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Why must you work with a certified Estate Agent

6 Dec 2016


1. Every consumer who intends to have any business dealings with a person claiming to be an estate agent should first ask that person to produce proof that they have an NQF4 level qualification in real estate, and for a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate that is no more than a year old.
“Time and again we read and hear about unfortunate members of the public who have supposedly been taken for a ride by an estate agent, but in the great majority of these cases it turns out that the person was actually just someone masquerading as an agent – not actually an agent at all.
2.When it comes to rental property, both the property owner (landlord) and the person renting (tenant) should ensure any deposit collected by a rental management agent is paid into a proper trust account – not the agent’s personal account.
3. Prospective tenants should never pay over a deposit until they have viewed the property inside and out and a valid lease has been signed by the landlord as well as themselves.
4. On the other hand, landlords should never allow their properties to be occupied by tenants until there is a lease in place and they are certain the deposit has been paid into a trust account.
5. Home sellers should know that in terms of the Estate Agents Act, unregistered agents are not entitled to sales commission. So if they discover, for example, that an ’agent’ has sold their home just to get their hands on a quick commission, they can refuse to pay that person anything at all.
6. Home buyers should also never pay over a deposit until they have thoroughly checked the property inside and out and a sale agreement has been signed by the seller as well as themselves. And if they are in any doubt about what this contract says, they should take it to their own lawyer before they sign it.
7. Sellers should never allow anyone to take occupation of their home or land until they have proof that transfer of that property has been registered in the Deeds Office. They should also never agree to pay any transfer costs or bond registration costs on behalf of the buyer, and never pay any commission to the estate agent before transfer has been registered.