Is your real estate agent qualified?

Most people would never think to consult an unqualified doctor, accountant or lawyer. Why then, when considering that the purchase and sale of a property is one of life’s largest investments, would they consider consulting an unqualified Real Estate Agent?

In the past, formal qualifications in real estate were somewhat overlooked. However, legislation promulgated in July 2008 mandates training for non-principal estate agents to acquire their Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC) in Real Estate on National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level four and for principals the National Certificate in Real Estate at level five. Agents registered before the legislation was implemented were given the option to undertake a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process that provides evidence of competency in line with the Act. This move was initiated to prevent unqualified people entering real estate and offering poor advice, thus promoting the protection of consumers and professionalism for the industry.

“Essentially this means that the onus is on individuals to ensure that the estate agent they intend on using has adequately filled the legislative requirement. Should they not carry the right qualification then not only does it mean that they are operating illegally, but also that you as their client, may not be getting accurate advice or a professional service,” explains Jan Myburgh, General Manager for Harcourts Real Estate South Africa .

The Harcourts Training Academy was accredited by Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) on 01 January 2011 and provides Legislative and Professional Development training to its franchisees and its agents. “This means that Harcourts not only makes sure that all of its agents adhere to the legislative requirement implemented in 2008 but that we are continuously growing and educating our agents to better serve their clients and the industry. At the end of the day we want agents to be able to provide the best advice and knowledge to their clients,” says Myburgh.

The Harcourts Training Academy, although operated by Harcourts, offers training and further education opportunities for the real estate industry as a whole. “There are substantial opportunities for estate agents to grow personally, secure qualifications and recognise the value in quality training. An investment in their education will pay exponential dividends,” he says.


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