RERA - an agent’s per­spec­tive

The sec­tions 9 and 10 of the act cover the role of a real-estate agent. It is def­i­nitely bet­ter to have some le­gal recog­ni­tion of agents than none but, a lot more needs to be un­der­stood and then de­fined.

Realty Plus - - Editor-In-Chief Note -

As per my anal­y­sis, the real-estate broking alone is a Rs. 18,000 crores sec­tor in In­dia and there are over 5,00,000 real-estate agents across the coun­try. Yet, real-estate broking sec­tor in In­dia is less than 1% the size of this seg­ment across the world. The RERA does speak of reg­is­ter­ing the agents but, at the same time, leaves a lot of other is­sues un­ad­dressed. • Prima fa­cie read­ing the said sec­tions of the act gives the im­pres­sion that the act is only for the agents in­volved in a sale trans­ac­tion re­lated to any new project. The scope of the act needs to be widened to re­sale trans­ac­tions and also to lease and rent trans­ac­tions. • A lot of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties have been at­tached and at­trib­uted to an agent but an agent is a mere fa­cil­i­ta­tor. He is nei­ther a part of the pro­moter nor is he an en­tity on whom a project de­pends. In such a sit­u­a­tion peg­ging too many re­spon­si­bil­i­ties on him would not only be un­fair but could also be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive for the re­alty sec­tor es­pe­cially when his in­ter­ests in the deal are nei­ther safe­guarded nor taken care of. From the pro­moter’s side, an agent is asked to bring in cus­tomers and do a lot leg work but, in the end, is not paid his le­git­i­mate pro­fes­sional fees. Like­wise, from, the buyer’s side, an agent is sup­posed to get the low­est price as also, do the due dili­gence. Yet, quite a few times, the agent

is left with­out his le­git­i­mate pro­fes­sional fees. • There is a re­quire­ment of set­ting up a na­tional level body or an in­sti­tute to im­part train­ing for var­ied real-estate deals such as for res­i­den­tial premises, agri­cul­tural land, in­dus­trial plots, etc. The am­bi­gu­i­ties would fade away once a na­tional level body of real-estate pro­fes­sion­als is set up. • RERA dif­fer­en­ti­ates an in­di­vid­ual from a com­pany and the reg­is­tra­tion fees of the two are dif­fer­ent. The act doesn’t de­fine the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the two. Whether all the em­ploy­ees of the com­pany au­to­mat­i­cally get li­cense to prac­tise the pro­fes­sion or only those in the com­pany who are in­di­vid­u­ally reg­is­tered as the real-estate agents get to rep­re­sent their prin­ci­pal com­pany. The is­sue is crit­i­cal and needs to be de­fined be­yond doubts. • The act en­vis­ages an agent to reg­is­ter him­self/her­self state­wise. How­ever, one na­tional level reg­is­tra­tion of an agent should be good enough for all the states. Quite a few times, the deals hap­pen across two states. Or, mul­ti­ple deals hap­pen be­tween same par­ties across mul­ti­ple states with the same real-estate agent in be­tween. • The act should also de­fine the role of the elec­tronic me­dia re­lated with the real-estate in­dus­try. The in­dus­try has wit­nessed a deluge of por­tals and so­cial me­dia pages

which are nei­ther au­then­tic nor reg­u­lated which of­ten tend to mis­lead their pa­trons.

there is an emer­gent need to de­fine the role as well as the pro­fes­sional fees of an agent dur­ing sale trans­ac­tions as well as leas­ing and rent­ing.

alok GUPTA Pres­i­dent Cen­tral zone the estate agents as­so­ci­a­tion of in­dia

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