Has America Gone Fee Crazy?

Hidden fees are everywhere these days. Airlines have started charging over $400 to check oversized bags. Cable TV companies pad your bill with unwanted additional features and surcharges. Cell phone companies charge for dropped calls and text messages they send out. It seems that the most competitive companies are the ones that hide these fees the best.

The real estate industry is no different. Homebuyers unfortunately catch the brunt of it. Between inspection fees, appraisal fees and Home Owner Association (HOA) fees, a first-time homebuyer is almost guaranteed to be surprised at some of the hidden costs. But all those fees are necessary. It’s the extra-hidden fees that can be some of the most surprising. Various closing costs such as document preparation fees, administrative fees, and vendor fees usually account for 4-6% of the entire loan amount.

Some of these fees can be avoided by asking the right questions. Some of them can be negotiated by working with a reputable and responsible agent.

For home buyers, especially first timers, agents are invaluable. Agents can be especially helpful when it comes to determining hidden costs in the purchase, such as utility costs and any unpaid encumbrances that the seller is currently paying.

What sort of outrageous fees are you seeing in your business? What is the best way for an experienced real estate agent to handle these exorbitant fees in the best interest of their clients? Please share your experiences with us.