Unregistered estate agents can't charge you commission

THE ESTATE Agency Affairs Board has cautioned home sellers to ensure that their estate agents have Fidelity Fund Certificates allowing them to operate.

Stephen Logan

3 minute read

Unregistered estate agents can't charge you commission

This post appeared on Publication: Saturday Weekend Argus, Property

THE ESTATE Agency Affairs Board has cautioned home sellers to ensure that their estate agents have Fidelity Fund Certificates allowing them to operate. If they do not, they are notentitled to earn commission onthe sale.

More importantly, they are not allowed to operate as estate agents.According to the board,about 10 years ago there wereas many as 80 000 registered estate agents whereas today this figure is closer to 30 000.

That means, if still in business, 50 000 agents are operating illegally.Believing the board is unlikely to catch them, these operators flout the law and take chances. The board says though that these agents have not counted on the official industry body setting up measures to verify agents’ legitimacy.

A new counter fraud devicep rovided by PrivySeal is now mandatory for all registered estate agents and distinguishes the genuine operators from the fakes.The inspiration behind PrivySeal attorney Stephen Logan, explains that a Privyseal is a digital seal of authenticity that only displays if aqualification has been verifiedas genuine. More than that, it displays the date and time aqualification was last checked.

“With qualifications digitally checked every few minutes, the process provides realtime online verification, ‘ says Logan “By clicking on a Privyseal, consumers can accessdetails about the qualification holder, including their registered contact details which are drawn from the database of the qualification authority.

“Logan adds that anyone with an estate agency board Privyseal an agent or agency is able to prove that they are properly registered and their current good standing has been verified.

“By working with a registered professional, consumers have greater protection and recourse should anything go wrong.“The Privyseals are already being used by a wide range of organisations, including the Institute of Directors, Law Societies and the South African Qualifications Authority.

The board was the first industry regulator to make the useof Privyseals mandatory, says Margie Campbell, the board’s marketing manager.“Thanks to the support ofkey industry stakeholders…all registered estate agents and registered estate agency enterprises must display their board Privyseals as a way of countering qualification fraudand protecting the public and legitimate estate agents.

“If your estate agent doesn’thave a board Privyseal, theyhave very likely not beenissued with a valid fidelity fund certificate by the board.In terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act unregistered estate agents are not entitled to any remuneration for estate agency services rendered.

“The board has paid forevery registered estate agentto obtain a board Privyseal.“There is no valid reason,therefore, why a properly registered estate agent in goodstanding with the board shouldnot use a Privyseal.”