If you need to buy or sell a home in Las Vegas there are a few things you need to consider.
Las Vegas has the reputation for taking people’s money legally and if you are considering a real estate transaction you need to make sure you don’t lose your money illegally in an unnecessary manner. Although real estate agents take an oath and are professional obligated to no rip you off you still have to look out for your self.
The era of short sales and underwater homes has made it very tempting for realtors and lawyers a like to rip people off in order to make easy money. One of the most recent “scams” that has become legal is for the real estate company to add a transaction fee on top of the standard commission under the labe BAC or broker administrative commission. It should be called joker administrative commission but it is something that all companies have put it place. It is done legally because it is part of the listing agreement process that has you sign a paper saying you are willing to pay this fee at the end of the transaction. It seems in innocuous at the beginning of the transaction because no money is exchanging hangs but often people get to the closing and end up questioning the extra $350 debit. Usually by this time it is too late to get out of paying the fee and in general it is becoming a standard fee that all real estate companies are charging. However, it is one of the fees real estate companies charge that is akin to the hidden fees banks tend to charge on your over drafts. It would be more truthful to just call it a fee to pad the pockets of the real estate company executives rather than an administrative fee.
So it is easy to see how you can get hit for an extra 300-400 dollars and that seems rather minimal if you are getting the results you want and getting your transaction done in a professional manner. But this is not the only fee you have to be aware of these days. Since the broker has decided to to charge the administrative fee Realtors are now deciding to pad that fee for their own pocket or to charge an additional so called administrative commission on top of the regular real estate commission.
It has become very common place and agents are calling it their own administrative fee that is on top of the real estate commission. Some agents charge as much as $1500 up front for getting a short sale listing and for the cost of trying to negotiate a short sale for a seller. It is not much different than a lawyer claiming they will represent you at a mediation meeting for a loan modification for $2500. Many lawyers much like many Realtors collect this fee up front. Once you have paid your fee you will be pressed to get anything done on your sale or case on certain occasions.
The situation that makes it so difficult on people, the chance of losing their home, often makes them easy prey for lawyers and Realtors. What short sale owners need to know is that the banks typically will not pay the broker administrative commission but they will likely pay a 6% or even 7% commission.
It is understandable that real estate companies and Realtors are doing a lot of extra hard work when it comes to negotiating a short sale but you must be aware of your rights and you must be aware of the fees you are charged. You can expect to pay something extra when going for a short sale if you are underwater and that likely will be in your best interest. However, you can limit the cost be just being aware of what you are getting charged and what you are being charged for when you negotiate your listing agreement.
Also don’t forget that prices have risen about 15% on average this year in Las Vegas and that you may finally have a change to get out from under your current mortgage and buy something new at the amazingly low rates. Call today to get your free home evaluation and I will discuss the best options for you. There always is an option and the best option may be to stay right where you are but the other option may be to sell and buy something new or to sell and rent for a while until more inventory hits the market at potentially lower prices. Don’t stay stuck in your current situation if it is bringing you down. As I said before there always is an option.
Chris LaHaie Realtor
Prudential Americana Group,
Las Vegas, NV