How are agents charging for their short sale processing fees

I'm being told, a lot lately, that I should be charging for everything, when I am processing a short sale. I have seen some agents charge on the mls a fee to the buyer, a fee to the buyers agent ect. I have heard of making the escrow non refundable and 1/2 going to the short sale processor. 
I'm just wondering what agents are doing out there with fees.
Thanks
Paul In Orlando info@PaulAntonelli.net

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I had a seller do that recently. It was Flagstar and I kept getting the run around. Then the negotiator called me to say the seller had accepted the loan mod - which I did not know he was pursuing.

I'm screening my sellers much more carefully these days AND including the words 'loan modification' 'principal reduction' 'short sale' "DIL' on my LOA's so if the file went into the loan mod dept and I was unaware - I can talk to the loan mod dept.

Great idea.  There are so many firms getting involved in the Short Sale business lately that it is hard to track where the file is when we first start one up.  AMO is one with BOA that has been troubling. Had to send the Third Party 4 different times-lol.

Can you legally do this in your state?  Most lenders require the following (non-verbatim) verbiage to be in all Listing Agreements:  "This is a short sale and the seller may cancel at any time without charge, blah, blah, blah".  Just wondering.

Legally do what? I was talking LOA (letter of authorization) not LA (listing agreement)

I was responding to Wendy's comment about charging a Distressed Seller a Termination fee.  :)

lol :)

I'm curious - (I will first admit up front that I am a 3rd party ATTY based negotiator)... Have you noticed that there is absolutely NO guideline in the SS Addendum or otherwise, for the seller, that lists what their responsibilities might be in the case where they either back out due to a DIL, some other reason, or just plain don't like the deal they get from their lender? I have had several cases in the last year where buyers - who have been waiting 4-6 months for their house, file suits against the buyer's agent, listing agent, and the seller for failure to perform.  Everyone assumes that the "shortsale" somhow differs from a regular sale and that the seller can simply back out at any time without penalty for just about any reason!

 

In my opinion, the SS addendum needs to CLEARLY state the consequences of backing out, just as in a traditional sale.  As agents you are paid to respresent the buyer or seller in their purchase, and if for some reason the bank refuses to give the seller a full release, why should that give the seller the ability to walk?  This is a real estate sale somehow coupled with debt settlement practices and I firmly believe that this whole industry (shortsale) needs to be completely regulated.  

I don't think RESPA has anything to do with charging fees for services provided.  RESPA only comes into play if you are charging fees for services that are not performed or included in your commission.  That is why you were told not to charge for going to the house - those are services that are included in normal real estate commissions.  If what you were told was a blanket statement then all fixed fee, flat fee and fee for service companies would be illegal, which clearly they are not.  The key issue is whether you are charging a fee for what should be an included service, or an additional service.  Short sale negotiations are historically not considered services that are provided by real estate agents.  That is why there are many short sale negotiation firms including law firms.  The principle of charging for short sale processing is fine.  The issue is whether buyers will pay it or banks will approve it on the seller side.  I am guessing that the answer will mostly be no.

I offer 2% to the cooperating broker.  That covers my processing.  If the commissions are negotiated I offer 35% of what is negotiated, which is stated in the private remarks in mls.

Not a bad idea.

We live assigning stuff to mark, he does get 3.5%-4% pretty much all the time

If agents want to charge for doing their job when do you think this madness will end? Are some thinking like attorneys and want to start charging for making a phone call! Faxing, emailing, phoning are all part of our job, just because you have to do it  10 times more than a conventional sale, so what. Get It Done!

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