The real estate game: How does one become an estate agent?


Question: How can I become an estate agent?

In terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 (‘the Act’) an ‘estate agent’ is any person, who holds himself out as a person who, or advertises that he, buys and sells or lets and hires immovable property, an interest in immovable property or a business undertaking on behalf of or on instructions of someone else for gain.

Regulation 2 of the Education Regulations, which came into effect on 15 July 2008, states that the first thing you should do is to find an internship with a real estate company with a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate from the Estate Agency Affairs Board. You must serve as an intern under the supervision of a principal estate agent, who has continuously held a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate for a period of not less than three years. A Fidelity Fund Certificate is a licence to trade.

The internship runs for a continuous period of 12 months from the date of first issue to the individual of an interim Fidelity Fund Certificate by the Estate Agency Affairs Board. Hence, the application must be made as soon as possible as it indicates the first day of the internship.

If the intern is absent for more than 30 days, he or she will be required to work another 45 days on top of the period he or she missed. The intern’s mentors must have a minimum of three years’ experience and holding NQF4 or NQF5 qualifications.

The intern must also keep a logbook, also called a ‘Portfolio of Evidence’, reflecting the various estate agency functions and activities undertaken and performed by the intern during the course of the internship period.

Within the 12 month internship period, the intern agent is required to complete a Further Education and Training Certificate: NQF Level 4 Real Estate through an education provider approved by the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

After the internship and a NQF Level 4 Real Estate theoretical section, which should take more or less six months to complete, the candidate will hand in the assignments, portfolio and logbook for assessment and if deemed to be competent, SETA will issue them a certificate of competency.

Once the intern has received his certificate, an Estate Agency Affairs Board Level 4 Professional Designation Exam (PDE) must be written within three years of registering as an intern estate agent. After passing (with 60% or more) a Full Status Fidelity Fund Certificate will be issued and the candidate becomes a fully-fledged estate agent.

Anyone can become an estate agent but certain people are disqualified in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act - Section 27 from being issued with a Fidelity Fund Certificate. The Board then has discretion to issue one to a disqualified person if it considers that to be in the interest of justice.

Throughout 2016, I will be giving advice on property-related matters, so please feel free to email any questions you might have to [email protected]