Do you go to any healer or to an M.D.? Buying a home may not be question of life or death, but consider what you’re risking or staking could weigh or mean a lifetime of hard work and experience that could either be good or bad.
The question in the title, can best be discussed by examining the law that established the professionalization of the real estate proferssion— Republic Act 9646 or the RESA. The Real Estate Service Act governs not just the Brokers’ and Salespersons’ practice, but also of Real Estate Appraisers’, Assessors’ and Consultants’. We, however, shall focus on the selling professionals.
Yes, real estate selling is governed by law, and those who are not duly licensed can be penalized up to P200K and/or imprisoned for 4 years. There are those who sell real estate illegally, and the practice remains regrettably rampant as many are still unaware of this law.
How does this law benefit home buyers, and makes it imperative to seek the services of the licensed professional broker, anyway?
The law aims to “develop and nurture through proper and effective regulation and supervision a corps of technically competent, responsible and respected professional real estate service practitioners whose standards of practice and service shall be globally competitive and will promote the growth of the real estate industry”.
“…develop and nurture…” refers to the schooling and continuous training and education of the licensed brokers and sellers. One needs to possess a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Service and needs to pass a licensure examination given by the PRC or Professional Regulation Commission. A graduate cannot even take the exam, if one is not “of good moral character” and “not have been convicted of any crime of moral turpitude”. Only qualified examinees can take the 2-day examinations, which cover the following subjects:
- Fundamentals of property ownership
- Code of ethics and responsibilities
- Legal requirements for real estate service practice
- Real estate brokerage practice
- Subdivision development
- Condominium concept
- Real estate finance and economics
- Basic principles of ecology
- Urban and rural land use
- Planning, development and zoning
- Legal aspect of sale, mortgage and lease
- Documentation and registration
- Real property laws, and
- Any other subjects as may be determined by the Professional Regulatory Board
Periodically, each one is required to undertake a certified CPE or Continuing Professional Education seminar, to earn ___ number of units at the minimum, as a requirement for the renewal of their license. This way everyone is kept abreast of new developments or kept knowledgably sharp and competent.
As you can determine from above, a licensed broker should be hard working, disciplined, skilled, knowledgeable and of good moral conduct.
“…effective regulation and supervision…” ensure that the licensed brokers and salespersons follow the laws, rules, regulations, codes, ordinances, and ethical standards set by the government and by the Board. One’s license can be revoked or suspended for unprofessional or unethical conduct; malpractice or violation of rules, etc. The Board is charged to promulgate, administer and enforce the rules and regulations; hear or investigate violations; monitor the conditions affecting the professional practice; and other tasks that help uplift the real estate profession, industry, and the Philippine economy as a consequence.
Accountability and responsibility are expected of each professional.
The Professional Real Estate Brokers and PRC accredited Salespersons guide, help negotiate, assist, and advice the clients in fulfilling or closing of sales or lease transactions. They, in turn, receive compensation and/or commissions for services well rendered. In order to perform these, shouldn’t one possess the knowledge, skills and principles of a licensed professional?
Especially with the purchase of homes, which constitute perhaps the biggest investment in their life for many; and could spell safety, comfort and quality living or their opposite for years or decades to come, the professionalization of real estate practice proves essential.