CAN ANYONE BE AN ESTATE AGENT ?

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‘’…this apartment has three bedrooms, two washrooms, a spacious living and dining area, don’t even get me started on the view; it has one of the amazing skylines the city has to offer. Everyone wants it! You will be lucky to have it….’’ Here is a typical line out of the agent’s text book to making a sale. Making the sale is prime in the estate commodity market. People there usually think that an estate agent has to be a ‘go getter’ and ‘smooth talker’ as such anyone with the gift of a ‘sharp tongue’ can be an agent.

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Though true that there may be people with no training but have an overwhelmingly deep knowledge about the estate market, it takes specially trained individuals with professional skills to correctly analyse to know the trends and depth of the market. The estate commodity market is technical and a little bit complex. Understanding it in its entirety demands that one knows the two basic underlining principles; technicalities and professionalism.

The estate industry though highly fragmented deals in solid existing structures through exchange of papers. Documents are essential; the paper trail of an estate portfolio determines its value. Hardly will anyone understand the legalities, easements and other legal rights which come with an estate commodity without the necessary training. Technicalities require professionalism. With the sale of an estate commodity such as an apartment, it is required that the agent knows the bundle of rights, easements and other encumbrances which is attached to the said property so as to know the specific interest being sold to the customer. It is more appropriate informing a customer that the property is in a prime area with a wonderful view but has two years unexpired lease term and so pay a considerably lower amount than the one with a longer unexpired term. This seems not to be the case as more and more agents are silent or in most cases ignorant about these technicalities and are looking to just make a sale based on the physical state and character of the real estate product.

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All professionals belong to a mother body, a governing authority that controls and regulates the practice of such a profession in a given country and as such the professional activities of such professions toe a particular line of ethical and professional standards, failure of which definitely attracts sanctions. The codes and ethics of these professionals make it easier and more credible to deal with. This in a long way prevents fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation and ensures the proper individuals and procedures are adopted. In the estate commodity industry, professionals are duty-bound to make every bit of information about a land or landed property known before a deal is struck. The use of professionals in the estate business brings more sanity, scrutiny and orderliness in the market making it more refined, less fraudulent and more professional.

To conclude, I will say that the more knowledgeable someone is about something, the more informed he or she is to make a decision about it. The Estate Agent has to be someone who can make sales based on acceptable standards devoid of any fraudulent intent carried out professionally. So, need I say more?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Stephen Awuah is a graduate of Land Economy from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He also worked with Kumasi Lands Commission. Stephen loves reading, music and sports.

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