Real estate is often overlooked as a profession – like medicine or law for example – and you can understand why to an extent when, with the exception of registered members of the national Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA), unregistered practitioners are not currently required by law to be qualified in any way before they erect their signs on the nation’s property and advertise themselves as being open for business.
Not all soft drinks are Coke, and so too those persons offering their services as Agents are not necessarily “the real thing”.
The truly professional, qualified, FIU-registered Agent, however, is worthy of respect. That Agent has acquired knowledge through a series of specifically designed and recognised real estate courses, has registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Finance as required by law and is trained in detection of money-laundering.
In addition, the qualified Agent is registered with AREA and is therefore subject to the rules and regulations of a regulatory body mandated by law, as well as its Code of Ethics that governs, amongst others, the relationship between Agent and third parties such as Vendors (Sellers), Buyers, other Agents and Government agencies.
Once qualified, the professional registered Agent is ready to enter into a legally binding agency contract with each Vendor whose property he agrees to list. The agency agreement between Agent and client is designed to safeguard the Vendor’s and Agent’s interests, as well as confirm in writing the terms and conditions under which the Vendor agrees to retain the services of the Agent. A Retention of Services Agreement, or AREA’s Multiple Listing Service Agreement for exclusive listings should always be signed so that each party is aware of its legal obligations in regard to the sale or rental, enforceable in the event of a breach of the terms of their Agreement.
Once appointed in writing, the Agent has a clear duty to his client, the Vendor/Landlord, to act in good faith, in confidence, in complete honesty, and in the best interests of the client in undertaking the duties set out in the Agreement between them.
Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA)