Builders, Realtors square off on transfer fees

California legislation seeks new limits on private fees

Environmentalists and builders are uncommon bedfellows, particularly in the political arena. But a fledgling financing mechanism, which can be used by builders to raise money for a variety of purposes when a property changes hands, has made fast friends of frequent foes while breaking some traditional alliances.

Proposed legislation in California related to these new fees — which are collected when a home is sold and are typically based on a percentage of the selling price — has pitted Realtors against builders and environmentalists.