This is my first article in this column for the website of “Be Smart in Appointing Estate Agents”. I would like to welcome all readers and wish you all the best for the new year. I will write on different topics in this column every month and hope that you all learn some useful tips in appointing estate agents.
I have been working at the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) for over 10 years now. My friends have always asked me for tips whenever they encounter any difficulties or issues during their property transaction through estate agents. They also ask me how to find a good agent and how to know whether their agent is doing his/her work properly. This new website will show you what to expect from the service of estate agents and what they should or should not do.
First of all, you should always only appoint an estate agent with a valid licence. Property transaction is complicated. An unlicensed person will not possess the professional knowledge of an estate agent, including a good understanding of the relevant laws and regulations. You may check whether he/she is licensed on the website of the EAA, where you can also find out if the agent has a disciplinary record in the past two years, before you decide to appoint him/her.
I also remind my friends to select an agent according to his/her professionalism and standard of service and not the amount of commission he/she charges or the incentives he/she offers you. One way to assess whether an agent is equipped with the appropriate professional knowledge and whether he/she has a quest for learning and career development is to see if he/she has taken any Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) courses. The EAA and the trade organise these courses regularly and encourage estate agents to participate in them. Those who have obtained the required amount of CPD points in a year will be awarded an Attainment Symbol for that year, which the agent can print on his/her business card. So, when you receive a business card from an agent, take a look to see whether there is a CPD Attainment Symbol on it and when that Symbol was obtained.
There are so many other points to note when you decide to enter into an estate agency agreement with an estate agent. In the next article which will come out next month, I will share with you more tips.
Chief Executive Officer
Estate Agents Authority