What Is A Broker’s Administration Fee?

I must have upset Chris Johnson over on Lenderama a little when I responded to one of his post that I will, on occasion, take a lender to task regarding their fees.  Because he sent me an email asking me how that worked out.  (I don’t really know Chris and he may or may not charge junk fees.  I just don’t know.  As many loans as he closes he must be doing business the right way.  I would assume, anyway.) 

In my response to him I pointed out that junk fees are exactly that and that the public should not be willing to pay them.   But first they have to recognize what they are.  Well, I’m not going to go into all the junk fees a lender might charge.  However, I will ask you to ask your real estate agent how they get paid.

What is a Broker’s Administration Fee?  That’s an excellent question to ask your agent.  Because you are the one paying it.  Basically it’s an additional $275 to as much as $425 I’ve seen agents charge their buyers/sellers.   Some major, major brokerages here in Kansas City (think largest, second largest, etc) require their agents to charge the fee.  If the agent doesn’t get it out of their client then the brokerage gets it out of the agent’s commission.

The fee is for, well, I’m not really sure.  Why don’t you ask your agent charging one?  I’d love to know what it’s for. 

Now, an agent may charge you an additional fee to the commission he/she receives on the transaction for a closer.  Or an assistant.  Or a new suit.  But you should ask them what the fee is for and if you don’t think it’s absolutely necessary it’s a point you can negotiate.

Chris, have you ever charged a broker’s administration fee?  Yes.  Not often.  But I have.  An example would be if your file was going to be handled by a third party to get it to closing, and not me.  I have charged the fee.  I currently don’t as I just believe that’s my cost of business, not yours. 

4 Comments

Filed under Personal Real Estate Opinions

4 responses to “What Is A Broker’s Administration Fee?

  1. Hey Chris-
    That is one of those dirty little secrets in the broker community. I hate it. I have to charge $395 for the broker fee and another $175 for my team fee!

    And I charged that once on a $35k property that I only made $600 commission on!

  2. Heh. You didn’t offend me. The notion that though, we need to have a race to the bottom in fees is absurd. I might be 500-700 more…but I’ve never had a closing delayed or defered after pre approval…when the appraisal came back @ value.

    Industry average is 14% delay or deny after pre approval.

    And as far as agent commissions go? When I make a recommendation, it includes fees and other nonsense..as part of the deal.

  3. Scott & Chris – Thanks for commenting. I don’t care if your fee is your fee. And I’m not “racing to the bottom”. I just would refuse to pay the fee as a consumer and expect others feel the same way.

    I just want people to know it’s negotiable. If the agent or LO they want to work with insists on charging the fee then they can either pay it because they think he’s worth it, or choose someone else. It’s free enterprise at it’s best.

  4. I agree. Though, agents would freak out if we suggested that they waive anything…(generalizing, I know, I know.)

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