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Be Safe, Consult A Realtor

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   It's a fact that over 90% of Real Estate Agents acting as "real estate brokers" in Cebu are not licensed. This is the result of agressive recruitment strategies deployed buy a number of Real Estate Brokerage Companies that focus too much on agressive sales campaign accepting anyone who can produce sales.

   Pursuant to Section 3(e) and (ee) of Act 278, and Executive Order No. 648, Presidential Decree No. 957, ALL Real estate Agents and brokers must secure license from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) for consumer protection. Inspite of this directive, the proliferation of unlicensed practitioners continues by either "TNT" or by affiliating with licensed brokers under the latter's supervision. Eventually, when the sale is consummated with a sales contract, the signature of the unlicensed real estate "broker" still appears in the reservation agreement and/or the sales contract to accredit the sale. By this, legal issue is at stake when there is a need of litigation concerning the sales contract.

   The requirements of the Philippine Government for the issuance of Real Estate License are as follows:

1. Must be college graduate or at least 144 units of College Education.

2. Must Pass the Licensure Examination in Real Estate.

3. Certification of good moral character from Barangay Captain where the applicant resides.

4. Police Clearance (Must have no criminal record in the City of Province of residence)

5. NBI Clearance. (National Bureau of Investigation)
(Must have no criminal record in any part of the Philippine Archipelago)

6. Cash Bond.

7. Must pay the required licensing fees.

   In the interest of consumer protection, the Philippine Government regulates to uplift the real estate broker profession. A cash bond for instance, can be confiscated and license can be revoked in cases of proven malpractice. Often, the unlicensed can no longer be found or beyond reach if something is wrong in the transaction as he/she has no license or cash bond to worry about. A buyer can take advantage of this regulation by consulting only the duly licensed Realtor.

   How does a buyer know that a real estate agent/boker is licensed? You can ask to see the license personally. Another way is to be aware that it is a directive of the Department of Trade and Industry that the real estate license number must be posted on all letter heads, calling cards, signboards, advertisements, and other related pronouncements, so if one does not post his/her license number, it is safe to assume that he or she does not have any.

   Inspite of his/her license, a Broker, ideally should not charge fees of whatever nature from buyers regardless of their decision to buy or not to buy. Inspite of his/her assistance, site tripping, and many other activities related to providing more information, the decision of the buyer not to push through with the purchase must be respected. Pressure selling must be avoided at all times. Ideally, he/she should not deploy over pricing as a means of making more money in the sales transaction. He should content himself to the professional fees offered by the sellers.

   Moreover, it's good for buyers to know that Real Estate Brokers in Cebu enjoy price protection from Real Estate Developers. This means that if a buyer decides to buy directly from Developers by-passing the real estate brokers, the price of the property shall always be the same. This will put the buyer at the disadvantage if he buys directly from developers because the services of a brokers are lost such as ensuring he has made a good decision and other important services including paper works for title/ownership and other related legal documents.
   Lastly, and usually, relationship with an unlicensed Real Estate Agent / "Broker" by experience, usually ends when he receives a commission of the sale which happens upon full payment of the 20 or 30% down payment. But the licensed Realtor is duty bound to protect the buyer  from whatever violation of contract or harsh penalties  by developers or sellers througout the term of the contract.

   Be Safe, Consult a Realtor.

   By: Manuel R. Arengo Jr.
   Real Estate License. No. 2006-1185(N)
   Land Asia Realty & Dev. Corp.

Cebu Real Estate