Estate Agent's / Negotiator's Role in Property Dealing

Definition of Property Dealing

The National Land Code (NLC) has defined land dealing as “any transaction with respect to alienated land effected under the powers by Division IV, and any like transaction effected under the provisions of any previous land law, but does not include any caveat or prohibitory order”.

Alienated land refers to land with a registered title, whether qualified or final whilst Division IV of the NLC describes all the conditions on dealings with respect of alienated lands.

According to Division IV of the NLC, there are four broad categories of land dealing:

  1. TRANSFERS
  2. LEASES AND TENANCIES
  3. CHARGES AND LIENS
  4. EASEMENT

Estate agents or property negotiators role is connected or can affect two of the above type of land dealings; namely transfers and leases and tenancies. The role, or rather the practice and legal conduct of an estate agent (in legal context meaning a registered estate agent or his/her employee) is defined by the governing act the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 as “acting  or holding oneself out to the public as ready to act, for a commission, fee, reward or other consideration, as an agent in respect of the sale or other disposal of land and buildings and of any interest therein or the purchase or other acquisition of land and buildings and of any interest therein or in respect of the leasing or letting of land and buildings and of any interest therein.

On a layman’s term, the role of an estate agent or property negotiator can be described as below:

Sale / Disposal -
Selling a Property
Negotiator's Role Tasks
Upon Instruction Marketing, Promoting, Other Product Awareness activity
  • Advertising in newspaper, internet, property magazine etc
  • putting up signboard, banner, bunting
  • property exhibition, tea party (normally for project marketing)
Closing a Transaction Acting on Client's Best Interest
  • Negotiate on the price for the best deal for the client
  • Collecting earnest deposit on behalf of owner (client) to secure the deal
  Act as Stackeholder Safeguard the earnest money / deposit money in client’s account. The money will be refunded to purchaser in the event of non-compliance of SPA’s (Sale and Purchase agreement) terms and conditions on the vendor’s part resulting in the transaction being aborted.
Before signing Sale & Purchase AgreementBefore signing Sale & Purchase Agreement Advisor (usually given free) Agent’s knowledge will usually be very helpful for first time buyers/property owners who lack the right information in dealing with first time property transaction. Advices are usually on what are the total incidental costs ie legal fees, valuation fee, stamp duty, processing fee etc. involved in a transaction.
  Recommending / referring a bank / loan package Experienced agents would be able to recommend selected banks based on past dealings so clients will have the choice to appoint a bank that suits the client’s requirements and can give the best loan package/interest rate/loan margin as well as efficient service.
  Recommending / referring a valuer for panel bank

Experienced agents would be able to recommend selected valuation firms based on past dealings so clients will have the choice to appoint a valuer that can give the best fee and efficient service.

Experience agents will always consult with a friendly valuer to make sure that the agreed price is within market value; if the transacted price is above the market value agent should notify / advice clients accordingly to avoid client from having difficulty in loan application / in raising up the down payment amount.

  Recommending / referring a good lawyer / solicitor Experienced agents would be able to recommend selected law firms based on past dealings so clients will have the choice to appoint a lawyer that can give the best fee and efficient service.
Signing of Sale and Purchase Agreement Assisting Role Assist clients to liaise with appointed solicitor prior to the signing of SPA to make sure all agreed terms & conditions / special conditions and any other important matters are clearly mentioned in the SPA.
After Sale Service Assisting / Advisory Role Assist clients (both parties) in complying with all terms and conditions stated in sale & purchase agreement from time to time until vacant possession stage.

 

Rent / Letting -
Renting Out a Property
Negotiator's Role Tasks
Upon Instruction Marketing, Promoting, Other Product Awareness activity
  • Advertising in newspaper, internet, property magazine etc
  • putting up signboard, banner, bunting
  • property exhibition, tea party (normally for project marketing)
Closing a Rental Acting on Client's Best Interest
  • Negotiate on the monthly rental for the best deal for the client
  • Collecting earnest deposit on behalf of vendor (client) to secure the deal
  Act as Stackeholder

Safeguard the rental deposit / deposit money in client’s account. The money will be refunded to tenant in the event of non-compliance of rental agreement’s terms and conditions on the vendor’s part resulting in the tenancy being aborted.

In some cases, the agent is responsible for the drafting of the tenancy agreement on behalf of the vendor/tenant with token fee charged to the tenant to cover the drafting/preparation cost and stamping of the final Tenancy Agreement.

To make sure all agreed terms & conditions / special conditions and any other important matters are clearly mentioned in the tenancy agreement.

Before signing of Rental or Tenancy Agreement Advisory Role

General advice related to tenancy (ie advice on amount of deposit, basis of tenancy – whether furnish or un-furnish ect.),

Agent’s knowledge will usually be very helpful for first time landlord /tenant/lessee who lack the right information in dealing with first time property tenancy.

Signing of Rental or Tenancy Agreement Advisory Role General advice on tenant & landlord’s rights and responsibilities during the period of tenancy until termination of the tenancy
After Sale Service Commence of Tenancy Executor

Proper handing over of the premise to tenant such as handing over keys of the premise with proper checking / record on inventory included under the tenancy, electric and water meter reading.

Agent’s knowledge will usually be very helpful to avoid any dispute in the long run and to make sure process of tenancy runs smoothly.