Property News You Can Use presented by Harcourts

Privacy and security remain a top priority for most businesses that have an online presence. The modern business environment continues to fight against attacks by scammers and people seeking to defraud customers. The real estate industry is no different. Not only do our agents regularly become the bullseye of these fraudsters, but there is a clear effort in South Africa to scam buyers and sellers.

 From an international and local perspective, Harcourts have developed and continue to develop strategies to protect our clients. Our internal security systems are regularly updated and highly responsive to suspicious activity.

 To create even more awareness on this issue, here are a few tips and guidelines to follow when purchasing or selling your home in South Africa.

 The first thing is to ensure you are dealing with a reputable agency that can provide references, adherence, and compliance with regulatory bodies. These are the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA). Next, ensure that your sales agent, rental agent, or rental /estate agency (whether for short-term, holiday or permanent letting) produces a current Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) from the PPRA. The FFC has to be valid until at least December 2023. Any agent earning a commission from an immovable property transaction, whether a sale or rental, has to have a valid FFC.

Secondly, double-check all emails received from the real estate agency. At times scammers use email addresses very similar to that of the agency you have made an enquiry with to confuse you. Do not click on any hidden links; never provide the agency with personal information until you are sure it is legitimate.

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Trust your inner voice and if all else fails, make contact with the PPRA to ensure the agent is registered with them.

When browsing for properties online at third-party apps and websites, ensure you can cross-check the number and address. Often the listing will be associated with a real home. Still, the owner is unaware his property has been used as bait. Always be overly cautious.

The last piece of advice is to contact an agent you trust in your area and ask them to make an enquiry on your behalf. You will find the agents are usually very helpful and can sniff out a rat very quickly.

We don’t want you to be afraid of using digital channels. Our Harcourts website is a platform we are very proud of and has helped thousands of people sell and buy their homes. So we are saying to be careful and connect with the right people.

≈ ≈ Marsha


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