By Carlos Graffigna, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – As the real estate market in Brazil, and more so in Rio de Janeiro, becomes more dynamic and property demand increases, more people need the services and counsel of real estate agents.
Finding an agent is not a difficult task, but as in all areas of business, there are doubtful individuals looking to take advantage where opportunities appear and one must be extremely careful to make sure to choose right professional.
Stories about fraudulent real estate agents are common and the issue has authorities taking steps to stop proliferation. There is currently in place cooperation agreements between the Conselho Regional de Corretores de Imóveis (Creci-RJ) (Rea State Agents Regional Counsel for Rio de Janeiro) and the Public Ministry in order to expedite proceedings once charges have been filled against illegal activities.
Vera Senra, Chief Legal Counsel of Creci-RJ, states “There are cases of misleading publicity, larceny. Agents selling lots in preservation areas, properties that do not exist. We are looking into those claims and sending them to the Public Ministry.”
Director Secretary of Creci-RJ José Fernando Werneck Shuster adds, “Illegal real estate agents are harmful to our society. We are counting on the Public Ministry to fight their illegal activities”.
According to Creci-RJ, thousands of claims have been presented and they are working hard to resolve them.
For real estate agents to legally exercise their profession in Rio de Janeiro, they must be registered with Creci-RJ. In order to make such registration they must first; be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma and successfully take a 12 month course entitled Técnico de Transações Imobiliárias (TTI).
After a short period of practice work, which needs to be verified by the Conselho Regional dos Corretores de Imóveis (CRECI), a proficiency exam is taken.
Once this process is successfully completed, the agent acquires an identification number which he must be willing to show to his potential clients at their request.
Identifying a legally registered real estate agent must be the first and most important diligence before starting any real estate transaction. A list of authorized professionals is also available at the Creci-RJ web site.
Usually, real estate agents do not have a base salary, their services are paid through finalized transactions and their fees vastly depend on the type of property sold. The normal commissions are; 6 to 8 percent on an urban residential property, 6 to 10 percent on rural property, 6 to 8 percent on industrial property and 5 percent on judicial auctions.
As purchasing property requires in most cases a substantial investment, taking the time to verify that a registered and prepared professional is being hired not only helps you secure the investment, but also helps authorities in their task of eliminating fraudulent activities.