The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department (DLD), has recently enforced its rule regarding the Form A which is a document signed between an owner and a real estate broker in order to sell the owner’s property. This document is mandatory for any marketing real estate activity.
Although the form has been introduced several years ago, owners often managed to do without it but as of now it is compulsory due to the recent RERA regulation requiring all property advertisements be approved and given a permit number. Part of the requirement to obtain the permit is for the seller to fill out details in form A as well as providing passport and title deed copies.
As Engel & Völkers, we used the Form A from day one but it has always been a tough battle to get all the required documents from the landlords. Therefore this has been received as good news not only by us but by the entire industry as this will help regulate the market and make sure that ads published online and elsewhere are verified.
For some reason, owners have historically seen this form A as a negative whereas this has been created to protect sellers and brokers alike as this proves the broker indeed received written consent from the seller.
Perhaps the main misconception is that the form A is an exclusive contract which wouldn’t allow the seller to advertise his property with other agents. This is not accurate as the form A can be signed under 3 mandates: open, exclusive or sol.
The open contract allows the owner to work with up to3 brokers and doesn’t compel him to pay commission to the brokers.
In Dubai, the market standard is for the buyer to pay the broker’s commission. But this is merely a practice and not a regulation. Some real estate companies collect commission from the seller.
The exclusive mandate means the owner will work with only one broker who will be entitled to his/her commission even if the owner sold the property himself/herself.
With a sol contract, the owner works with one agent but only gives him/her commission if he/she succeeds to sell the property.
All contracts have a validity of 3 months.
Owners usually prefer working with an unlimited number of agents as they believe this will benefit them by giving their property more exposure. This may be true in some cases but it most of them, advertising with a multitude of brokers can have an adverse effect.
As a buyer, if you see the same property advertised with several agents you might think the owner is in a hurry to sell and therefore you may have more room to negotiate the price down. You may also feel irritated as you thought there were plenty of properties in the building you were looking for but then realize there are all one and the same unit. But the main risk an owner faces is that in order to be competitive, brokers will put the price down and therefore potential buyers will only work with the agent who advertised the property at the lowest price. Consequently this strategy may cost you quite a lot of money.
We, at Engel & Völkers, always recommend that regardless who you decide to work with, it should always be on an exclusive basis. This gives you total control on the price of your property and also gives it a better image as people tend to naturally be more attracted to exclusive properties than ones that have been through the whole market.