Agent

Real estate purchase surprise irks home buyer

Should buyer pay agent's 'administrative fee'?

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DEAR BOB: I just purchased my first home, a condominium. But I feel like I was robbed by my real estate agent. I stopped by a Sunday afternoon open house being held by the listing agent. The condo was exactly what I had been searching for. Great location. Nice complex about 6 years old. Affordable price. The agent was very helpful. Although I was a bit "light" on my cash down payment, she arranged a mortgage I could afford. But what really bugged me was, at the closing, the listing agent tacked on a $695 "administrative fee" to my closing costs. She didn't even show up for the closing. I was told to "either sign the papers or you don't get the condo." I reluctantly signed. However, since the listing agent got all the sales commission (I didn't have my own buyer's agent, as you often advise), to charge me $695 extra seems outrageous. When I phoned her, she said that is "standard" to pay for her brokerage's expenses, including the services of a "transaction coordinator" who, I admit, was...