Real Estate Broker – Now Sharing
As a practicing and managing real estate broker for 13 years in a previous career, you would think that I would have written many articles about real estate in the Philippines by now. In fact, this is the first time I have dedicated an entire post focused on real estate. In all honesty though, after that many years of having my mind totally occupied (saturated) with nothing but real estate, it has been a feel-good thing for me not to have to think much more about it, less write about it.
But as I become “cured” from my burnout – or that which ailed me in my previous life, I’ve come to realize that with my in-depth knowledge of real estate and everything it encompasses, I might do some good with it and share that knowledge. Besides, it provides me with another topic to write about in this blog…something a little more substantive and informative, directed at anyone who might be interested in understanding real estate in the Philippines. I have seen a lot of things posted and discussed on Facebook, in forums, and on other blogs, and in many cases, some information is just wrong or is sometimes very misleading to those seeking “good and reliable” information. And even though I have challenged some individuals from time to time, mostly I have been an observer, much like that proverbial fly on the wall. So, because there is SO MUCH mis-information out there, I have decided to become a participant in the discussion of Philippines Real Estate and how it affects YOU, the consumer.
Real Estate in the Philippines – License Law, A Republic Act
Keeping in mind that I am no longer a “paid professional” and cannot legally work in the field of Real Estate or Consulting or anything that surrounds the practice of appraising, consulting, or the sale of real estate for a commission. My previously written article Philippine Real Estate Hunters Beware! discussed individuals practicing real estate without license or certification in the Philippines. Unless one is duly licensed or certified in accordance with rules set forth by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service, anyone holding themselves out to be engaged in real estate is doing so ILLEGALLY! (although I still know of a few expats living here that seem to think it is okay!)
You can access R.A. 9646 for complete regulatory information. In summary, I have provided some broken-down excerpts from that law below:
Can I become a Real Estate Practitioner in the Philippines?
Foreign Reciprocity. – No foreign real estate service practitioner shall be admitted to the licensure examination or be given a certificate of registration or a professional identification card, or be entitled to any of the privileges under this Act unless the country of which he/she is a citizen specifically allows Filipino real estate service practitioners to practice within its territorial limits on the same basis as citizens of such foreign country.
While the term Real Estate Practitioner is defined to include “Real Estate Salesperson” under R.A. 9646 (and under this seemingly convoluted law, some foreigners choose to believe they fall into this category), the above paragraph clearly states that without Foreign Reciprocity, they cannot be “entitled to any of the privileges under the Act” whereby these “privileges” include “Real Estate Salesperson.” The U.S. National Association of REALTORS® also extends to the Philippines (NAR-Philippines), where practitioners throughout the country can choose to be involved in active membership of that organization.
So if you are coming from the U.S., the answer to question is pretty much a big
NO YOU CAN’T!
I do not know of one state in the U.S. that allows foreign reciprocity. Other countries, I can’t speak about.
So How I can Help?
What I can do. I can share information and I can also help market properties for sellers (not as an agent or broker, but as an advertiser) where I can operate a website and charge a fee for posting homes for sale. I can write about real estate practices and laws and I can discuss the real estate market. I can answer general questions about real estate. I can suggest investment strategies (I am not a financial planner). I can offer my opinion (which everyone has their own ideas about) and make recommendations concerning location, construction, pricing, and return on investment (ROI) breakdowns or feasibility studies. I can help YOU interpret real estate laws and how they may apply or affect you and your family. I can do all this but just not get paid for it (except advertising).
What I cannot do! The rules are fairly straightforward and in most part, are based upon or even mirror some of the state laws in the U.S. I cannot do anything that pays a FEE for any service normally performed by a Real Estate Practitioner nor can I receive any PAY THAT IS TIED DIRECTLY TO A COMMISSION RESULTING FROM THE SALE OF REAL ESTATE.
So, it’s all there…in a big nutshell. If you are looking for help with your real estate needs, I will suggest this. Make sure you hire a reputable “professional” and verify that they are a duly licensed or Broker certified individual. If they are also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, that’s a big plus. DO NOT hire locals that claim to be “the” sellers agent. DO NOT hire the “SELLERs” Agent to represent you…they are representing the SELLER! (Dual Agency.) Do not hire a friend or relative of the seller. As a buyer, you should not be paying ANY money to ANYBODY! Unlicensed and un-professionals should never ask you for money…they cannot be held accountable. DO NOT give money to anyone (if you do, it should be only in the form of an Earnest Money Deposit) other than a Broker or their designated agent. Be careful. Remember, this is not the west, but more like the Wild, Wild, West when it comes to anything that involves money!
Coming up next in future real estate related articles, I will discuss “Agency Law,” and “Agent Representation.”