We found a house and asked the realtor who sold our last house to write up an offer. There was a $345 plus 2.5% MLS fee added to contract that we pay.

Asked by Kwheeler1953, Marshfield, MA Mon Dec 10, 2012

What is this? We did all the work including setting up the appointments. Is the the normal procedure in Maryland for buyers?

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Kathy Mittelstadt’s answer
Kathy Mittel…, Agent, Hixson, TN
Mon Dec 10, 2012
You should have had the Buyers Representative form explained to you before you signed it and established an agency agreement with your Realtor and any fees like the broker processing flat fee at closing paid by the buyer and who was actually going to pay the realtors' commisision. Even if you are buying a home from a FSBO and you are represented by a Realtor it should be established and explained who pays your Realtor's commission before you sign any contract and get anywhere close to the closing table. Relook at all the paperwork you have signed with your Realtor and ask him/her to go over it with you.
3 votes
Ariana Loucas, Agent, National Harbor, MD
Mon Dec 10, 2012
Dear Kwheeler1953,
The MD agents are correct below regarding the $345 and 2.5%, which is normally the starting commission % for an agent representing a buyer. The seller typically pays the commission, unless it was a for sale by owner where the owner refuses to pay a REALTOR commission. Is this the case? If so, then yes you as the buyer would be responsible for paying the agent's fees. I hope this helps. Congratulations on finding your house!
Ariana Loucas
2 votes
Thanks for all the responses. We did not sign anything yet. There were too many questions. Appreciate all your help.
Flag Mon Dec 10, 2012
Adam Rich, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Sun Dec 16, 2012
While all the other answers are correct it is also true that the Realtor Code of Ethics specifically prohibits using the contract to negotiate compensation.

Standard of Practice 16-16

REALTORS®, acting as subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers, shall not use the terms of an offer to purchase/lease to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation to subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers nor make the submission of an executed offer to purchase/lease contingent on the listing broker’s agreement to modify the offer of compensation.
0 votes
Sihin Tsegaye, Agent, Hagerstown, MD
Tue Dec 11, 2012
The fees you paying is correct if the house is to be sold by owner 'FSBO'. But your realtor should have explained and provided you the agreement in writing.

Good Luck!
Sihin Tsegaye
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Mon Dec 10, 2012
Well, first of all, YOU do work with a REaltor, who has sold your house before, I am assuming at that time was your listing agent, and now your are using that same agent as your Buyers Agent....

Now is this agent not explaining the full situation to you???? He or she should and if not yet then
very soon..... Obviously this agent you trust, negotiated a price for you right? So now the question is
is the property you are buying listed with another brokerage and is on the Multiple listing service?
The only way that YOU the buyer should be responsible for the 2.5 % which sounds like a commission percentage and other fee, is if the Seller is selling by owner and there is no other
Realtor involved.... Then the buyers agent in order to get paid for his or her services will want to be
paid by the buyer, but that should have been decided and agreed upon with you, preferably in

Try to get your answers from your Realtor, I am sure there is a good explanation for it.

Hope this helps...

Most Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and your Chicago and Northern Illinois and RElocation Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients at @Properties North Shore
Edith speaks French, German, Spanish & more
Get to know Edith and her Service her website is
0 votes
Natalie Dean, Agent, ANNAPOLIS, MD
Mon Dec 10, 2012
Are you a relocation client? It says Marshfield, MA beside your name so I am assuming as such. However you said the Realtor that sold your home is now charging you these fees. Is the Realtor a licensed MD agent or a referring agent? Perhaps like many other agents have commented the agent failed to fully explain the documents to you. A few questions I am wondering are:
1. Is this a FSBO? Is that why you are responsible for commission?
2. Is this a short sale and the buyers agent is trying to guarantee that they will at least receive 2.5% commission on the transaction?
Please note that all brokerage forms in MD show that the fees are being for by the buyer. However there is a space that allows for the compensation to the buyers agent to come from the listing broker- hence a cooperating agent. The $345 is a admin fee and invariably pretty standard in the DMV area and some are as much as $500.00. I really think you need to have a conversation with your buyers agent and get him/her to fully explain all docs to you so that you feel comfortable.

All the Best!
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Dec 10, 2012
The $345 fee is a garbage fee. A revenue augmentation strategy imposed by the broker. They say it's for storage and records keeping and other 'strategic' purposes. It IS a garbage fee with a fabricated purpose!
Some states, such as Florida, allow an MLS fee to be imposed also. The MLS FEE is ALSO is a garbage fee. In Florida, this fee is alleged to offset advertising costs of the listing agent and are passed to the agent representing the buyer. The buyer agent, rather than pay the fee from their compensation, pass it forward to the buyer. This is solely a revenue augmentation strategy originating at the listing agent side.
The agent representing the buyer, if they do the 'right' thing, has both THEIR broker and the predatory agent on the opposite side of the transaction with their hands deep into the pockets of your agent. Your agent may choose to pay these fees on your behalf or allow you to share in the pain. With some franchises, the agent has no choice but to charge YOU!
However, a 2.5% MLS fee must be a typo on your part or the transaction in which you are engaged is not a traditional sale. 2.5% MLS fee passed to the buyer in a traditional sale would certainly be OUTRAGEOUS! Please let us know if you pay this fee. That would be a HUGE revenue augmentation strategy that could REALLY catch on.
Of course you did all the work. Clearly you don't have a firm grasp on what your agent does. Finding the house on just step one. The 300 steps that follow will determine if you ever move in. But these are the steps executed at midnight and you only know about them when one is missed. When all are completed....a professional makes it look EZ....and the buyer/seller says, "I did all the work!" Sheesh.
Without question, as applied in the state of Florida...they are ALL garbage fees. And even in Florida, garbage has become a standard practice. But revenue augmentation simply sound better.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Robert McArt…, Agent, Fallston, MD
Mon Dec 10, 2012
I would speak to your realtor about this. The commission is generally paid by the Seller. The Administration Fee is paid by the buyer at settlement and should have been disclosed to you up front.
0 votes
Richard Iaro…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Mon Dec 10, 2012
The flat fee that brokers charge is fairly common and ranges anywhere from about $295 - $495. Some brokers don't charge it, but that is getting more rare in Maryland. Ask your agent for an explanation of why it's charged. If you're being charged something, there has to be work associated with the charge.

Please do ask your agent about the 2.5% broker commission because you may have misinterpreted what he/she said. There is a form in the contract where that is indicated, BUT, only if the seller doesn't pay the commission. Again, have your agent explain anything you don't understand.
0 votes
Greg Myers, Agent, Gaitherburg, MD
Mon Dec 10, 2012
The $345.00 fee is the real estate broker's processing fee which is common is Maryland. I am not sure why you are paying the as you have stated the 2.5% broker commission, the commission is generally PAID by the seller to the real estate agents agents. Did you buy a "FSBO" or a for sale by owner? More information on your purchase would be helpfull to answer your question.
0 votes
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