Real estate agents are obliged to inform the potential buyers of any stigma associated with the property the company is selling on behalf of the property owner, as concerns have been raised by people that full information about properties are not being disclosed.
Real Estate Agents Licensing Board Chairman Doctor Abdul Hassan says in Fiji, the famous phenomena stigma is where the agents need to disclose if a house is renowned for haunting or ghost sighting in the building or on the property.
Doctor Hassan says the agents should explain everything in detail in terms of the history of the buildings, properties and houses. He says it also includes witchcraft practiced by the previous occupants or on the premises.
He says other common cases discussed in the roadshows in Sigatoka, Lautoka and Nadi include prostitution and drug dealings in the neighborhood, as people want to live in a safe place and these important things should be disclosed to the potential buyers.
In Lautoka, the residents are facing problems in terms of termites affecting the houses and REALB says this information should be disclosed to the potential buyers.
REALB says people should be aware of the current situation in Lautoka and ask agents whether the property is infested by termites.
The board says the six types of stigma associated with real estate are criminal stigma, debt stigma, minimal stigma, murder or suicide stigma, phenomena stigma and public stigma.
The disclosure of information was raised by some members of the public who purchased properties from past property buyers and then faced problem related to the property. However, no formal complaints were lodged with REALB.
Doctor Hassan says although there is no provision in the Real Estate Agents Act on the disclosure matters, it is the moral obligation of the agent to disclose all the information to the buyers.