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Real estate a la carte: it’s what consumers want

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The comment simply added an international flavor to what has become an ongoing wrestling match about real estate commissions. Simon Baker, a successful Australia-based publisher of real estate information who is now managing director and chief executive of realestate.co.au Ltd., a Web site posting property listings in several countries, was part of panel discussing how and where high-net-worth individuals were purchasing real estate around the globe. Many high-end agents based in the United States had explained how they had contacts and clients in foreign countries -- Russians, Germans, Italians, Japanese -- who had come to the United States and bought expensive homes and apartments. "But if you have a U.S. client looking to buy a second or third home abroad, don't expect to receive a commission or a referral fee," Baker said. "Commissions are a lot lower in other parts of the world. They are 1.75 percent in the U.K., 2.2 percent in Austria, about 2.5 percent in New ...