Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any of the questions below to reveal the relevant answers. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with us.
What is the correct procedure when I want to become an Estate agent?
You must first apply for internship at a real estate agency firm.
How long is the internship?
It takes 12 uninterrupted months to complete during which period you complete an Intern Logbook Portfolio of Evidence (PoE), showing that you have been active in the field and have acquired knowledge of real estate.
Can I complete this online?
The training material will be available online for you to complete, however the purpose of the internship is to give you hands on training in the workplace under the mentorship of a principal agent, or a full status agent who has been qualified for at least three years. All the collected information you acquire during your training must be filed in your PoE.
After my internship am I a qualified agent?
No. You will remain an intern agent until you have been found competent in your Professional Designation Exam Level (PDE) 4 which is set by the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB). Prior to writing your PDE4 you must be found competent in your Further Education & Training: National Qualification Forum (NQF) Level 4 by Services SETA. Once you have your PDE4 you are then a full status agent and will then be able to put designation “Professional Practitioner in Real Estate” – PPRE, after your name.
Can I complete the qualification online?
Portions of the qualification are able to be submitted online for marking and checking. All your information acquired online must be printed and filed in your PoE which will be audited by the EAAB once complete.
If an agent has been in the industry since 2012, does he have to produce an intern logbook?
If the agent held a FFC for a full year prior to Jan 2013, he does not have to complete his Intern Logbook PoE as long as his principal at that time issues him with confirmation that he worked for the agency for a period exceeding a year (the dates must be provided). The principal but also affirm that he performed his duties in a satisfactory manner. All agents joining after that date will have to produce a logbook.
To book my PDE with the Board, do I have to wait for my NQF competent certificate from SSETA?
Once the Services SETA has verified the findings of a real estate education provider, that provider should address a letter to the EAAB confirming that the competency finding in respect of the candidate concerned was verified and upheld by the SSETA. This enables the EAAB to upload the relevant NQF real estate qualification to its database, thereby enabling the candidate to enrol for the PDE. It is not required that the candidate wait for the SSETA to issue a Certificate of Competence as this could further unduly delay the matter.
When is a practicing agent exempt from the PDE exam?
Any unbroken five-year period prior to 2008 qualifies you for statutory PDE exemption in the same category in which you held the FFC certificate during that period.
Will I need to travel to complete my final exams?
The EAAB sets the exam dates for the PDE 4 and PDE 5 exams which will be at a certain venue in each province. You will have to travel to your closest venue.
Do I need a matric to complete my NQF4 qualification?
In order to register for NQF 4 you must have a matric with maths and a second South African language. PropAcademy supply both of these courses as an add-on to your NQF4 course.
When is an agent exempt from completing his NQF4 and NQF5 qualification?
In four different ways:
- An Over 60’s Exemption
- An executive directorship exemption
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) if you have been practising as a registered estate agent for a minimum of five consecutive years in the status that is reflected on your FFC
- RPL in the field of prior studies recognised by SAQA and in line with the EAAB matrix
How do I know if I qualify for NQF4 or NQF5 exemption through prior qualifications?
Access the EAAB website and download their Matrix to compare your qualification.
- Partial completion of a diploma or a degree does not qualify
- A subject is defined as a full year
- You must hold a NQF3 equivalent or Matric certificate showing that you have passed mathematics and a second official SA language. PropAcademy supplies these as separate courses
- You must hold a valid current FFC and be in the employ of an estate agency firm
- Estate agency principals, who held a valid FCC in that capacity on 15 July 2008, are exempted from the requirement of first completing the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification prior to enrolling for the NQF Level 5 real estate qualification.
What does RPL mean?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applies to persons who have performed tasks in the field and attained the required knowledge through years of experience. These people are assessed on their acquired knowledge and do not have to complete the full qualification.
Who can qualify for an exemption?
SSETA’s qualification material states that to claim RPL in your NQF4 qualification you must have been a registered FFC holder from 2008 to current without a break in service, be currently employed in the industry and hold a South African ID.
The Accredited Assessment Centre (PropAcademy) must verify that the agent qualifies for this RPL course. The assessment centre will assess the agent and if the agent has been in the industry for an estimated four years, held a valid FFC, and has performed all the outcomes required in the NQF qualification, then the assessment centre may allow the agent to produce the RPL form of the qualification. So if applying in 2017, ensure that you have a 2013 FFC.
What is the difference between RPL and the full qualification?
RPL is a portfolio of evidence showing that you are competent in all the required outcomes of the qualification. It takes approximately three-and-a-half months to collate for assessment.
The full qualification requires you to be found competent in all learning units and takes approximately six-and-a-half months to complete.
When are you liable to produce Continual Professional Development (CPD) points?
All estate agents who have been full status or principal status from 1 January of that year. Ie if you only received you full status FFC from the Board in July 2014 you only have to start your CPD three- year cycle in 2015.
What is a three-year CPD cycle?
You are required to produce 15 verifiable and five non-verifiable CPD points every year over a three year cycle.
Non-verifiable points come in five different categories and you cannot exceed five of any category over a single cycle period.
Do you have to attend one verifiable CPD event per annum and who has to get these points?
