Cor­rect check­ing agents’ cer­ti­fi­ca­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.

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