Are you working with a buyer looking to purchase a short sale? Take NOTE: there are now listings locally that are requiring your buyer to pay a processing fee for the short sale negotiations. These fees can be substantial.
Basically, what you have is an agent that has listed the property but may be clueless when it comes to negotiating the short sale with the bank. So they hire someone from outside to do the negotiations for them and then ask your buyer to pay for the negotiation fee! Check with the listing agent on the short sale to find out who is doing the negotiations, what their success rate is and if there are going to be any fees for your buyer.
I personally don't think that an agent should ethically take a short sale listing if they have no intention of doing the negotations or do not have the training necessary to negotiate the short sale for their client. They are woring outside their area of expertise... I think it puts their client at risk by adding additional fees to the transaction that the buyer will have to cover in order to get the short sale approved. How can these fees be financed? It brings a whole lot of questions up in my miind....What do you think?