Fake real estate agents are mushrooming overnight despite the strict laws that govern the sale and purchase of any property.
There have been many recent cases of crooks deceiving property owners and buyers by posing as registered real estate negotiators.
The recent hike in complaints of illegal property agents have urged the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA) to take proactive measures to address the problem.
BOVAEA recently launched the anti C.A.M.P campaign to educate people on the methods used by these conmen.
C.A.M.P stands for:
- Cheating: acting dishonestly or unfairly to gain an advantage over the client
- Absconding: running away with client’s money (usually with the deposit money)
- Misrepresentation: providing false fact or an omission of fact that could have affected the purchase decision
- Profiteering: attempts to take advantage of circumstances to make excessive profits (manipulation of prices)
Under Section 30 of the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981, the accused can be fined RM300,000, face three years in prison, or both.
So what are the essential things to note when dealing with an agent??
The best way to avoid dealing with a fake agent is to insist on checking the Real Estate Authority Tag. Check these six key aspects on the tag and protect your real estate interest by not falling prey to brokers who are not qualified, and lack the knowledge and skill to effectively represent you.
- Tag colour
The authority tag come in two colours. The red colour denotes that the bearer of the tag is a Real Estate Negotiator or a Probationary Estate Agent. While blue colour tags identify the tag bearer as a Registered Estate Agent.
- QR code
The authority tag contains a QR code. With the wide use of smartphones these days, it is convenient for the public to use their mobile device to scan and verify that the negotiator is registered with BOVAEA.
Always check on the name of the agency or firm that the negotiator is registered with. The card will be replaced when the negotiator joins a new agency or firm.
- REN name
There are two names printed on the card. The larger print name is the ‘pseudo’ name used by the negotiator in conducting business while the smaller print name is the full birth name in accordance to the individual’s NRIC.
- REN number
Each Real Estate Negotiator is assigned with a unique REN number. The REN number is required to be displayed in all forms of communication and marketing collaterals. The general public can verify whether the REN is authorised through BOVAEA’s webpage.
A state-of-the-art hologram image of the BOVAEA logo has been created to differentiate it from unauthorised counterfeit tags.