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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
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Century 21 transaction management fee?

Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
Posted Sep 16 2019, 18:58

I am buying a house in Pittsburgh, PA. Our realtor sent us this message and I’m curious about this “century 21 transaction management fee”. Is this a common fee?

“BUYER (TENANT) AGENCY CONTRACT - this said I am representing you as a buyer agent through this transaction only. The only fee to you is the Century 21 transaction management fee of $350 which is paid at closing. Century 21 must keep all files for 7 years for tax purposes, that’s what this fee is. Please initial bottom left corner of page 1 of 3, bottom left corner of page 2 of 3, & sign & date on line 161 by your name. “

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Monica Breckenridge
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Colorado Springs, CO
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Monica Breckenridge
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Colorado Springs, CO
Replied Sep 16 2019, 19:28

@Steven Ko yes that is pretty typical. As a buyer you dont pay the real estate agent commission. The seller pays it for you. However you typically do have to pay the admin fee because the seller wont pay for that too. However if you are getting a VA loan you cant pay the transaction fee. It is not allowed by VA. You could however ask for the transaction fee to be wrapped into your seller concessions. This is the amount that you ask the seller to pay for your closing costs.

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Account Closed
  • Investor
  • Columbus, OH
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Account Closed
  • Investor
  • Columbus, OH
Replied Sep 16 2019, 19:50
IMHO these fees are BS and not all brokerages charge them. You can frequently negotiate them away.

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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
Replied Sep 16 2019, 20:36

@Monica Breckenridge thanks for your reply! I just never heard of it before so I was a bit skeptical. 

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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
Replied Sep 16 2019, 20:37

@Account Closed I feel you there. Out of three transactions, I’ve never heard of it before but this is the cheapest property we’ve bought so maybe that comes into play? 

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Basit Siddiqi#3 Tax, Legal Issues, Contracts, Self-Directed IRA Contributor
  • Accountant
  • New York, NY
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Basit Siddiqi#3 Tax, Legal Issues, Contracts, Self-Directed IRA Contributor
  • Accountant
  • New York, NY
Replied Sep 21 2019, 16:31

@Steven Ko

I think this is a fee that you can negotiate away.
I think I see this fee more often in areas where the cost of the real estate isin't high

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Charlie MacPherson#3 Seattle Real Estate Forum Contributor
  • China, ME
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Charlie MacPherson#3 Seattle Real Estate Forum Contributor
  • China, ME
Replied Sep 21 2019, 17:39

@Steven Ko  I'm with C21 in MA and don't charge any such fee. 

I suspect that the agent is paying a transaction coordinator and wants to pass that fee on to you.  I could be wrong, but either way, I'd refuse to pay it.

Archiving records is the cost of doing business, just like license renewal fees, E&O, CE courses, etc.

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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
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Steven Ko
  • Sunnyvale, CA
Replied Sep 21 2019, 20:40

@Basit Siddiqi thank you, I think I might try and ask then if we can get rid of it. I’ve never heard of it before. Never hurts to just ask :)

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Lien Vuong#1 Massachusetts Real Estate Q&A Discussion Forum Contributor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Boston, MA
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Lien Vuong#1 Massachusetts Real Estate Q&A Discussion Forum Contributor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Boston, MA
Replied Sep 21 2019, 20:48

Good thing you've asked the forum. Yes, as @Charlie MacPherson said, that is a cost that is being passed onto you and you can negotiate that away. There's a Cost of Doing Business and you should not have to absorb those costs if they were not disclosed to you. 

The cost of how much you're buying the house should not relate to any of the costs for fees. Certain items are proportionate (closing costs, origination fees, relator %), this is not one of them. 

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Nathan G.#1 All Forums Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
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Nathan G.#1 All Forums Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Sep 21 2019, 21:27

I've never heard of that fee. State law dictates how long they have to keep files but I suppose there's nothing illegal about charging for the storage costs. 

HOWEVER...a fee like that should be disclosed up front at the first opportunity. It sounds like they waited until you made an offer. 

Did you sign a Buyer's Agency Agreement that spells out fees BEFORE you made an offer? If it wasn't disclosed until after you were ready to make an offer, I would push back and tell them they could either remove the fee or I would go to another Broker and make my offer there.

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Sam Shueh
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cupertino, CA
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Sam Shueh
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cupertino, CA
Replied Sep 21 2019, 22:47

Very common.

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Jason Snider
  • Investor
  • Commerce Twp, MI
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Jason Snider
  • Investor
  • Commerce Twp, MI
Replied Sep 22 2019, 05:56

@Steven Ko BS Fee. Politely tell the agent you do not pay Transaction fees. This type of fee is meant to pad the commission.