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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unregistered real estate agents can take equity stake

PETALING JAYA: Effective Jan 1 next year, the amended Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 will allow individuals who are not registered as real estate agents to take up equity in valuation, property management and estate agency firms as part of the liberalisation of the services sector.

Paul: ‘However, these individuals will not be the principals of the firms.’

“This amendment will enable fresh capital to come into these firms,’’ said Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Nixon Paul.

“However, these individuals will not be the principals of the firms. Those who operate and manage the firms must be qualified real estate professionals.

“This move will enable the firms to grow when fresh capital is injected into the company,” he said after the launch of the inaugural certified international property specialist (CIPS) course.

The five-day course will enable agents to obtain the CIPS credientials, if they pass the examination, thus gaining a foothold in the CIPS network in the United States.

“It is to enable our agents to market Malaysian properties abroad and international properties in Malaysia,” he said.

Paul said though the amendment of the Act and the CIPS certification were two separate things but together they would take the sector a step further towards liberalisation and globalisation.

“It will modernise the sector,” he said.

“From a global perspective, if I want to specialise in the American market, I can allow someone from the American market to come in and take up equity in my company and I can also take up equity in his company.

“A joint-venture company can be set up in both markets to facilitate the exchange of information,” he said.

In the initial stage, Paul expects the amendment to the Act to facilitate the Asean real estate network in the next five years. “It will help to improve networking among members of the fraternity.’’

On the promotion of Malaysian properties to foreigners, the main concern is that the presence of foreign buyers may further drive up property prices.

“Our real estate is relatively cheap compared with other countries in the region and yet foreigners are not coming here. This means that we have not been promoting Malaysian properties effectively,” Paul said.

By The Star

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