Singapore agents are offering their services here and it is ILLEGAL. According to the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents Johor branch chairman, S. Vadeveloo. I do not think this is a new news. When I was in my previous company, this was already an issue but alas, no concrete actions were taken. I also think it may be hard to take action. I mean, if they are bringing in their clients from Singapore, driving them in to view properties and once the clients like it, the agents get them to the developers and take an undisclosed commission, nothing would happen. Their customers would naturally trust them more as well as every single agent in Singapore are registered.
Okay, since it’s illegal, what’s the punishment like? Under the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981, unlawful representation by a broker is punishable by a fine of up to RM300,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both. In Malaysia, local real estate negotiators (RENs) must be registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents of Malaysia. Besides that, all these registered RENs are now required to wear an identification tag when conducting business. Read about it here: Property Buyer beware. Easier to identify real from fake now.
Truth is, every party needs to play a part and just mere warnings by MIEA will not work, at all. One of the very first party would be developers. Would there any grounds to ‘warn’ them? If there are none, then this problem will continue to persist. Secondly, would it be possible for the MIEA to talk to Singapore’s REA? After all, if they are serious about it, then it may be possible that some agents who are caught may be slapped with fine or even suspended and suddenly, all the Singapore agents would be working hand in hand with the real estate agencies in Malaysia when they offer their services in Malaysia. That’s what I call win-win. 🙂
I know, it will be tough to force the public but property sellers in Malaysia should also change their attitude too. Without their help, many of these illegal brokers would always be around and the real RENs will never be serious enough because they face so much competition plus pressure. Might as well they just become a broker instead. No rules and easier to get business. To stop these illegal agents both from Malaysia and Singapore, there needs to be prosecution. I think one prosecution to tell them it is a serious offence would stop many of these deals. Question is when?
written on 24 July 2014
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