With new regulations and constant updating of policies being imposed on this industry, Estate Agents are obliged to be in conformity with Governmental bodies such as FIAU and the official appointed real estate governmental body.
Putting everything into perspective
Let us put everything into perspective, we do not want to be vigilantes, or annoy our customers, which probably this could be the sentiment out there, however, we are obliged to abide.
Unlike the ongoing Agents sentiment and negative sagas, professional estate agents, work towards conformity and work hard to respect all protocols that the authorities impose on this industry. One might feel the tendency to complain, because our priority is to work and earn our living, however, we agree that in order to give a better service to our customers, put their minds at rest that they are associated with professional people, we stop beating around the bush and simply do what is requested to do.
We have been requested to do a real estate agents course to get licensed and so we did. Without sounding presumptuous, some of us could have felt that we could have given lectures ourselves, however, we still followed the rules.
Safety on Site
After that we have been informed that there must be a Health & Safety Course, of course, without hesitation we comply. Even if the authorities still haven’t caught up with the workmen on construction sites not wearing safety hats as a bare minimum, as Estate Agents we do not only ensure to follow safety of our consultants and our customers alike, we need to show that we have also done our exams, passed and can operate. Some of us have been doing this job for decades, so we apologise if at times frustration kicks in. Even though when reading certain comments on social media about Estate Agents being shrewd and irresponsible, some of us are truly great intermediaries!
Profiling our clients is becoming more and more stringent, we need to understand whether there is any risk of money laundering, ask how customers are financing their property, so on and so forth. At some point you get the feeling that your career has changed to an investigation body.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with an entity, then one must understand who are the beneficial owners (BO), their shareholding structure and conduct a due diligence search, a thorough one and yet of course, we are obliged to flag anything that is suspicious. This is the way it should be done, no complaining here!
A professional real estate agency
A professional real estate agency does not limit itself at showcasing properties and stop there, like many might think. We show properties that fit our customers profiling, we show our customers what value they are purchasing, whether it is the right investment for them. Then we also explain the whole process, what taxes they are due to pay, including notarial fees. Once the Promise of Sale is signed, we ensure that all paperwork is done and presented to banks and notaries, follow up with architects and assist vendors with their EPC Certificates, assist with ground rent redemptions, AIP’s, well the list is endless. We are proud of who we are!
The General Population
Bottom line is that the gen pop still needs to be educated. Imposing rules and regulations to the estate agents is fine, we comply, however, help us educate people that this is what is expected from buying customers and from vendors selling their property including developers.
- What does FIAU stand for? And what is their function?
Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit
The FIAU is the national central agency in Malta that is responsible for the collection and processing and analyzing of data to fight money laundering and terrorism funding.
2. What is a “Subject Person”?
A subject person, legal or natural person who carries out activities related to financial business.
3. What is a PEP?
A PEP is a Politically Exposed Person
4. What is a CDD?
Customer Due Diligence. This has to be carried out for applicants who are beneficial owners (business transactions) or individuals. It is asked to enquire about the customer background, their country of origin and their business activities. To check whether they are politically exposed, identification and verification of the customer. A CDD is to be carried out when a business transaction is about to take place.