Estate agents who make a misrepresentation to clients in the first-hand sales of residential properties will face disciplinary action by the Estate Agents Authority. Consider this case:
A salesperson arranged for a prospective purchaser and her fiance to inspect a show flat.
When discussing the submission of a registration of intent at that development the salesperson told the prospective purchaser the couple had to submit separate registrations since they had not yet married. Also, she said, that they could not purchase the property jointly.
Later, when the purchaser entered into an agreement for the purchase of a property in the development she asked a solicitor to include the name of her fiance into the formal agreement.
Through the solicitor she discovered the representation made by the salesperson was untrue. According to the vendor of the development, there was no restriction on unmarried couples submitting registrations of intent in joint names.
Feeling misled by the salesperson, the purchaser lodged a complaint with the EAA.
The authority's disciplinary committee found the salesperson had made a misrepresentation to the client on the submission of the registration of intent.
Thus, she was in breach of paragraph 3.7.2 of the EAA's code of ethics, which stipulates that "estate agents and salespersons should avoid any practice which may bring discredit and/or dispute to the estate agency trade."
The committee reprimanded the salesperson, fined her HK$3,000 and attached conditions to her licence requiring that she obtain within 12 months 12 points under the EAA's Continuing Professional Development Scheme.