Legislative Assembly First Standing Committee President Kwan Tsui Hang said yesterday that most of the lawmakers in her committee agreed with the government’s stance that it would not legally fix property agents’ commission rates in its bill regulating the city’s real-estate agencies and agents.
Kwan made the remarks to the media after her committee had a second meeting with government representatives including Housing Bureau (IHM) Director Tam Kuong Man and other staff from the bureau on the latest version of the government-initiated bill.
“Expect for one lawmaker who represents the property agency sector insisting that a minimum commission rate to be paid to property agents should be stated in the bill, most of the lawmakers [in the committee] agreed with the government’s stance that the bill should not state a specific rate,” Kwan said.
She quoted the government representatives as saying that due to property agents carrying out commercial transactions the government should never be involved in fixing the commission rates or service fees charged for any industry through legislation.
“The government [representatives] said that the government would not interfere excessively in how the property sector operates,” The Macau Post Daily quoted Kwan as saying. Kwan added that there had been an appeal from the sector to include in the bill a minimum commission rate to be paid to property agents.
According to the bill, there will be several principles in the drafting of a contract between property agents and their clients or among property agencies, including one stating that property agents must be paid a commission when the transaction is complete but no specific rate will be stated; instead it should be decided between the contractual parties, Kwan pointed out.
“The bill and its future supplementary by-law will not state a fixed commission rate,” Kwan said.
Currently, there is no law in Macau to regulate property agents.
According to the bill, the city’s real estate agencies would need to be licensed by the government and property agents must pass an officially recognised examination to be granted a licence.
The bill also recommends that property agents should be issued with a provisional licence lasting three years before they pass the exam for a full licence.
The outline of the bill was approved by the legislature in February last year. It’s now discussed at the committee level before it must be submitted once again to a plenary session for an article-by-article vote. (macaunews)