Estate agents are extremely public personalities so you would think that if they were not compliant that someone would know. The truth is that there are estate agents who do not comply with legislation, which requires an estate agent not to sell a property without an FFC.
But what is the legislation’s definition of “estate agent” – Estate Agency Affairs Act 1976 section 1:
a) means any person who for the acquisition of gain on his own account or in
partnership, in any manner holds himself out as a person who, or directly or
indirectly advertises that he, on the instructions of or on behalf of any other
i) sells or purchases or publicly exhibits for sale immovable property or
any business undertaking or negotiates in connection therewith or
canvasses or undertakes or offers to canvass a seller or purchaser
ii) lets or hires or publicly exhibits for hire immovable property or any
business undertaking or negotiates in connection therewith or canvasses
or undertakes or offers to canvass a lessee or lessor therefor; or
iii) collects or receives any moneys payable on account of a lease of
immovable property or any business undertaking; or
iv) renders any such other service as the Minister on the recommendation
of the board may specify from time to time by notice in the Gazette;…
The definition is wide but defined.
So you think that you have found a great agent, they are everywhere and seem to sell quite a bit, so let’s sign the mandate. At this point, it is important to take a moment and do some due diligence.
Phone the Estate Agency Affairs Board on 087 285 3222 and check that the estate agent is registered as an estate agent with the company which they now represent.
It may seem like a lot of trouble but it is unlawful for someone to hold themselves to be an estate agent when they are not in possession of a current FFC.
Knowing that you are dealing with a compliant property professional provides you with peace of mind and the knowledge that she or he is detail focussed and that they do everything above board.
It is so that the EAAB from time to time get things horribly wrong but that aside it does not change the fact that performing the actions of an estate agent are reserved for duly complaint property professionals.