KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) is concerned about “misrepresentation” in press reports about real estate agents cheating clients, saying that by law, the term “real estate agent” refers to someone who has certain qualifications.
To be called a real estate agent, someone must have passed part one and two of the real estate exams over a minimum period of two years, undergone post practical training for an additional two years, and sat for a test of professional competence to be registered by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), MIEA said in a statement.
In reference to three articles published in local dailies over the last 30 days, president Lim Boon Ping said: “While we are concerned about the number of scams that are increasing, we as an institute representing the 25,000 real estate practitioners across Malaysia, are concerned about the misrepresentation in press reports that real estate agents are cheating clients as in the three cases as reported. These are inaccurate statements.”
He said it was a serious matter and it must be established whether the person was truly a “registered agent” or an “illegal broker”.
“Illegal brokers are out there for quick profits and they are not trained, recognised or authorised to do any real estate transaction.
“Any misrepresentation of the term (real estate agents) may cause confusion and distrust, and bring disrepute to the image of the real estate profession, ” he said.
The public is advised to use the services of a registered estate agent (REA), probationary estate agent (PEA) or real estate negotiator (REN).
“The number of complaints received by MIEA has increased by 30% during the movement control order period, but there are people who are willing to risk their life savings or go into financial ruin by placing their trust in those who are not authorised or certified by law to carry out real estate transactions, ” Lim said.
MIEA has identified 13 ways the public can be scammed via www.myrealagents.com.
To safeguard the public’s interest, MIEA launched a public awareness campaign called #MYREALAGENTS earlier this year, aimed at being a free resource to share advice and information on how to best use the services of an REA or REN, the common types of property pitfalls and the dangers of using illegal brokers.
MIEA said illegal brokers who engage in property transactions can, if convicted, be fined not exceeding RM300,000, or jailed for not more than three years, or both. The public can also verify their property agent by checking the BOVAEP website at www.lppeh.gov.my, or contact 03-2288 8815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. — Bernama