Hong Kong property agents face ethical duty advising clients on bank valuation, mortgage financing margin


Property transactions in Hong Kong’s primary and secondary markets have been declining due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the prospect of a near-term revival is not promising.

Estate agents should adopt full disclosure to avoid conflict of interests in property transactions


The real estate market thrives on transparency and trust, and agents must not allow any personal interest to conflict with those of their clients.

The importance of conducting a land search when buying or selling property in Hong Kong


  • Buyers should carefully study the land search copy provided by the estate agent before entering into a sales agreement or paying a deposit, warns Ruby Hon of the Estate Agents Authority
  • By understanding the key information about the relevant property, potential risk and loss can be better avoided
    A land search is an important document in a property transaction.
    • It provides the searcher with essential information regarding the property, such as its address, ownership details and encumbrances, if any, that are registered against it.

Why provisional sales, tenancy agreements for property in Hong Kong must be handled with care


  • Consumers must be aware that provisional property agreements are legally binding documents and disputes may easily arise, says Ruby Hon, chief executive of the Estate Agents Authority
  • Failure to fill in the documents correctly can be costly, Hon warns

Hong Kong watchdog extends purview to regulate licensed property agents selling incomplete overseas property


  • Estate Agents Authority circular provides guidelines for licensed agents handling the sale of incomplete properties situated outside Hong Kong
  • Consumers are advised to do their homework when purchasing non-local properties

Be careful when renting a sublet property: if there’s no agreement in place you could end up evicted


It is vitally important to check the principal tenancy agreement for any restriction against subletting, says Ruby Hon Yuen-ping, CEO of the Estate Agents Authority
Before deciding to rent a property, a prospective tenant should pay attention to whether it is being leased by the landlord or sublet by the principal tenant, as subletting may involve complicated issues and a subtenant’s rights might not be protected.

Understanding the risks of unauthorised building works before buying or renting property in Hong Kong


As additions or alterations may affect the safety of a property and may render the title defective, agents should inform their clients of any such orders registered against the property and the risks involved

Pay close attention to stamp duty when buying property in Hong Kong


•Since property transactions usually involve large sums of money and buyers bear the cost of stamp duty, they are advised to carefully research what category they fall under and not just rely on property agents

Regulations on Issuing Property Advertisements


◾There are a number of requirements that estate agency companies need to comply with when issuing property advertisements
◾The Estate Agents Authority issued a circular last December that spells out new requirements.

I would like to share a case concerning a property advertisement with misleading or wrong information.

Homebuyers should find out how much the bank will loan before signing a purchasing agreement


Purchasing a property to many people is a lifetime investment requiring substantial amount of savings. Most buyers will need to apply for a mortgage loan to finance their purchase. A well-planned budget and obtaining accurate information about a mortgage loan before committing the property purchase are therefore very important steps to take for the prospective purchasers.