Talking about property transactions, I believe most of you will appoint an estate agent to handle all related matters. In this regard, what is the role of an estate agent and how to find a professional estate agent?
Estate agency work is complicated and involves a lot of procedures. In short, according to the Estate Agents Ordinance, in the course of business, any work done in relation to the introduction to the client of a third person who wishes to acquire or dispose of a property, or to the negotiation for the acquisition or disposition of a property by the client, or after the introduction or the negotiations, any work done in relation to the purchase, sale or leasing of the property are the responsibilities of an estate agent.
All estate agents must obtain the relevant licences before they could engage in any estate agency work. The licensing regime ensures that all licensed estate agents meet the legal requirements and attain a certain level of professionalism to provide consumers with quality services, so that the rights and interests of all parties are protected in the transaction. Currently, consumers can refer to the website of the Estate Agents Authority to ascertain whether the relevant estate agent holds a valid licence or has any disciplinary record within the previous three years. The EAA’s record also shows whether the estate agent obtained a recognition in completing continuing professional development activities.
In addition, professional estate agents should be equipped with relevant professional knowledge and skills to cope with different tasks when acting for buyers or sellers. For example, estate agents need to prepare various documents and agreements, conduct a land search of the property, negotiate between buyers and sellers, advertise the property and arrange flat viewings for clients, etc.
I suggest consumers should first understand the responsibilities of estate agents so they can choose the most suitable licensed estate agent to handle the property transaction for them. Recently, a YouTube channel called “米紙” produced a video about estate agency work in which the daily work of an estate agent was introduced through the interesting experience of a “one-day apprentice”. Please visit this link to watch the video (note: the video is only available in Cantonese).
Moreover, the channel also produced another video titled “地產代理多面睇” which shares the stories of different estate agents beyond their work. Interested consumers can click this link to watch the video (note: the video is only available in Cantonese).
Last but not the least, I would like to remind consumers again that when using the service of an estate agent, you should always appoint a licensed estate agent for the protection of your own rights and interests.
Chief Executive Officer
Estate Agents Authority