CPD participants were obliged to have attended at least one contact CPD session to accumulate the required number of verifiable CPD points during the 2016 calendar year. Since 2017, however, participants may complete the entire CPD programme through e-learning. Participants must use their CPD card to clock in and out of these events.
Participants making use of the ‘catch-up’ programme to accrue any outstanding verifiable CPD points for 2015 and/or 2016 can only do so through the e-learning programme. Participants must register with their EAAB CPD personalised card on entry and on exit to ensure that they are allocated their verifiable points.
How can you attain these points?
You can attend seminars and keep record of your attendance as well as documentation supplied. Remember 1 CPD point = 1 hour. You can mentor or train; or read a book and summarise it. Another option is to go to PropAcademy’s online non-verifiable CPD courses where read learning materials and then answer 10 easy questions. If you answer correctly, we issue you with a CPD certificate
When can an agent use the PPRE or MPRE designated titles?
Persons who have been certificated against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification should use the designation – FETC: Real Estate.
- Persons who have actually passed the Professional Designation Examination for non-principal estate agents should use the designation – PPRE.
- A person who has been certificated against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification and who has passed the PDE 4 would use the designations – FETC: Real Estate, PPRE.
- Persons who have been certificated against the NQF Level 5 real estate qualification should use the designation – Nat. Cert: Real Estate.
- Persons who have actually passed the Professional Designation Examination for principal estate agents should use the designation – MPRE.
- A person who has been certificated against the NQF Level 5 real estate qualification and who has passed the PDE 5 would use the designations – Nat. Cert: Real Estate, MPRE.
- A higher designation always supersedes a lower one. If, therefore, a person has been certificated against both the NQF Level 4 and 5 real estate qualifications, that person would only use the higher designation – Nat. Cert: Real Estate. Similarly a person who has passed both the PDE 4 and 5 would only use the higher designation – MPRE.
Persons who have been granted an equivalency exemption against the NQF real estate qualifications may not use the designations in respect of those real estate qualifications but would use the designation of the qualification that was relied on for the grant of the equivalency exemption. Thus, a person who was granted an equivalency exemption on the grounds of having been awarded a BCom degree would use ‘BCom’ as the appropriate designation.
Persons who were granted an exemption against the Professional Designation Examination may presently also not use any designation. The Education and Training Committee is currently investigating the possibility of allowing such persons to use the appropriate designation but has not yet approved an amendment to the relevant designation policy.
Does an attorney whose employees are selling real estate have to apply to open an agency and comply with education requirements?
In terms of section 1(vi)(d) of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 112 of 1976, practising attorneys are not deemed to be estate agents if they perform any estate agency functions and activities:
- in the course of; and
- in the name of; and
- from the premises of;
the attorney’s practice.
Such practicing attorneys are neither required to register with the EAAB nor to be issued with valid fidelity fund certificates by the EAAB. It will not be necessary, in addition, for the attorneys concerned either to acquire the real estate qualifications or to pass the relevant Professional Designation Examinations. Any persons employed by such attorney whose duties consist wholly or primarily of the rendering of estate agency functions will, however, be obliged to register with the EAAB and to be issued with a Registration Certificate. They will also be obliged to comply with the educational requirements stipulated in the Education Regulations.
An attorney is subject to the full rigours of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, and the Education Regulations, if that attorney carries on any estate agency activities other than in the course of and/or from separate premises and/or under a name different to that of the attorney’s practice. Under such circumstances the attorney will be required to register as an estate agent with the EAAB and to be issued with a valid fidelity fund certificate by the EAAB. It may sometimes be most difficult for an attorney to prove that estate agency functions fall within the course of the attorney’s practice – this will depend on the nature of the attorney’s practice and the legal services that are typically rendered by that attorney. It would seem, though, that the phrase ‘in the course of’ is more likely refer to judicial sales conducted through a legal firm than simply to ordinary estate agency activities.
Do managing agents have to comply with regulated education?
In terms of the relevant Specification of Services notice, the activities of sectional title managing agents fall within the definition of ‘estate agent’ insofar as they collect or receive money payable by any person to or on behalf of a body corporate in terms of the Sectional Titles Act. In practice, therefore, all managing agents generally fall within the ambit of this requirement.
The Act prescribes that monies received from the public must go into the agent’s trust account and from there into the body corporate account to be disbursed on instruction from the body corporate.
Am I non-compliant because my agency is non-compliant?
Where one particular estate agent out of many in the service of an estate agency firm is non-compliant only that particular estate agent and the firm are affected. In such a case, for instance, neither the non-compliant estate agent nor the firm will be entitled to commission if the non-compliant estate agent sells a property. Both the non-compliant estate agent and the firm will also be subject to disciplinary sanction. Other compliant estate agents selling properties will remain entitled to commission, as will the firm. If the firm is non-compliant by reason of say audit non-compliance issues, all the principals and estate agents in the service of that firm will be regarded as non-compliant.
How does the EAAB penalise the agent/agency for non-compliance?
Provided sufficient admissible proof of the offence is available the EAAB will institute disciplinary proceedings against the ostensible estate agent for contravention of Section 26 of the Act. On findings of guilty by the committee of inquiry the person concerned could be fined up to R25 000 for the offence. The Seller is not liable to pay commission to the illegally operating estate agent.