Beware of real estate agent junk fees

Buyer advised to protest charges

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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 when the sale closes. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Listing agents are very well paid when the property sells. That $495 fee is an unnecessary junk fee that comes out of your pocket and adds to t...