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REALB looks to have standardized contracts


Oct 22, 2018 04:41:57 PM

REALB looks to have standardized contracts In its attempt to protect consumers and ensure there is fairness in real estate dealings, the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) is looking at having standardized agency agreements that will primarily cover commission provisions and other relevant terms and conditions.

Acting Chief Executive Virisila Tuimanu said the real estate industry in Fiji needs relevant guidelines to protect consumer interests and ensure agents do not charge high commission on property sales and discussions and consultations in this area are currently underway.

She said they need to have an effective and well regulated system in place to protect the industry stakeholders.

“Real estate commissions charged by real estate agents is a certain percent of the sale price of a house paid to the real estate agents involved in the transaction. In traditional home sales, the commission can be anywhere between 1-8 percent and sometimes split between the buying and selling agents,” said Ms. Tuimanu.

“The commission is paid out of the proceeds of the sale. Excessive commission, advance commission and early deposits for commission are core problems in the real estate industry in Fiji.”

“Generally, the complainants realize they have been overcharged after endorsing agency agreements which would have clauses that allow agents to do so.”

“Regulated commission is practiced by some countries however in Australia and New Zealand, much is left to the agents and clients to agree on what commission rate to use in transactions.”

“Some agents will offer a flat percentage commission and some may offer what is known as a tiered commission.”

“Tiered commission is typically used to incentive an agent into getting a higher price for the property,” she explained.

“Tiered commissions are often referred to as a good way to ensure both the parties are satisfied with whatever is agreed with in terms of the agency agreement. Therefore, commission provisions must be available and set out clearly in all agency agreements and that it is the duty of the agent to thoroughly explain the commission provisions of the agreement to the intended client.”

REALB, which is a statutory body of the Fijian Government, was set up to regulate the real estate industry by maintaining and sustaining an environment of professionalism, expertise, integrity and quality within the industry.

The Board licenses the real estate agents, grants permits, certificate of approvals of salespersons, approval for branch managers and approves the new branch offices for the real estate agents.

By Reginald Chandar

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