Local real estate agents, already battling a slump in the market, are now complaining about ‘unfair practices’ by an international brokerage firm charging half the brokerage.
The move by L.J. Hooker, a well-known Australian real estate company, to charge brokerage from just one party (usually the seller instead of both seller and buyer) has raised the heckles of the broking fraternity.
Talking to HT, Sudeep Shetty, franchise owner, L.J. Hooker, justified the stance.
“This is an international practice, where brokerage is taken only from one party and this model has succeeded across other countries. I see no reason why is should not succeed here,” said Shetty. “We normally do not charge the buyer as he is already burdened by the payment as well as other taxes in the transaction of the property. It is usually the seller who pays us the commission,” he added.
Local brokers say their commission has been reduced in recent times from 2 to 1 per cent.
The Estate Agents Association of India, an apex body with 1,400 members, said it was time the government helped brokers out. “We have no problem waiving brokerage from buyers, but we should get at least 5 per cent from sellers then,” said president Yeshwant Dalal.