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Who is an Estate Agent?

Updated: Feb 29




In the exhilarating journey of buying, selling or renting a property, one key player

often stands out as the unsung hero – the estate agent.


In its simplest sense, the Cambridge dictionary defines an estate agent as a person whose

job is to arrange the sale, renting, or management of homes, land, and buildings for the

owner. However, it is through The Estate Agents Act 112 of 1976 that we obtain a broader

and more definitive definition of an estate agent, according to categorization.

The act provides that an estate agent can fulfill one of five categories: a company, directors,

employee estate agents, independent contractor estate agents, or a person employed by

lawyers or attorneys. The distinction between these categories is determined by whom the

estate agent represents.


Estate agents are the true navigators in the vast sea of the property market. Armed

with in-depth knowledge about local neighborhoods, market trends, and property

values, they guide you through the intricate web of real estate decisions. Their

expertise ensures you make informed choices and avoid potential pitfalls


An estate agent’s legal and ethical obligations toward a client are governed by common law,

the code of conduct, and the Estate Agents Act. Some of the duties of an estate agent

include the duty to act in the interest of the client, to display reasonable care and skill, to

avoid a conflict of interest, and the duty to not make secret profits.


Buying or selling a property can be an emotional rollercoaster. Estate agents, with

their experience and understanding, play the role of a supportive guide. They offer

reassurance, guidance, and a steady hand to navigate the emotional ups and downs

associated with major property decisions.


Although the field has seen an increase in its membership, it is important to note that for

one to be an estate agent, they have to possess integrity in their character."


In conclusion, the role of an estate agent encompasses a wide range of responsibilities

governed by legal frameworks and ethical standards. From facilitating property transactions

to upholding fiduciary duties, the integrity and professionalism of estate agents play a

crucial role in maintaining trust within the real estate industry. As the sector evolves,

adherence to regulatory requirements and a commitment to ethical conduct remain

paramount for individuals aspiring to excel in this field.


So, the next time you embark on a property journey, consider enlisting the services

of an estate agent – the key to unlocking the door to your real estate dreams



Written by: Shandre Snyders



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