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New site targets transparency in real estate fees

Lowerfees.com allows vendors to advertise fees

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A new Web site that aims to provide more transparency into real estate fees provides consumers with estimates for a variety of these fees based on quotes submitted by vendors. The managers for Lowerfees.com say the site could potentially cut costs for consumers while giving vendors a new venue to market their services. Michael Kratzer, president, CFO and co-chairman of Lowerfees Inc., said that the real estate industry "is still in the Dark Ages," and the site sheds some light on the various components of a real estate transaction. Consumers may not realize that they can choose different service providers themselves, as real estate or mortgage professionals often suggest that their clients work with specific vendors. Lowerfees.com, Kratzer said, at least provides a baseline to consumers on what they can expect to pay for various fees associated with a real estate transaction. Taking a page from the Web 2.0 playbook, the site's basic tools are free for consumers and vendors to use, re...