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I need a buyers agent that won't charge me the "admin fee"

  • May 19 2012 - Saint Augustine
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (16)

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I have never heard of any buyers  agent that charge fees as they are paid by the seller. Please get one that iwas recommended by friends, family or coworkers or one from Zillow with lots of  positive reviews behind them.
  • May 19 2012
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Every State and every company has a different policy.  If you need help with anything please feel free to contact me.
  • August 07 2012
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Profile picture for Dawn Gould
In St. Augustine it is very, very rare that an agent will charge a buyer an admin fee.  I know I won't and I would love to help you out.  [contact information deleted by Zillow moderator.  Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • August 07 2012
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Profile picture for Cindy Quinton
In Oklahoma she could not legally provide a rebate to a buyer; it would violate state law.
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Cindy, "I have a collegue that charges a minimal fee of $50, she says those seriously planning to buy never balk."

I would not balk either, Of course she would also have to agree to provide me a big buyers rebate. Will she balk then?

If I have to pay a fine I make sure it is worth it. Even a small amount like $50 is real money to me. I will be buying out of state. I have no problem flying or driving to see a property. I have no problem picking up the realtor and taking them to the property using my gas.

 If I am asked to pay a fee like that I will reply sure, but in return I will get at least a 25% buyers kickback. A higher percentage like 35% would be better for me. Will any balking then show a less than serious realtor?
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for Cindy Quinton
It seems to be more and more common around here, but I think it will drive away business in some instances. Some people will just pay it and others simply refuse.

I understand why buyer's agents charge it, considering about 30% of deals fall through. You could invest a lot of time and expenses in someone only to not get to a sale. I don't think I could see me doing it unless a client wanted to pay me to work exclusively for them until they were in a home or some such situation.

I have a collegue that charges a minimal fee of $50, she says those seriously planning to buy never balk.
  • May 19 2012
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I don't think it is illegal to charge the admin fee as long as it is disclosed.  Sometimes the broker uses the fees to have a transaction coordinator check the files. Try negotiating this fee with your current agent if you have one. They may happily waive it if you protest especially if it means losing a sale or not!
  • May 19 2012
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First... "Admin fees" are illegal.  Second, the way brokerages get around it is to call it a flat fee commission charged on top of whatever they normally charge.  I recently was shopping brokerages because I was going to move my license and I was shocked to learn that the Keller Williams office in Leesburg (where I was) was one of the very few - and the only of the "national" brands - that didn't charge that.  The policy varies by brokerage... sometimes the brokerage charges it to the agent if the agent doesn't charge it to the client.  Sometimes it's split between brokerage and agent.  Don't get me wrong, I am all about anyone making money if they can do it.  But I don't like the feel of nickel and diming my clients.  $200-400 in a typical transaction...once split the ways that it really gets split - was not going to result in much money into my pocket, and it would be insulting to my clients (or so that is my opinion). 

Having said all of this, I recently had a closing where the seller subsidy (closing cost assistance) could not be fully used by the buyer.  I was the listing agent.  The buyers agent created a $950 admin fee that was charged to the buyer and then "credited" by the seller to the buyer... so basically he was using up that credit. RIDICULOUS!  It made me mad as heck.  Contractually, there wasn't anything I could do because the credit was approved by the lender.  Now, I alter the language in the contract to ensure that doesn't happen ever again.

So, 'user' I don't blame you.  I would say no way to an admin fee.  I would tell them it's illegal.  And, if you're doing a VA loan or certain other loans, it will not be approved by the lender anyway.

By the way, I chose a local brokerage that also does not charge that admin fee... and I am loving it here.  It's nice to be at a brokerage that shares my feelings about focusing on the client and generating repeat business and referral business - rather than nickel and diming the clients we get.

Best of luck to you!
  • May 19 2012
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It's not the buyers agent (or any agent) that is charging the admin fee. The fee is charged by the agents brokerage and goes to the broker. The agent doesn't receive any share of the admin fee. The use of admin fees are becoming more common as home prices have dropped and brokers use it as another revenue stream.
  • May 19 2012
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I have heard of some buyer's agents charging a fee because often times they do a lot of work and don't get paid for it.  In my opinion, that's part of our job and it's what we get paid for at closing.  My company has a huge presence in St. Augustine and its where I live so I would be glad to help at NO COST TO YOU!  The seller will pay me at closing.  Let me know what you're looking for and I will start your search this weekend.  Talk soon~

Jeff Metcalf, REALTOR(R)
Watson Realty Corp.
St. Augustine, FL
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
If you are in the Foreign Service, will you be using USAA as your lender?  If that is the case, contact them first and they will assign a buyer agent to you.
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for Matt Hiatt
I had a company wanting to hire me that charges admin fees plus others. It was just a way for the company and agent to profit more money. I don't charge my buyers (we are paid by the seller, and that also includes new homes), and I agree with you, find another agent.
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for user9575679
I am trying to find someone in St. Augustine   to help... I was put off by the admin fee... when described as  it's business as normal....   yea... i have the money... it's the point
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for user9575679
I don't (honestly) know where Sarasota is in Florida...   I'm in the Foreign Service  stationed in Kabul Afghanistan....    my wife likes a property in St. aAugustine....   
  • May 19 2012
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Profile picture for michaelchilds
Most buyer's agents do not charge "fees". They earn a split of the commission paid by the seller. You can use Zillow or Google to find local agents in St. Augustine. Call and interview a few of them. You will find most do  not charge extra fees.

To be fair you should sign a buyer's agency agreement with the agent you choose. This assures the agent that when you do buy, you will be represented by him or her. Agents spend a lot of time, effort and personal expense showing properties to buyers and they want to be sure they will be compensated in the end. The agency agreement gives the agent that assurance and also provides you with more benefits and protections.
  • May 19 2012
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I am in Sarasota and our brokerage charges zero fees to buyers.
  • May 19 2012
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