Charging the Buyer a Fee to Process the Short Sale Listing

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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It's funny, you can't win with buyer agents on short sales. If you adjust the co-broke to reflect the 1% to your assistant, the buyer's agent will complain. If you give them the co-broke and ask the buyer to contribute to your commissions that the lender does not approve of, the buyer's agent will complain.

Sorry for being Off-topic here


you are not off topic, that is a very good point.  The bottom line is this:  Everyone needs to focus on getting the deal done and doing it right and stop complaining about who is paying for what. If the buyers agent is a good agent who understands short sales, he will educate his buyer as to what is necessary for his buyer to get a good deal.  I think there is too much focus on the negotiation fees, negotiatiors work hard on behalf of the buyer and seller to make the deal happen. They have a right to get paid and as long as it disclosed and its legal in the state they are doing business in why does it matter who pays for it?   

Thank you Marcilina!

I agree with you head on!

it matters for the buyers especially if they are already paying fair market value for the house and they have absolutely no control of how the short sale is handled.  not all short sale agents do a good job…buyers are at the mercy of listing agents that often do not keep the buyers agent informed….especially when hiccups occur (as they often do).  The 1% comes off the top for the short sale-processor on my listings.  

Hi Pam I am in Florida and would also love to have the verbiage that you use in your contract for the buyer to pay the SS coordination fee. Thanks!!!! Maritza Cruz



We, too would like to have this language, if you are sharing; and thank you, if you do share it! But also thanks for the idea.

Coldwell Banker King Thompson  METRO

175 S 3d St,

Columbus, OH 43215


do you have the language that you put into the listing to disclose this? i really like this idea. Thanks.

P.S. if you could email it to i would realy apprciate it.

Hello Amber,

I'm in Georgia. Kindly send the words you use in your short sale contract to my email at: also. 

While it may be legal, it doesn't mean it's ethical. I'm very uneasy about this coming "trend". I've always put my fee on the HUD, and what the bank doesn't pay is invoiced to the title company, and paid at closing from the listing broker commission.

I think charging the buyer is a good way to blow an offer.

Roberta, it is refreshing to see REALTOR who knows what her job is and takes responsiblity.... the banks esp. B of A. says NO to charging anyone. They want to work with the REALTORS and not 'so called negotiators' It is almost like a 'conditional sale' you can buy the house IF YOU PAY this fee....yes, agents have been getting away with passing the fee on to buyers and other agents. It is ethical, not in my book. Since, I am in charge of the new member orientation classes for our board, I get to sit there and montly listen to the Code of Ethics be explained to new assoc members. Learn something new everytime I hear them. We think that one day these fees are going to be another phase of law suits. If this is the market we are in, then agents should learn their jobs and not just be the smilling face out in the field. Yes, it does cut down on your productivity and time... life's a beach and then you die!


Thank you, Frances. I do a lot of short sales- my own, and negotiate for other agents. It really gets to me when someone who's got no short sales under their belt would rather blow a short sale than pay part of their commission to a professional who can get the sale closed. Our first obligation is to our clients, not our own paycheck. Take care of your clients, and the pay will come.



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