Caught out with a lie

2014-11

Estate agents must provide services to clients in an honest manner and must not make misrepresentations that mislead clients.

A client was interested in buying a home in the secondary market and appointed an estate agent to approach the seller. However, the agent told her the unit had been sold.

He counterproposed a new residential development and arranged for the client to sign a provisional agreement for sale and purchase of a property in the development.

Shortly after, the client learned from another agent that the secondhand flat that she was originally interested in had not been sold. Feeling misled, she lodged a complaint with the Estate Agents Authority against the agent who persuaded her to buy the new property.

The Code of Ethics issued by the authority states that estate agents and salespersons shall, in the course of business, provide services to clients with honesty, fidelity and integrity.

They should protect their clients against fraud, misrepresentation or any unethical practices in connection with real estate transactions.

In this case, the estate agent did not provide a service to his client honestly and was disciplined by the authority.

He was reprimanded and his license was suspended for two months.