Q: How can I tell if I am dealing with a certified real estate negotiator?
Here are some FAQ adapted from the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents’ (BOVAEA) brochure, which I find quite beneficial for you to be aware of. Do take time to read on!
There’s only ONE tip in buying, selling or renting any property! Engage a certified Real Estate Negotiator or Registered Estate Agent
Who is a Real Estate Agent (REA)?
An Estate Agent can operate his/her own Real Estate firm. He/she can provide real estate service in selling, leasing properties or finding a property for the clients. He/she can employ up to 30 Real Estate Negotiators (REN) to assist the Real Estate Agent in providing these Real Estate Services.
Who is a Real Estate Negotiator (REN)?
A Real Estate Negotiator (REN) is an individual who is employed by a registered Estate Agent. They are not registered with the Board but certified to practice. They must attain the following requirements to be employed by the Real Estate firm;
They must attend a two-day course on Real Estate and will be issued a certificate of attendance. With the certificate they can seek employment either on a “Contract of Service” or “Contract for Service” with a Real Estate firm. The Real Estate firm then will apply for the REN tag with the BOVAEA.
BOVAEA will certify and designate a REN number & issue a tag to the REN. Only then can the REN be employed by the firm and represent sellers, landlords, buyers & tenants in the sale and marketing of properties.
What is a REN tag?
REN tag is an identification tag issued to a Real Estate Negotiator (REN). It contains all the information including their name, photo, IC number, REN number, firm name, firm registration number, quick response code (QR) and security features. It’s mandatory that the tag be worn by the REN at all times during their conduct of business so that the public will be aware that they are dealing with bona fide negotiators. See below picture for an eexample of the REN tag. Insist to see his/her REN tag! It is your right!
Can a REN use the firm’s company tag instead of a REN tag?
It is mandatory for all negotiators to wear the REN tag during the course of doing business and it cannot be replaced with any company name tag. It is an offense for someone to imitate and produce something similar to a BOVAEA REN tag.
How to check or verify whether the REN is certified by BOVAEA?
The quick response code (QR code) can be verified using a smartphone. The code reader will show all the negotiator’s information including their photograph. If in doubt, conduct a search at www.lppeh.gov.my or www.propertyagent.gov.my website under Negotiator Search. Alternatively, call the BOVAEA during office hours at 603-2287 6666.
What happens if the REN does not have a REN tag?
Then he is an ILLEGAL broker. He is not authorized to carry out the real estate service and does not have the right to demand commission as such STOP dealing with him/her. Report him to the police immediately with full information. Read the Law below (FAQ continues after this law excerpt):
Punishment Under The Law For Illegals
Section 22C of the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act states that:
No person shall unless he is a registered Estate Agent and has been issued with an authority to practice-
(a) Practice or take up employment under any name, style or title containing the words “Estate Agent”, “House Agent”, “Property Agent”, “Land Agent”, “House Broker” in any language which may reasonably be construed to imply that he is a registered Estate Agent or that he is engaged in estate agency practice.
(b) Display any signboard/poster or distribute, circulate any card letter, pamphlet, leaflet, notice or any form of advertisement offer for sale, rent or lease or invite offers to purchase, rent or lease any land, building and any interest therein whether such land building and interest is located within Malaysia or outside Malaysia.
(c) Be entitled to recover in any court any fees, commission, charges or remuneration for any professional advice or services rendered as an Estate Agent.
Section 30 of the Act states that
30(1) Any person who;
(i) Acts in contravention of Section 21 or 22C;
(ii) Aids and abets in the commission of an offense under this Act commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND RINGGIT or IMPRISONMENT FOR A TERM NOT EXCEEDING THREE YEARS or TO BOTH.
Can a foreigner work in Malaysia as a REN?
Any foreigner who wish to work as a Negotiator is required to obtain a work permit from the Immigration Department and only then will the BOVAEA consider. approve and issue a REN tag.
What about advertisements in newspapers, property portals and signboards?
All advertisements posted by a REN must contain the company E registration number with the BOVAEA and REN number besides their phone number. Do not respond to any advertisement if it does not contain all these information. It is considered illegal for any advertisement to not follow the requirements above except advertisements by property owners.
Can REN sell properties in shopping complexes or exhibition halls?
Yes. they are required by law to wear the REN tag at all times. In their name cards, other than the company details, the name card shall also contain the firms E registration number and the REN number.
Can I respond to flyers distributed by Estate Agents to my home or offices?
Do not respond to any flyers which does not contain the below:
- Specification of type of property for sale/rental/lease/wanted
- Flyer must produce firm’s letterhead (containing the name, registration number, office telephone number, address)
- Contain the signature of the REA
- Negotiator’s name with REN number
- and this statement “Persons responding to this flyer are not required to pay any estate agency fee whatsoever for properties referred to this flyer as this firm is already retained by a particular principal”
Can foreign real Estate Agents or developer sell their property in Malaysia?
Foreign Real Estate Agents or developers cannot sell property on their own in Malaysia. They are required to engage a local registered Real Estate firm to market any foreign properties. The local firm is required to make an application with BOVAEA for approval and will be assigned with an approval number which needs to be displayed at all exhibitions and in all marketing collaterals. The local firm’s representatives are required to be present at all times during the exhibition.
How do i know whether the property being marketed by the agency is approved by the Board?
Any foreign property being approved to be marketed in Malaysia is required to display the BOVAEA approval number, example LPPEH/88/8888/KL. Separate application is required for different venue which is only valid for one month from date of approval.
This was reproduced from the BOVAEA brochure entitled “Enhancing Professionalism, Integrity and Accountability”