Qualified estate agents stand a better chance

Estate agents throughout South Africa are now required to obtain a certificate in real estate.

Estate agents throughout South Africa are now required to obtain a certificate in real estate.

They can do this with the FET Certificate in Real Estate, which is registered at an NQF level 4.

All estate agents will be required to obtain the certificate by 2010 if they want to continue to be eligible to obtain a Fidelity Fund Certificate.

In the past an estate agent was able to qualify as such by working as a candidate estate agent under a principal estate agent for a year.

After twelve months and without passing the Estate Agency Affairs Board examination, a candidate agent was able to work as a principal estate agent and even open his or her own estate agency.

The new requirement will not allow candidate agents to become principal agents in this manner anymore.

It is also bound to raise the standards of professionalism within the estate agent industry.

Buyers and sellers will become accustomed to a higher standard of knowledge on the part of their estate agents and so agents will have to fight harder to keep themselves a cut above the rest.

For estate agents, selling property in the current and future property markets might be no easy feat. With interest rates heading skyward and buyers becoming more and more astute, the pressure is on for good estate agents to differentiate themselves from the so-called "rats and mice" in the industry.

Says Jennifer Paddock, a sectional title lawyer at Paddocks: "The competitive advantage necessary to achieve this comes in the form of education."

Of course every estate agent will have to pass the FET certificate, but this basic training will not stand out as extraordinary in view of the fact that every other estate agent will also have it.

Paddock highlights that an important area in which many estate agents are under-qualified is the area of sectional title property sales.

These sales differ tremendously from sales of conventional property in many ways and an estate agent with a certification in sectional title property sales will allow them to handle these sales in a more professional and efficient manner than the non-certified estate agents.

There is no better time to get ahead of the pack. As they say, knowledge is power and estate agents can empower themselves in their businesses through further education.

The University of Cape Town's Sectional Title Specialist Realtor Certificate Course, presented in conjunction with Paddocks, has proven to be very popular in the real estate industry.

This is a part-time course and is ideal for full-time employees and is presented nationally.

Should you be interested in receiving a university certification in sectional title sales, contact Christina on 021-674-7818 or e-mail chistina@paddocks.co.za.

Alternatively, visit www.paddocks.co.za.