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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Know Your Rights: Using a Registered Estate Agent

Wednesday, 18th November, 2020 5:39pm

Question: I am looking for an estate agent to help me sell my house. How do I check if an estate agent is legitimate?

Answer: The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) is responsible for licensing and regulating estate agents and other property services providers, such as auctioneers, letting agents and management agents.

The PSRA maintains and publishes a register of all licensed property services providers.

The register lists the name, number, licence type and location of each property services provider.

Your estate agent must have a PSRA licence to operate legally.

You can check to see if your estate agent is licensed by the PSRA by:

* Checking the register of Licensed Property Service Providers

* Asking to see the property services provider’s PSRA licence card

* Looking for the PSRA business licence, which must be on display in the estate agent’s office or at an auction

Your estate agent’s licence is valid for one year, and must be renewed annually. Due to Covid-19, licences due to expire between 7 May 2020 and 31 August 2020 have been extended by four months.

Your estate agent must give you (the owner selling the property) a Property Services Agreement (PSA) or Letter of Engagement (LOE). This is a legal requirement. The PSA or LOE is an agreed contract between the PSP and their client. The document should clearly outline what property services are being provided and all costs involved. A PSA agreement or LOE letter is a legal and binding contract between you and the estate agent.

You can make a complaint against your estate agent about improper conduct that happened when they were providing a property service. You can find more about how to complain on the PRSA website.

The PRSA administers a compensation fund. This fund provides compensation to clients of licensed PSPs, who have sustained losses due to the dishonesty of a licensed PSP. To make a claim for compensation, your estate agent must have had a valid licence when they were working for you. For more details on the process of making a claim, read the PSRA’s guide to making a claim.

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