MIEA urges public to beware of illegal property agents during Covid-19 crisis

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) urged all Malaysians to be  vigilant as there are still a high number of cases where the general public has fallen prey to these property pitfalls.

A public awareness campaign called #MYREALAGENTS,which was launched in February 2020 hosted its second MIEA Public Advisory to remind the public to rely on Registered Estate Agents and Negotiators to conduct their property transactions and to share insights on how they could avoid these property pitfalls during and after the MCO period.

The second episode webinar took place on April 9which saw the President of MIEA, Lim Boon Ping and Associate Director, Hartamas Real Estate (M) Sdn Bhd, a member of the MIEA Board, Tan Kian Aun share their experiences and knowledge on “Avoiding Online and Offline Property Pitfalls”.

The session was moderated by Imran Clyde,Director of Nextdor Property Communications Sdn Bhd. Lim highlighted that Registered Estate Agents (REA) and Negotiators (REN) are recognised as professionals under Malaysian law and that there are firm requirements that need to be adhered to when publishing an advertisement in order to protect the public’s interest.

REAs and RENs are required to include the authenticity information in their advertisements which include their name, REN/REA number, their contact number, the real estate firm they represent with its E registration number and the firm’s telephone number.

Lim also warned the public that there will be a sudden surge on online and offline advertisement by those illegal brokers who will take advantage of the Covid-19 rise on low priced property deals and these advertisements will not contain the before mentioned authenticity information and the public should avoid calling them.

Tan Kian Aun added that the yellow signs on lamp post and tress are offline advertisements or signages that are usually put up by illegal brokers as they work independently,do not
have the training nor the necessary credentials and reminded the public to avoid them at all cost in handling their property transactions.

Tan also urged buyers not to transfer any money or deposits into any agent’s or any illegals personal account. Such monies should be protected and deposited into an agency’s or firms clients account where the monies are protected by a professional indemnity insurance.

“There are also other common property pitfalls including a technique called ‘phishing’. This is where emails or advertisements are placed to obtain personal information including names, telephone numbers or even the type of property they are interested through fake
listings”, said Lim.

Lim emphasised that there is an Act of Parliament to regulate estate agency profession where real estate agents are Registered and Negotiators are certified by the BOVEAP.

“They will be focused in ensuring that they follow the right process (getting signed declarations,sharing the right information about the property and that the banners contain all the necessary authenticity details etc) An illegal broker will not be too concerned with these details,”said Lim.

He further added that if the public sees an advertisement or a property deal that looks “too good to be true” be extra cautious and do your research.

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