laws. Even for a so called "admin fee", that is the highest I've heard of.

I shouldn't speak without knowing all the facts, but it sounds to me like your agent isn't being fair with you. Especially since any fee you would pay to your buyer agent is usually due at the time you settle on your chosen property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
Did you sign a "Buyer Agency" agreement with your present agent? If yes, did you agree to pay a fee to your agent. You need to look at the agreement you signed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
Thanks for your input. I've emailed him regarding this.

Very helpful. thanks again.
Flag Wed Oct 30, 2013
You should ask your agent what document talks about a purchaser paying a "buyers agency" fee. The only document that I am familiar with is a "buyer agency" agreement that talks about the purchaser paying a fee to their agent. The other fee that a purchaser may pay is an "administrative fee" but that is usually charged at the closing of a transaction.
Flag Wed Oct 30, 2013
Thank you so much this is very helpful. I've looked through my emails and I don't recall every receiving or signing a buyer agency agreement form. If I haven't received or signed one I am not required to pay the $250 correct?

The agent is good he's being very patient with the process but I was thrown off guard when he brought it up after we decided to withdraw the offer on a house that accepted our offer.
Flag Wed Oct 30, 2013
Here's the background behind it....

We've gone with our agent to look at several properties and we've put in multiple offers with no luck the seller has always chosen a different offer. Just recently we put an offer in on a property and it was accepted. After looking at the inspection results...we've changed our minds on getting this property.

Our agent then asked us to pay $250 of the $500 "buyers agency fee."

I did some research on it and from my understanding the fee is paid between the buyer and the seller. is that correct?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
The answer will depend on whether you are speaking to someone with a brokerage that charges the separate fee or not.

Those who charge it will have a list of business costs that they say the extra commission is used to offset.

Those who don't charge the fee will tell you copies, faxes, and administrative costs are part of doing business, and they will not "nickle & dime" you for a couple hundred bucks on top of their agreed commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
An administrative fee is paid to the real estate company or brokerage. It is a charge to help pay costs of paperwork, administrative staff, office equipment including copy machine rental fees, phone bills, or any other costs that an office or company might incur to stay open. The real estate agent does not get any portion of the administrative fee that the brokerage charges.

I hope my answer helps you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
Typically, it's either one of two things:

1. A fee imposed due to the "clerical" work associated with a transaction. Someone has to prepare/fill out paperwork, file or enter information into a computer, and sometimes do some research depending on the situation. This fee is intended to cover the associated costs.

2. A fee imposed because someone wants to charge an extra fee.

If you are concerned, I would contact the entity that is charging you the fee, and ask them specifically what this fee is for.

Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
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