According to a Homeowner Insights Study conducted by Absa and Columinate in 2016, only 16% of people selling their properties trusted their estate agents. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, said that a possible reason for this statistic is the lack of proper expectations that are being set out from the beginning of the homeowner’s interaction with the estate agent.
Buyers and sellers should only deal with estate agents who hold a Fidelity Fund Certificate, issued by the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB). The EAAB aims to regulate the industry and ensure that consumers are protected in their dealings with real estate agents. The EAAB manages and controls the Estate Agents Affairs Fund, which exists to reimburse someone who, under certain circumstances, has suffered a loss due to their dealings with an estate agent, such as mishandling money that has been entrusted to them.”
If a dispute arises between an agent and their client, depending on the circumstances, the EAAB will set up mediation to ensure that the matter gets resolved. Many of the agreements that estate agents use when entering into a contract with their client will have a clause that deals with disputes and the procedure that needs to be followed should one occur. According to Goslett the client still has the option of contacting an attorney and taking legal action if the matter is not resolved by the EAAB.