Have you considered starting a career in real estate but don’t know the current laws that governs it? To start a new venture, it’s only prudent that you do your due diligence in order to avoid preventable problems. Before RESA law, real estate brokers must be registered under the Department of Trade and Industry to which at that time was the governing agency of the real estate profession. With the enactment of Republic Act No. 9646 otherwise known as the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines or RESA law, the law professionalize the real estate service practice and added a protection to real estate investors by equipping the practitioners with technical knowledge and reinforces good ethics to all professionals.
Why Republic Act No. 9646 was created?
Section 2 of the law states that, “The State recognizes the vital role of real estate service practitioners in the social political, economic development and progress of the country by promoting the real estate market, stimulating economic activity and enhancing government income from real property-based transactions. Hence, it shall develop and nurture through proper and effective regulation and supervision a corps of technically competent, responsible and respected professional real estate service practitioners whose standards of practice and service shall be globally competitive and will promote the growth of the real estate industry.”
In other words, regulation of the real estate service practice is an additional source of revenue for the Government in the form of taxation. Not only that, with the proliferation of real estate developments across the nation, it is high time that the profession must be regulated in order to prevent real estate investments scam by creating a venue for complaints and determine liabilities for the practitioners.
Who are the real service practitioners under RESA law?
- Real estate consultant – a duly registered and licensed natural person who, for a professional fee, compensation or other valuable consideration, offers or renders professional advice and judgment on: (i) the acquisition, enhancement, preservation, utilization or disposition of lands or improvements thereon; and (ii) the conception, planning, management and development of real estate projects.
- Real estate appraiser – a duly registered and licensed natural person who, for a professional fee, compensation or other valuable considerations, performs or renders, or offers to perform services in estimating and arriving at an opinion of or acts as an expert on real estate values, such services of which shall be finally rendered by the preparation of the report in acceptable written form.
- Real estate assessor – a duly registered and licensed natural person who works in a local government unit and performs appraisal and assessment of real properties, including plants, equipment, and machineries, essentially for taxation.
- Real estate broker – a duly registered and licensed natural person who, for a professional fee, commission or other valuable consideration, acts as an agent of a party in a real estate transaction to offer, advertise, solicit, list, promote, mediate, negotiate or effect the meeting of the minds on the sale, purchase, exchange, mortgage, lease or joint venture, or other similar transactions on real estate or any interest therein.
- Real estate salesperson – a duly accredited natural person who performs service for, and in behalf of a real estate broker who is registered and licensed by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service for or in expectation of a share in the commission, professional fee, compensation or other valuable consideration.
Grounds for suspension and revocation of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card
Section 19 of RESA law provides that, “the board may, after giving proper notice and hearing to the party concerned, revoke the certificate of registration and the professional identification card, or cancel the special/temporary permit of a real estate service practitioner, or suspend him/her from the practice of the profession on any of the following instances hereunder:
(a) Procurement of a certificate of registration and/or professional indentification card, or special/temporary permit by fraud or deceit;
(b) Allowing an unqualified person to advertise or to practice the profession by using one’s certificate of registration or professional identification card, or special/temporary permit;
(c) Unprofessional or unethical conduct;
(d) Malpractice or violation of any of the provisions of this Act, its implementing rules and regulations, and the Code of Ethics and Responsibilities for real estate service practitioners; and
(e) Engaging in the practice of the profession during the period of one’s suspension.”
Prohibitions against the unauthorized practice of real estate service
Under section 29, “No person shall practice or offer to practice real estate service in the Philippines or offer himself/herself as real estate service practitioner, or use the title, word, letter, figure or any sign tending to convey the impression that one is a real estate service practitioner, or advertise or indicate in any manner whatsoever that one is qualified to practice the profession, or be appointed as real property appraiser or assessor in any national government entity or local government unit, unless he/she has satisfactorily passed the licensure examination given by the Board, except as otherwise provided in this Act, a holder of a valid certificate of registration, and professional identification card or a valid special/temporary permit duly issued to him/her by the Board and the Commission, and in the case of real estate brokers and private appraisers, they have paid the required bond as hereto provided.”
Supervision of Real Estate Salespersons
Section 31 states that, “for real estate salespersons, no examination shall be given, but they shall be accredited by the Board: Provided, that they have completed at least two (2) years of college and have undergone training and seminars in real estate brokerage, as may be required by the Board. Real estate salespersons shall be under the direct supervision and accountability of a real estate broker. As such, they cannot by themselves be signatories to a written agreement involving a real estate transaction unless the real estate broker who has direct supervision and accountability over them is also a signatory thereto. No real estate salesperson, either directly or indirectly, can negotiate, mediate or transact any real estate transaction for and in behalf of a real estate broker without first securing an authorized accreditation as real estate salesperson for the real estate broker, as prescribed the Board. A real estate broker shall be guilty of violating this Act for employing or utilizing the services of a real estate salesperson when he/she has not secured the required accreditation from the Board prior to such employment.
No salesperson shall be entitled to receive or demand a fee, commission or compensation of any kind from any person, other than the duly licensed real estate broker who has direct control and supervision over him, for any service rendered or work done by such salesperson in any real estate transaction.
No violation of this provision shall be a cause for revocation or suspension of the certificate of registration of the real estate broker unless there was actual knowledge of such violation or the broker retains the benefits, profits or proceeds of a transaction wrongfully negotiated by the salesperson.”
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Program
Section 36 provides that, “the Board shall develop, prescribe and promulgate guidelines on CPE upon consultation with the accredited and integrated professional organization of real estate service practitioners, affiliated association of real estate service practitioners and other concerned sectors, and in accordance with such policies as may have been prescribed by the Board, subject to the approval of the Commission. The Board shall create a CPE Council that shall be composed of a chairperson coming from the Board, a member from the accredited and integrated professional organization of real estate service practitioners and a member from the academe.”
Fines and Penalties for violation of RESA Law
Section 39 states that, “Any violation of this Act, including violations of implementing rules and regulations, shall be meted the penalty of a fine of not less than One Hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than two (2) years, or both such fine and imprisonment upon the discretion of the court. In case the violation is committed by an unlicensed real estate service practitioner, the penalty shall be double the aforesaid fine and imprisonment.
In case the violation is committed, by a partnership, corporation, association or any other juridical person, the partner, president, director or manager who has committed or consented to or knowingly tolerated such violation shall be held directly liable and responsible for the acts as principal or as a co-principal with the other participants, if any.”
Having said all that, to all real estate service practitioners, make sure that you are compliant with RESA law or else you will face prosecution and the penalties provided by the law.
Lastly, if you are one those people who underestimate real estate service practitioners and always say that “ahente lang yan”, keep in mind that there is a law in place that regulates the profession and all professionals are presumably compliant with the law and we take our job seriously by keeping up to date with the current real estate trends and we possess the technical knowledge to facilitate a real estate transaction.
Are you RESA law compliant? What do you think of the law that governs the industry?