KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): Those who are looking to sell or buy properties in the market are advised to make sure that their real estate agents are legitimate to protect them falling prey to fraud.
Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) chief executive officer Soma Sundram said as unemployment rate is expected to rise due to the challenges from COVID-19, many may join the real estate business as it does not require a high payment or fee to become an agent, thus possibly resulting in more illegal agents in the country.
"You need to be self-reliant and take time to do your own assessment and research. Do not totally rely on agents to do everything.
"Make sure when you are appointing an agent, the agent is registered and certified because only agents who are legal can be held responsible for the information that they give you," he said, adding that any misrepresentation or misleading advice can be addressed to the firm that the agent is attached with for action.
Soma said this via a virtual conference organised by MIEA today with the theme “Don't Fall Prey When Looking For Great Property Deals”.
He said good cooperation and trust between agent, seller and buyer is important to to make sure every party is well informed.
"As a seller or buyer, you are paying a fee to the agent and you must demand for service. But don't totally leave it to the agent to do everything," said Soma.
Meanwhile, property portal KopiandProperty.com founder and editor Charles Tan said it is also important to appoint an exclusive agent, because appointing many could lead to an agent outshining the other agents by pushing the property price lower.
"An agent should be able to know the area well. Understand the law and where the market is heading. An agent must be knowledgeable about the property and the area, including if it is leasehold/freehold, the distance and traffic conditions, as well as property management, facts about the development, maintenance, facilities, and so on.
"You can also get a second opinion and practise your own due diligence," said Tan.
He also said besides finding a professional and reliable agent or negotiator, it is also important to get a good lawyer and banker to save time and cost in the process.
The conference was organised as part of a public awareness campaign, #MYREALAGENTS, by MIEA to educate the public on the need to engage a registered real estate agent and negotiator for their property transactions at all times.