My broker just came to me with a question and I didn't know the answer, so I'm looking for some guidance. We have an agent in the office who is charging the BUYER of her short sale properties a flat fee at the closing to process the short sale. This fee is disclosed in the contract as well as the HUD. Is this OK? Legally speaking? Does anyone else do anything like this?
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Any Title Co. will do the Short sale for Free as long they are doing the Title.
How ever if the Brokerage is charging a (Processing fee) Broker fee it can be charged to The Buyer as a Broker Fee, as long as is Include in the original Contract and the Buyer is OK with it from the begining of the Contract. Just my opinion, I have executed it in this maner.
I'm not sure how that can work unless your seller agrees to it. The purchase contract is between buyer and seller, not listing agent and buyer. This goes back to my point about opening yourself up for litigation from the seller. Attempting to demand payment from someone who is not your client is most certainly NOT representing your seller's interests.
However, if your listing agreement details this fee as the seller's responsibility, and you make it a standard practice to deflect this responsibility from the seller to the buyer via the purchase contract, you have effectively circumvented the conflict of interest.
I'd be interested in knowing the full details of how those who do this administrate it.
I don't see it as a real problem as long as there is Full disclosure. There are Buyer Premium Fees I see on Auctions and REO all the time. As long as you know up front the situation and the buyer feels it's a good enough bargain.(Which many aren't)
You can put the offer in or not.If I was the buyer agent I would address it at the beginning and say this offer is contingent on MY Buyer NOT paying the fee.
How much is she charging? Exorbitant? Because that might be a problem.
It may depend on your state. In Wisconsin we are not allowed to charge a fee for this service, save for the commission we make if we produce a ready, willing and able buyer.
I have a friend in Michigan, she did a SS with a local REALTOR in that state, and she was charged a flat fee for her service.
Its become an issue in CA where this practice originated. Agents are being audited and some have to turn in their license.
There were 3-5 of us in Southern California that started this. Now it has grown widespread and I laugh when I see my disclosure being sent to me by another agent. The problem comes when the listing broker doesn't properly disclose the commissions the buyer is paying.
I have closed several short sales with AHMSI (American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.) They issue their short sale approval letters with the stipulation that the Buyer pay a Short Sale Administration Fee of 1% at closing and it has to appear on the HUD.
same thing here, I have actually one closing next week with AHMSI with the 1%, I've had 2 others with them over the past year same thing.
How long before the approval or closing should a buyer see the preliminary HUD? If it is submitted to the lender with the contract, shouldn't the buyer see it then also?
I usually don't send the preliminary HUD out to the seller or the buyer, simply because it is a work in progress. Numbers change throughout the short sale process, and the final product is often very different than the first one.
Buyers & sellers (and some realtors) are not aware of how to read these things, so the title company sends out the preliminary CLOSING HUD when the figures arrive just before the final bank approval.
In Colorado this is legal and I see it more and more. It is disclosed in the notes of our metrolist and on the contract. Most title companies that work with short sales do charge a fee and it is disclosed on the HUD. If the bank does not pick it up then the buyer does and it is disclosed as such. I have a short sale now that the bank won't pay the fee but the buyer has agreed to pay it. Buyers usually get a great deal on the short sale and I have had no issues paying the fee at closing. You could ask - why does the seller have to pay all the fees and commissions, especially when they are in trouble?
I have seen this more and more. It is listed on the MLS that the buyer will pay the negotiation fee for the short sale from $1,500 to $5,000. I have asked the MLS and was told that they can do that. I don't understand how they can list a property for X and then add an additinal fee so the property really is: XX.