The Cyprus Real Estate Agents Association (CREAA) operates more than 25 years under the aegis of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI). It is the only professional association of real estate agents in Cyprus which currently numbers 185 licensed Members. The basic aims of the Association is the implementation of the real estate deontology code and the information on Lawmaking, Administrative, Urban planning and other measure provisions, Proposals or Law-plans affecting the real estate sector. The real estate agents profession has been established by the legislation 66/87, and some legal frames have been placed in the profession’s exercise which presupposes punishments to anyone who exercises the profession without being qualified and having the relevant license. Based on the CREAA statute, the Administrative Council is elected every two years in the association’s General Assembly, operating under the internal regulations and consists of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, seven members and Legal Advisor. It comes together once a month and deals with various subjects/problems that concern the real estate sector in general, especially the association’s members. Members of the Association can be registered only if they are licensed real estate agents. The real estate agent’s license is issued by the Real Estate Agent Registration Council as established with the relevant legislation. In the Association there are some committees working such as the Executive, Arbitrator and at place Provincial Committees. CREAA is an important member of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI). Several members of the Association are members of the Federation which operates in Cyprus as FIABCI-CYPRUS CHAPTER. Asking the help of an experienced real estate agent you can get an ally that will help you make the most out of your real estate. The registered agent can guide you in every step of the process, explain the current market and navigate you through the complex bureaucracy while offering valuable advice. When you’re ready to make a move, ask the direction of a registered real estate agency. Despite the existence of the Law, the Association faces the “pirate” exercise of the profession, and tries in every possible way to stop this phenomenon. The Real Estate Agent Registration Council of Cyprus, in collaboration with the Cyprus Association of Estate Agents Entrepreneurs, have launched some time ago, a campaign against the illegal real estate agents. Because of the economic crisis there is an increase of illegal estate agents and the Council in turn has taken strict measures. There are people who when they realize that there is an illegal agent who exercises the profession, they denounce him and then brought to justice.
The Council has already denounced such cases throughout Cyprus. Some illegal real estate agents are working in various important posts through which they come in touch with lots of people daily. There are many customers who are approached by an illegal real estate agent in a tempting manner with a small or no fee at all, and not only they fail to realize that they are being exploited, they even follow any kind of illegal activity thinking that they serve their own benefit. This is how the customer can be exploited.
The real estate agent licensee works in the sales sector with a small percentage of a specified commission, while the illegal misinforms the seller or the buyer for his personal profit that may sometimes reach the 70%. When this happens, the illegal real estate agent cannot be denounced because there would be no supporting evidence against him. But, when sales are conducted with the legalized procedures by a licitly registered real estate agent, he can be accused for anything considered unlawful and legal proceedings can be instituted against him according to the legislation. Moreover, a real estate agent licensee, due to his long professional experience can advise a seller and a buyer for their benefit.
What is more, the licensee can protect the customer in case of a judicial problem because of his insurance coverage. There have been many cases however, that with an illegal real estate agent it is possible that the customers may lose their money without managing to claim it back because they are accomplices in the illegal act and therefore are prosecuted. The illegal real estate agent cannot declare his dealings to the several Governmental Departments since any kind of buy and sell action is done through untaxed black money.
The state and the Real Estate Agent Registration Council must take serious measures so as to protect the ignorant citizens from the illegal real estate agents. We have to stop this illegality because everyone is exposed to danger. Every real estate agent who is working directly or indirectly, without a legal license issued from the Estate Agent Registration Council -an entity of the Public Law- commits a penal offence.
Every real estate agent licensee however, should have his registration certificate and license affixed in a clearly visible position in his office, as well as the registration and license number should be present in his advertisements so as all the customers can check his License. If the customers have any doubts, they are welcomed to get in contact with the offices of the Cyprus Association of Estate Agent Entrepreneurs. The process of buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will make in your life. Having an experienced real estate agent professional who represent you in this transaction is important. Buying a property is not a simple matter, but a lifetime’s investment. The registered real estate agencies fully understand the real estate purchase process and of course they know the right steps that need to follow. They can also help you avoid a misstep in the local market or on your sale. Contact a registered real estate agency before you take any decisions.
The Vice-president of the Cyprus Association of Estate Agent Entrepreneurs, President of the Real Estate Agent Entrepreneurs Association of Larnaca- Famagusta and Property Auctioneer, Mr. Marinos Kineyirou, advises the audience that there are currently very good opportunities for purchase or investment but a good research should be done for a healthy and proper investment.