Sometime back, a letter in the Sun-Herald discussed Transaction Fees charged by real estate brokerages. The letter writer said that his agent’s brokerage added an additional transaction fee of $295 on top of the commission. In this area many of the franchise brokers charge these fees. On the date of the letter, Prudential Village Realty, charged a transaction fee of $175 which could amount to $350 additional cost to a seller and buyer over and above the agreed upon commission. Many brokers charge this fee to a buyer too! A local Coldwell Banker brokerage, according to that former Prudential broker, charged $188 to each the seller and buyer. When I challenged Prudential Village Realty to drop their transaction fee, the broker cited this example as justification. It sounds like a child who says, “He stole a candy bar, so can I…” Except this is not a candy bar, it is big money and it is your money!
These fees are unconscionable as the seller already had contracted to pay a fair commission to these brokers to assist in the sale of the home. These fees are pure profit for the brokers and amount to price gouging. If a broker is unable to earn a profit from the fair and agreed upon commission, the broker does not deserve to be in business… and certainly does not deserve your business.
When Your Suncoasteam worked at Prudential Village Realty we refused to charge our customers this fee. In 2004 we closed well over 100 transactions. We paid the fee to the broker rather than make our customers pay. We paid fees of over $20,000 to Prudential Village Realty on behalf of our customers, taking more than $10,000 from each of our pockets. That was a large motivation to get my broker license so Andy and I could start out on our own.
When we represent a customer, they will never fear having to pay these inappropriate fees. You will always be treated fairly, honestly, professionally and with respect. It is the only way we deserve your business.
So take the advice of Bob Bruss and the Sun-Herald newspaper. Fire any agent and broker who seeks to charge a “junk” or “garbage” fee, which, according to Bruss, “is 100 percent pure profit to the agent’s brokerage. If your agent can’t pay his or her own license fee, lockbox charge, and office expenses, that agent is misleading you.” And remember, Jim and Andy are here to represent you with the help of Your Suncoasteam.