There have been numerous reports over the past few years of scammers infiltrating the Philippine property market. Issues include unlicensed agents falsely representing properties and providing fake land titles. Having seen the damage these shady figures can do firsthand, Philippine real estate agents have announced they are joining forces to provide greater industry oversight.
Accredited Real Estate Salespersons in the Philippines (ACRES Philippines) will monitor the real estate industry while also lobbying for the creation of better policies and legislation to support and accelerate growth across the property sector. The organization hopes to have 20,000 to 50,000 Philippine real estate agents become members.
“This organization will help police the industry against illegal practitioners or colorum salespersons,” A Better Real Estate Philippines President Anthony Gerard Leuterio explained. “It will serve as a catalyst to change real estate laws now deemed irrelevant and untimely.”
Philippine real estate agents wishing to join ACRES are required to be registered with the Professional Regulation Commission.
Unlicensed brokers are using Facebook to trick unwitting real estate buyers
The formation of ACRES Philippines could not come at a better time. One of the largest problems facing the industry is unlicensed brokers are using Facebook to fool people looking to purchase real estate in the Philippines. With very little being done to regulate this illegal activity, the organization can be a leader in oversight and reporting.
According to the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards Inc. (PAREB), these unscrupulous property professionals currently dominate the social media platform’s Marketplace. This is causing a number of issues.
“Ninety percent of real estate salespersons on Facebook are unlicensed,” PAREB Senior Vice President Jovencio Cainong was quoted as saying by the Philippine News Agency. “The continued operation of colorum agents have resulted in loss of income for the licensed real estate practitioners and poses a high risk for the buyers. Buyers are at risk of being offered fictitious properties or even with problematic titles if they transact with unlicensed agents.”
Philippine law prevents unlicensed individuals from offering real estate services to the public. Salespersons must be accredited and transact business under the direct supervision of a duly-licensed real estate broker. However, property seekers, especially ones from overseas looking at real estate using Facebook, may not be aware of this regulation.