PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) is concerned and worried over the welfare of an estimated 25,000 Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Negotiators in the country.
The movement control order (MCO) has brought the real estate fraternity to a “Grinding Stop” and the MIEA is unable to help house buyers in taking vacant possession of their properties, unable to do any viewings and physically list any properties for sale or rental.
Like many Malaysians, the agents and negotiators are also affected financially, more so because they are mostly commission agents and do not have a basic salary.
“We are also concerned that the market has taken a shift and that new strategies be placed to help balance the shift,” said MIEA president Lim Boon Ping.
As such, he said MIEA was making a call to the Government to place in abeyance the collection of SST (Sales and Services Tax) for Real Estate transactions until end of the year to help sellers from having to incur additional costs.
“The RPGT (real property gains tax) be zeroed as in 2007 till end of the year to help boost the already soft real estate market. This would help sellers to reduce losses who will face a ‘push down price demand’ from buyers,” he said in a statement here today.
Lim also called to allow for a transfer of 10 per cent of funds from Account 1 to Account 2 of the Employees Provident Fund to provide liquidity for the purchase of homes or assistance in repayment of loans after the moratorium of 6 months.
“MIEA has in our budget proposal last year suggested for the option of Interest Only Loans for the purchase of properties. Perhaps this would be the right time for this to be reconsidered especially after the 6 months moratorium as a longer-term measure for first time house buyers,” Lim added.
He also called for assistance be given to the Real Estate Negotiators to pull through during the current difficult times.
“We commend the government for coming up with a stimulus package that leaves no one behind. We therefore seek for the automatic extension of the benefits made available for e-hailing & subsidies for income earners less than RM2,000 and household below RM4,000 to be also extended to Registered Estate Agents, Probationary Estate Agents and Real Estate Negotiators registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Malaysia (BOVAEAP),” he said.
Lim also proposed that a segment of the Special Relief Facility for Covid-19 also be dedicated for the 1,300 registered real estate firms to keep them afloat and to avoid retrenching their staff.
“MIEA also kindly requests all real estate portal companies whom the real estate fraternity had fully supported throughout the years to give favourable incentives and cost benefit packages for agents to boost their advertising spend which in turn could directly help to market properties for their clients,” he said.
Lim also said that it was compulsory for the close to 25,000 Real Estate Negotiators (RENs) & Real Estate Agents (REAs) to attend the Continuous Professional Development Programme & Continuous Development Programme (CPD & CDP) every year and also for the 2020 session.
“We propose that a relief should be provided in that all CPD & CDP programmes be deferred to 2021 and that all the REAs and RENs who at this point of time are registered or certified with BOVAEAP are given automatic renewal to practice in 2021.
“This will go a long way for the 25,000 practitioners to get a relief of one year in order for everyone to continue working legally and help the practitioners financially,” he said.
MIEA secretary-general Serene Sew said the organisation had been proactive and has taken initiatives to help member agents by establishing an ‘MIEA Covid19 Helpline’ to those in need of assistance.
“MIEA has also launched a ‘MIEA-HOPE Program’ to help agents throughout the country on ways to assist their clients and on self-development. These programmes are live and on zoom webinar and Facebook at 10am & 3pm daily until April 14, 2020,” she said.
MIEA is a national body representing real estate practitioners in Malaysia. Established in 1974, it comprises more than 6,500 registered real estate practitioners as members.