Correct checking agents’ certification
ANYONE involved in buying or selling a property has the right to ask the agent whether he has a valid fidelity fund certificate, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter.
“Consumers should ask to see the agent’s FFC card with the EAAB registration number. The Estate Agency Affairs Act says an estate agent is not able to earn commission on the sale of a property without an FFC, and consumers need to know they are dealing with someone with the required training and who has the professional backing to deal with such a large asset.”
Steward says sales can become very complicated – even from the valuation stage – so agents need to be trained properly in how to deal with all the possible problems.
“Similarly, if you are building, you would check that you employ a builder who is registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council, which will ensure you are protected from shoddy building work.
“Although building legislation can be perceived to be onerous, it is there to protect consumers,” says Steward. “You wouldn’t want just any person building your home, and the same applies to buying or selling of property.”
Steward says these are all measures to protect consumers and to ensure they are dealing with professionals.
“It’s important to use provisions in the law to protect you,” she says.
Steward says all consumers also have the right to ask any contractor, whether electrician, plumber or gas installer, who does any work for them, for proof of registration with the necessary bodies that represent their industries.