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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Comments

whatamess

This does not seem to be something new...it actually seems that they have been going on for a while. In 2004 I had Jim Striegel, from Keller Williams, do this exact same thing to me. It was never discussed. We only discussed the commission of 5%...and probably we discussed this every couple of days, as my husband had already moved out of the country and I was alone with a 3yr old trying to sell the house.

His fee was 595.00USD noted as a "transaction fee"...I questioned him and he basically said "it was in the papers you signed...if you don't like it, don't sell the house..." Of course, I had no copy of these papers with me, and I had already sold all my belongings and was awaiting to move within days after the closing.

I am glad that finally someone is looking at this outrageous practices! After all, Mr. Striegel didn't even deserve the 5% commission, as it was another realtor that showed my house (Mr. Striegel never did, actually, Keller Williams hardly ever did) and it was my father, who was at the house when the realtor arrived that actually convinced the buyer to buy the house...

Stuart B. Scholer

This is a very intersting lawsuit. I am a Realtor in Texas and I have been noticing more Realtors tacking on these cheesy transaction fees to their clients. I don't know how they justify them but I've been told by Title Co. closers that they are becoming more common. I work for a Brokerage that pays me the agent 100% of the commission earned less a flat rate transaction fee. This fee stays the same no matter if I make 5% commission or if I make .5% commission. For a single transaction up to $500K I pay $125. This fee is more or less common in the 100% brokerage agencies. I just wonder if these transaction fees(charged to the consumer, not the agent) are more prevelant in this class of Brokerage or are they common in the more traditional brokerages where the Broker keeps a larger portion of the commissions earned. Either way it's starting to look like the credit card companies and banks that are making billions off of consumers with their sneaky little fees that in themselves don't seem much but when you start to put them together.....
If an agent needs more money on a transaction for whatever reason he/she can put 3.05% or 3.15% or whatever on the Representation Agreement and then nothing is confused and consumers can also compare "apples to apples".
Well anyway....hooray for Ms. Busby and her lawyers....too bad that with all the resources that are out there (NAR and all of their state and local associations) somebody in our industry did not put the RESPA 2+2 together and raise the red flag on these stinky and sneaky fees.

Realtor in Houston
Stuart B. Scholer

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