How not to fall prey when looking for great property deals

THE post-Movement Control Order (MCO) period is expected to see an increase in online and offline property listings. Many Malaysians would also be on the lookout for great deals and bargains in the property market.

However, there is a need to be cautious and not fall victim to overpromising and dubious deals although there are many opportunities that could come up post-MCO.

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) CEO K Soma Sundram said the public should not rush into purchasing a property and instead take time to understand the market.

“The buyer should do some research on the property as he needs to be prudent and be ‘an informed person’ before investing in a property, either for own use or for investment. 

“It’s also important that there is cooperation and trust between the agent, seller and buyer to make sure all parties work together to smoothen their real estate investment journey,” he said.

MIEA has identified 13 ways where buyers or sellers can fall prey to an illegal broker. These include cheating, absconding, misrepresentation, misleading, profiteering, withholding facts, representing seller and landlord without legal authorisation, undercutting the selling price and not knowing the legal process.

Soma also reminded the public to avoid “yellow board agents” which are expected to increase after the MCO period. The yellow signs are usually placed by illegal brokers on lampposts and trees. 

“You should demand proper service as you are paying a 3% fee for the service. The agent should also follow through or keep abreast of what’s happening,” he said.

Independent blog founder Charles Tan said when choosing the registered estate agent or negotiator, buyers should ensure that these agents are knowledgeable about the area and understand the real estate market, so as to provide quality advice about the investment. 

As for auction properties, Tan said the public should always check the proclamation of sales (POS) and conditions of sales (COS) to understand all the terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, Soma also urged sellers to appoint an agent on an “exclusive basis”.

“For instance, a buyer should be appointing one agency firm as compared to many agents from different firms. The appointed agent will then take responsibility and market the properties in a more effective way. 

“Appointing many agents will result in competition and they could undercut the listing price which will push the property price lower than the market rate.”

Soma also pointed out that the principal of a real estate firm shall be responsible for the actions of its negotiators. — April 14, 2020

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