The number of unlicensed real estate agents in Malaysia are growing at an alarming phase. In fact, there are over 100,000 real estate agents operating in the country, compared to around 30,000 registered practitioners, revealed Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Lim Boon Ping.
“While we have seen some reduction over the years, the number (of illegal agents) is still high,” he said as reported in New Straits Times.
“We are keeping tabs and actively collecting evidence of activities involving illegal real estate brokers throughout the country and are working with the police to curb such activities in a more proactive manner.”
Lim noted that practicing real estate agency works without a license is considered an offence that is punishable by a fine of up to RM300,000 and/or imprisonment of three years under Section 30 of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981.
With this, he urged unlicensed agents to register themselves via the various certification programmes available.
He added that MIEA is working with the state governments of Sarawak and Sabah to make certification more accessible.
Lim also advised the public to refrain from engaging unlicensed agents.
“The moment members of the public deal with an illegal real estate broker, anything can happen. They could end up losing their life savings.”
Local Government and Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin recently called the public to be wary of dubious negotiators or real estate agents when buying or selling property.
The Minister said it was important for people to engage certified agents endorsed by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), which is under the Finance Ministry.
She also encouraged the MIEA to be more active in engaging members in order to come up with more strategic ideas to help property developers market unsold units.