Who is a real estate agent?
Under the Real Estate Agents Act 2006, every person shall be deemed to be a real estate agent who acts, or who holds himself or herself out to the public as ready to act, for reward as an agent in respect of the sale or other disposition of land or the purchase or other acquisition of land, or in respect of the leasing or letting of land, whether or not that person carries on any other business.
An agent is the license holder/ business owner. They are responsible for the overall management of the real estate business and employ salespersons.
Who regulates real estate agents' activities?
The Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) is a statutory body established under Section 4 of the Real Estate Agents Act (2006) to regulate the real estate industry in Fiji. The REALB issues licenses and oversees compliance by real estate agents and salespersons. The Board consists of a Chairperson, who is appointed by the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (MCTT) and four other members also appointed by the Minister of whom one shall be Deputy Chairperson.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a salesperson?
The real estate agent is the principal license holder, responsible for the overall management of the business and employs salespersons (under a contract of service or a contract for services) who work for the agent in selling or otherwise disposing of land, purchasing or otherwise acquiring land or leasing or letting land.
What do real estate activities include?
Real estate activities include buying, selling, letting (rent) and leasing of properties (includes land and building).
Can I sell my own property?
Yes, you can sell your own property. However, you must seek professional advice on certain matters, relating to the sale of your property.
Can I sell my friend’s or relatives’ property?
No, you cannot sell properties belonging to your friends or relatives. However, they can sell it themselves or engage the services of a real estate agent or you can apply for a permit with REALB to facilitate this transaction.
How can I apply for a permit?
You can apply in writing to the REALB, by submitting details of the property you intend to sell and pay a fee of $193.78. The Board will assess your application and make a determination, which will be communicated to the applicant.
How can I confirm the validity of an agent’s or a salesperson’s license?
The list of valid (active) real estate agents and salesperson is available on our website www.realbfiji.com under the Agents Register tab or you can contact the REALB office on 3300355 or email at email@example.com to check the validity of a license.
How can I contact a real estate agent?
You can visit the REALB website www.realbfiji.com and get access to the list of valid (active) agents and their contact details.
What action can I take against an agent or a salesperson who failed to perform their duty, as per the terms of engagement?
You can lodge a complaint with supporting evidence to the REALB which will be investigated. The Board will determine the relevant course of action such as no action is needed based on no breaches, a warning to be issued, suspension or termination of the agent or salesperson’s license is warranted. The result of the investigation will be communicated to the complainant.
All complaints against an agent or salesperson should be written or typed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The complainant should have important details such as the complainant’s full name, contact details and all necessary evidence to support your complaint.
All complaints will be acknowledged within 72 hours if hand-delivered. If this is received through email, an acknowledgment will be done within 48 hours. REALB will write to the party involved and a response should be received within 14 days. All parties will be given
An equal opportunity to respond. All necessary documents relevant to the complaint must be provided. The Board will make an assessment and a determination on the complaint.
Do I need to engage real estate agent to sell my property?
No, you can sell your own property but if you wish to engage the professional services provided by a real estate agent, you may do so. You need to ensure that you clearly understand and thoroughly discuss, and agree to the terms and conditions of the engagement.
What is a listing agreement?
A real estate agents listing agreement is a binding agreement between the owner of the property (vendor) and the real estate agent, on the areas to be covered by the real estate agency work. This document serves to protect the interests of both parties as it sets out the terms of engagement, the conditions for listing a property with an agent and the commission rate.
What is the difference between exclusive and general listings?
You can choose to use either exclusive listings or general listing agreements for your property transaction.
In an exclusive listing agreement, a vendor will appoint only one real estate agency to represent him/her for his/her property transaction during the validity period of the agreement. After the exclusive listing agreement has lapsed, the vendor can renew or sign with another agency or shift to a general listing.
In a general listing agreement, a vendor can appoint more than one real estate agent to assist him/her to sell/buy/lease his/her property. Under the general listing agreement, a vendor will only pay a commission to one real estate agent who has brought the confirmed buyer.
What is a Sale and Purchase Agreement?
A sale and purchase agreement is a legally binding agreement obligating a buyer and a seller to the terms and conditions of the exchange and must be signed by both parties.
What is a real estate agent’s commission?
The commission is a reward paid by the vendor, to a real estate agent for selling their property.
Can I negotiate the commission?
Yes, you can negotiate the commission rate with your real estate agent.
For residential properties valued at $500,000 or less, the commission rate as per regulation should not exceed 2% of the sale value. For residential property prices over $500,000, commission rate can be mutually agreed between the parties.
For any other type of properties, the commission rate is not regulated and can be mutually agreed between the vendor and the real estate agent.
Does REALB handle issues between the landlord and tenant? Such as the tenant did not pay the rent due or the refund of bond?
No, landlord and tenancy issues are handled by Fijian Consumer Competition Commission (FCCC). However, REALB will be involved only when a real estate agent was part of the transaction.
Can families of Real Estate Agents facilitate agreements or payments on the agent’s behalf?
Unlicensed family members are not allowed to deal with any real estate agency work. It is advisable that they apply for salespersons license to be engaged in any real estate activity.