Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Robberies Continue

For the second time in two weeks I've witnessed a buyer being ripped off by their agent. The crime: a junk fee tacked on the settlement statement among the dozens of other, legitimate charges. If the buyer was told about and agreed to this fee in advance, it's still wrong. I don't know if the broker lets the agent decide whether to charge the client or pay it out of their own pocket. Agents working for a broker who charges them a transaction fee in addition to skimming a cut off the top of their commission are being ripped off. Agents who pass on the fee to their client when a substantial commission is already being paid are ripping off the client. Long-time readers of this blog will remember that this exact distasteful practice by my former broker (one of the big franchise offices) was the impetus for the opening of Walker Bagwell years ago.

I understand why some agents are tempted to pass the fee along. In this particular case, the buyer's broker is receiving $4920.00 commission from the seller's broker. Depending on the agent's split with the broker, if the agent pays the $345 "Broker Only Commission" there's a good chance the agent's take-home pay (before taxes) will be less than half the original $4920. Still doesn't justify ripping off the client. Agents, do the right thing or look for a broker who doesn't see you as just another revenue stream to squeeze and massage.

The photo is of the north side of the Cocoa Beach Pier yesterday, Dec. 10, midday, high tide. Surf was big and clean and, as is usually the case at the Pier, easy enough for Grandma to catch a head-high peeler. Things were a little more intense and consequential a few miles south where the north swell was hitting directly. The epic conditions continue today.

"Living is easy with eyes closed,
Misunderstanding all you see." ____John Lennon