OpinionBrokerage

Editorial: ‘Junk’ fees bad for consumers

Brokers' extra charges upset agents, too

The Inman News three-part series, "Broker fees divide Industry," written by staff writer Matt Carter, generated mounds of feedback, demonstrating that the industry is indeed divided on the issue of brokers charging a "transaction fee" -- which sometimes goes by other names -- that can add several hundred dollars to the percentage-based commission that consumers typically pay for real estate services. We know the real estate industry -- as are most industries in this ailing economy -- are hurting, but consumers are hurting, too. Let's not sully the industry's reputation by sneaking in extra fees. Brokers: If you can't justify these fees to your own agents, they are rightly dubbed "junk" fees. Add it up: If a buyer or a seller in every real estate transaction got hit with a $200 broker transaction fee, that could amount to more than $1 billion, based on Fannie Mae's projection of 5.1 million new and resale home sales in 2009. The home-buyi...