BOVAEA: Even more illegal brokers in Malaysia

What’s really happening to the real estate negotiators in Malaysia? Well, they seem to be facing threats after threats. Slowing market meant that potential sales has gone down. More efforts needed but lower closures. Many have changed their full time job as Real Estate Negotiators (REN) to a part time one and taking up another full time or part time work. According to The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (Malaysia) (BOVEVEA), there are today even MORE illegal brokers! If it’s so tough then why are there even more illegal brokers? Well, according to them, these new illegal brokers include individuals, investors, business entities and companies and they are cashing in on new projects development opportunities. It said that recently, it was discovered that one public listed company has even started a property portal to promote developer’s product. Basically, these groups are disregarding the law.

These new threats were discovered during a six-month campaign called C.A.M.P which seeks to educate the public on the various methods used to con unsuspecting property sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants. These methods include Cheating, Absconding, Misinterpretation and Profiteering. It was during this campaign that BOVAEA discovered individuals and companies using new age media to market properties illegally. In fact there is a web page applications (app) urging landlords not to use services of Real Estate Agents. BOVAEA said that landlords who use their service would have no protection under existing legal authority.

President of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers & Estate Agents, Tuan Haji Faizan Bin Abdul Rahman said that these are happening more because of the continuous demand for properties and a challenging market. Faizan who is also the Director General of Valuation and Property Services, further added that ”If you engage a registered real estate agent or certified negotiator, then BOVAEA can take action should there be a dispute. When using an illegal broker or firms not registered with the Board, there is little we can do to help the parties concerned. Hence, we continue to urge the public to be prudent when they appoint an agent and please check their legality.”

His warning is simple. The Board is working together with the police and the AG chambers office to take action. Those found guilty under Section 30 of the Act is liable to a fine not exceeding RM 300,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.

Truth is, this has to work on both ends. Those offering such services and those who sought them. It may be good to identify some of the real causes for these to happen. Is it simply because of education or ignorance? Or is this a case of “win-win” cooperation as these illegal brokers are offering lower fees and were still able to sell the properties concerned? Is it also because there are RENs who are just not serious enough and are only working half-heartedly? Perhaps this is because not many have been caught and punished yet? Actually, I think it’s a combination of everything. It’s really a time for tough actions against the illegal brokers but the legal ones must also up their services and efforts. Yes, I personally do engage licensed RENs for my property transactions.

written on 21 Jan 2016

Next suggested article: Fraudsters are everywhere, always be wary

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