Beware of the yellow board property ‘agents’

Public nuisance: The signboards are hung illegally on lamp posts and trees for high-visibility as they are usually an eyesore.

FLIMSY property signages by the roadside usually seen in yellow are a common sight. And there has been an increase in their number recently.

Potential property buyers may seek cheap deals on the secondary market through the signages, especially during the economic distress from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

However, the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents’ (MIEA) CEO K. Soma Sundram told StarBiz that they should be avoided at all costs by any prospective property buyer or seller, as they are likely scams from the work of an illegal cartel.

“The illegal brokers are not responsible to anyone and are not subject to the law.

“The signboards are usually placed along highways and smaller roads to attract unyielding buyers.

“The information contained may not be accurate, or just wrong, ” Soma said.

These signboards could also be spotted being hung illegally on lamp posts and trees for high-visibility as they are usually an eyesore.

Soma said he expected these types of yellow board agents to see an increase after the movement control order (MCO) period is over.

“This form of advertising is very cheap as they are produced in mass quantities. They are normally the work of a cartel or group. Many can be duped to buy with promises and may get their down payments caught, ” Soma said.

He said the modus operandi of these yellow board agents are to advertise a low and unrealistic price that had not been mandated by the owner.

“The price was pushed down (only) to attract prospective buyers. The highways have high traffic flow and visibility, ” Soma said.

He noted that the yellow board agents, as they are termed, are not certified real estate negotiators (RENs) as all legal RENs are required to follow strict advertisement standards.

“Certified RENs are required by law to not advertise in an unbecoming manner, the advertisements must be tastefully done and they must not mislead the public, ” Soma pointed out.

He said certified RENs are only allowed to place signboards in proper or approved places of advertisements.

He said these signboards must contain the name of the firm, the firm’s e-registration number, office telephone number, name of the certified REN, certified REN’s handphone number and certified REN number.

“This is to ensure that the advertisement contains the correct information so as not to mislead the public. This is to protect the public’s interest, ” Soma said.

The yellow board agents have seen an increase as unsuspecting people are enticed to call these deals, which are too good to be true.

As a rule of thumb, any deal that is too good to be true is questionable, and more than likely, to be fake or a scam.

Unsuspecting people falling prey to this would lose more money than they would have fictitiously “saved” when entering into such dangerous deals.

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