DEAR BOB: You often warn about junk fees in the mortgage industry. What about real estate agent junk fees? I am selling my home with a reputable agent and negotiated a fair sales commission completely in line with the local market. However, the agent is insisting on charging me a $495 "transaction fee." He justified it by saying it all goes to his assistant for handling the paperwork and the fee is "in line with the market." Isn't this profit padding like the junk fees mortgage brokers charge? Shouldn't the agent be responsible for paying his own overhead? This agent's insistence on this fee is extremely annoying – Rob P. DEAR ROB: Unless that outrageously high $495 fee was included in the listing agreement you signed with the realty agent, you are not obligated to pay it wh...
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