Protecting the buyer is what matters most

What matters most to me is the representation and protection of the most vulnerable sector of the Philippine real estate market, which is the BUYER.

In the Philippine real estate market, there are sellers in one side and buyers in the other side of the transaction. Between these two sides are agents who facilitate information, transaction, and meeting of the minds of sellers and buyers.

Most, if not all, agents are loyal to sellers because they get their compensation from overprice and percentage commission. Few agents present themselves as buyer agents, but in the middle of the transactions, ended up into pretentious dual agents, perfect picture of conflict of interest.

I can see that the most neglected and unrepresented sector of the real estate market are the buyers. This is the critical gap that I want to fill in. This is the reason why I am an Exclusive Buyer Agent.

When I talk about colorum, I mean those who have no license or registration. License is an authority given by DTI (juris is now transfered to PRC) to practice the real estate profession. Registration, in the complete sense, includes registration with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board as broker/salesperson practitioner, principal place of business (office), mayor's permit to operate, and own business official receipt recognized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

In the Philippine real estate service, 95 percent of real estate agents are unlicensed. Out of the 5 percent who are licensed, less than 10 percent are registered. Therefore, the public is dealing a sector that is 99.5 percent dominated by colorum agents.

Colorum practice is associated with unethical practices which put the consumers (buyers and property owners) in losing end. It is associated with unfair competition, which kill the business of the licensed and registered profesional brokers. It is associated with tax evasion, which contribute to the sluggish development of the country.

The passage of the Real Estate Service Act of 2009, which professionalizes the real estate service sector, is the greatest action of government so far. As to advocacy to eradicate colorum practices, the role of government is not yet conceived.

The Philippine real estate service is my full-time business environment. Under the colorum-dominated regime, I believe that staying on the right side is still the best choice in the long run. Even if wealth is only feasible on the other side of the fence, even if I earn zero for reason that I am the only one who follows the ethics, I would still choose to be Right. Because "trust" is what the profession is all about -- TRUST is what the clients is paying for.

It is my duty to sanitize my industry. My professional success depends on the integrity of realty service in general. Fear of God, love of country, and sense of survival are the three big reasons why I have courage, even alone, to advocate against colorum real estate service practices.

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