First of all, may I wish our readers all the best for the Year of the Rat. Stepping into the New Year, it is time for us to review the past and plan for the future. Here, I would like to share some of our findings with you.
In 2019, the EAA received a total of 299 complaints, representing a decrease of 2% compared to that of 2018. Among these cases, the number of complaints related to estate agents’ order at first-sale sites and sale of properties situated outside Hong Kong decreased by 70% and 60% respectively. The improvements are encouraging and reflect the concerted efforts of both the estate agency trade and the EAA, as well as the increased awareness of the consumers.
However, the number of complaints concerning the issuance of non-compliant advertisements increased from 20 cases in 2018 to 56 in 2019. Some of the non-compliances are related to the failure to obtain the written consent of the vendors/landlords before the issuance of advertisements. Here, I would like to appeal to vendors/landlords to provide their written consent to their appointed estate agents to issue property advertisements. This will not only help enhance the accuracy of property advertisements, but also increase the exposure of the listing.
In addition, the EAA launched the “5A estate agent” publicity campaign in 2019 and will continue to promote it in 2020. The campaign reminds the public to appoint a “5A estate agent”, while encouraging the trade to become a “5A estate agent”, who complies with the law while providing a “5A” service to consumers. A new wave of promotions has just been launched which consumers can see in estate agency shops. Advertisements on public bus fleets will also start from early February.
In 2020, the EAA will also continue to educate the public about purchasing properties situated outside Hong Kong. A new booklet for consumers will be published soon and a public seminar on the subject will be held again in March 2020.
Chief Executive Officer
Estate Agents Authority