In a bid to rein in property prices, a regulation came into effect last weekend requiring real estate agents to have fixed property prices. The authorities made spot checks in Beijing on May 4.
Real estate agents must now mark the sale prices of their properties. But not everyone is following the rules.
Sometimes, it takes a bit of effort to find the listed prices. And there are always excuses.
"The prices pamphlets are not in place because of the May Day holiday. We'll put them on tomorrow," said a real estate agent.
"The price charts were up there. They just fell off," said another real estate agent.
But no one is fooled.
"According to price laws and regulations, we'll punish the developers for not clearly marking the price charts," said Chen Da, Director of Market Price Supervisory Department with National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
It's not only the prices that need to be on show, but property management and parking fees too.
Real estate agents used to give average prices for their properties, so buyers didn't know the exact price until they chose to go ahead with the purchase. That led to some agencies upping the price tag behind the customer's back.
With the new regulation in place, the authorities are hoping to make property prices more transparent for all. And as well as this initiative, anyone who suspects a real estate agent of not playing by the rules can report them.
(CNTV.cn May 6, 2011)