Real estate brokers add 'fees' on top of commissions


Inman News reports

on a pretty disturbing trend: As home prices fall and sales volume remains weak in many markets, some real estate brokerages are resorting to charging "fees" to buyers and sellers -- on top of the usual commissions.

The fees are usually in the range of a few hundred dollars, but that isn't even the point. The point is that the fees are garbage -- absolute unfiltered, unmitigated, bullcrap. What exactly is the fee for? Inman says they are sometimes referred to as "administrative fees," "technology fees," "transaction fees," "flat fees," and administrative brokerage commission (ABC) fees."

The real estate brokers and agents involved in a transaction already collect a hefty commission for bringing together buyers and sellers. Inman reports that "Some who defend the fees say real estate brokerages need to recoup rising overhead expenses and investments in technology."

That I understand, but isn't that what the commissions are for? And while real estate brokerages are spending big to try to go high-tech, aren't there are also some serious cost savings associated with the internet? Agents are spending less money on newspaper advertising and online multiple listing services allow prospective buyers to browse homes on their own and then tell the agent which ones they want to see.

Originally published