How can I become an estate agent?

14 Jun 2013

A Property24 reader asks:

A Property24 reader asks what the requirements are if she wants to be an estate agent and whether to do it full- or part-time.

I really have the desire and passion to become a real estate agent. I have a general diploma in management. How do I start and what are the requirements? Should I do it full- or part-time?

Jaco Rademeyer, from Jaco Rademeyer Estates, responds:

As a point of departure, it is very important for an individual to understand the definition of an estate agent. In terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976, 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.

If an individual wants to become an estate agent, the first thing he or she should do is to find an internship with a compliant real estate company. The said company must hold a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate from the Estate Agency Affairs Board. The individual must serve as an interim agent 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. In simple terms, a Fidelity Fund Certificate is a licence to trade.

This interim period 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. Since the period runs from the date of being issued with the interim Fidelity Fund Certificate, this means that the intern must apply to the Estate Agency Affairs Board for the intern Fidelity Fund Certificate. This should be done as soon as possible because the date of issue indicates the first day of the 12 month period of the internship.

If the interim is absent for more than 30 days in this continuous period, he or she will be required to work another 45 days on top of the period he or she missed. This compulsory internship is aimed at equipping the intern estate agent with relevant workplace learning, which is essential in order to operate successfully in the industry. The interns are mentored by qualified agents with a minimum of three years’ experience who have acquired their NQF4 or NQF5 qualifications.

The intern estate agent must also keep a logbook (also referred to as a ‘Portfolio of Evidence’) reflecting the various estate agency functions and activities that have been 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 Further Education and Training Certificate: NQ4 Level 4 Real Estate, a qualification that is intended to enhance the provision of entry-level service within the property and real estate professions and to provide the broad knowledge, skills and values needed in the property and real estate environment. The intern estate agent may be certificated against the qualification after undergoing training through an accredited education provider approved by the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

On completing the twelve month practical internship and NQF Level 4 Real Estate theoretical section, which should take more or less six months to complete, the candidate will hand the assignments, portfolio and log book to be assessed and if these are found to be complete, these will then be externally moderated.

If the intern is deemed to be competent the Services SETA will issue a certificate of competency. Once the intern estate agent has received his certificate, the Estate Agency Affairs Board Level 4 Professional Designation Exam (PDE) must be written. The candidate has three years from registration as an intern estate agent in which to do so. After writing and passing the exam (with 60% or more) a Full Status Fidelity Fund Certificate will be issued by The Estate Agency Affairs Board and the candidate is then recognised as a fully-fledged estate agent. 

Anyone can become an estate agent but there are some exclusions. Certain people are disqualified in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act from being issue with a Fidelity Fund Certificate. If disqualified, a person is not entitled to be issued with the Fidelity Fund Certificate; the Board has discretion to issue one to the disqualified person if it considers that to be in the interest of justice. Section 27 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act provides that any estate agent is disqualified if he or she has at any time been dismissed from a position of trust; at any time been convicted of any offence involving an element of dishonesty; and any person who is an insolvent and who has not yet been rehabilitated; any person that is of unsound mind; has not complied with the prescribed standard of training and so forth. 

Readers may submit questions to Property24’s Guest Expert panel and/or comment below. We may not be able to answer all questions received, but all will be considered. 

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