Consultant real estate agents or bogus middlemen?

Consultant real estate agents or bogus middlemen?

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

TWO decades ago in Australia, I booked an apartment for my family online: Picked a unit from the photos and prices posted, paid online, signed the house rules sheet and was told where to get the keys. Simple! No middlemen and no unnecessary charges – in fact, I did not even have to meet the owner.

In 2022 in Malaysia, I bought an overpriced small condominium unit in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya. I received the keys months late but thanks to the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, the developer was let off.

Then I was swamped by a deluge of “consultant real estate agents” offering to find renters. Yet many had zero to little knowledge about unit costs, maintenance fees, assessment fees/quit rent borne by owners, etc.

They simply wanted to bring in potential tenants to view the condo – and these young, unrealistic “middlemen” are supposed to be the sole determinant of rental price and tenancy duration.

Most want to offer a duration of six months or a year, presumably so they can collect easy “middlemen” fees. Some even have the audacity to push their clients’ demands for lower rental along with ridiculous things like type of curtain, water filter, Internet access, etc.

The only people who seem to benefit from this process are these middlemen. When are we Malaysians going to progress beyond this culture of Ali Baba/middlemen/quick cash earning? It is particularly unnecessary in this time of hardship for owners struggling to keep up mortgage instalments.

There should be more community awareness to help eradicate such dysfunctional procedures/systems.

SOHO SUITE OWNER

Petaling Jaya


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