Who pays transaction broker's fees?

5 Replies

Hi, I am sending an offer for a condo in Florida. I am not using a buyer's agent due to pretty bad experiences so far. The listing agent asked me to sign a transaction broker agreement with his firm that includes a compliance fee of $499. Do I need to sign the agreement aka hire the transaction broker or should that be on the seller's side? Is the fee justified or should it also be covered by the seller?

Thank you, Pawel

Hi @Paweł Terlecki , this fee is likely an additional fee that the agent or brokerage adds on TO the buyer in cases where the listing agent is working with the the buyer also. 

Especially in cases where the buyer is asking that no commissions be paid for their side (I.e. credited to the sale, deducted from the sale price, etc) then the listing agent is saddled with a situation in which they will do substantially more work than they would working with a buyer’s agent AND have more legal exposure.  For this reason you may be seeing a fee due by you at closing for the dual agency, titled differently of course.

@Will Fraser @Paweł Terlecki This fee has nothing to do with an agent representing both sides. The fee is charged to the agents on both sides by their broker....the supposed reasoning was new refs a few years ago requiring record retention (All off Wrs are to be retained for 5 years by the broker, etc).

In reality, it’s just an additional fee as brokerages are working on such small margins these days. 
An agent can pass this fee on to their client, it’s a negotiation. When I was an agent, if the sale was over $200k, I paid it. If less than that, or a PITA client, I charged the client. 
If the listing agent is getting both sides of the commission, he should probably pay it.

Also, a Transaction Broker agreement (which means the agent will treat both parties fairly and not cause detriment to one party for the benefit of the other....) is unrelated to the Transaction Fee. 

BTW, going to the listing agent instead of having your own agent is like going to an opposing party’s attorney for advice.  

Your choice for representation from the listing agent is transaction broker or non-rep/no brokerage relationship.  I non-rep clients that want to write an offer directly to me.  That way the seller gets my representation as a single agent and pays me my full commission and there is no worry about misrepresenting the buyer.

The fee charged is not related to representation.  If you don't want to pay it, you can ask if they will waive it or get yourself an agent that doesn't charge a transaction fee -- then the fee will be charged to your agent.  What that fee is used for varies broker to broker and agent to agent.  I most often see it as a "doc fee" that pays for the transaction coordinator (an assistant that ensures compliance with legal requirements and assists in communication).

Originally posted by @Paweł Terlecki :

Thanks for the responses. @Dan Maciejewski, if I choose the non-rep route, aka not sign the transaction broker agreement with the listing agent, can I still ask the listing agent to charge only his part of the commission in the purchase transaction?

 It's better for you to have him be a transaction broker -- that way he cannot reveal anything damaging to your negotiation to the seller.  You can always ask them to waive a fee, especially if he's double-ending and getting the full commission.  All fees are negotiable.