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Over 60 and far from retirement

Retirement? Not an option for some passionate lovers of the real estate business who would rather sell or rent property than play bridge or host tea parties yet many find it difficult to get clear answers from the Estate Agency Affairs Board about exemption from certain educational requirements.

For Willie Grobler (67) of George there is no question about it, he loves being in the real estate business together with his wife. He has been in the property business in the Little Karoo and Garden Route area for the past 30 years and this is what he wants to keep on doing as long as his health permits.

“What is better than driving around a farm with a few ‘nice’ guys. Sometimes even driving a 4×4. For lunch to stop and ‘braai’ a piece of ‘wors’ and then you go on … and then I get paid to do this! Change your attitude and you change your life. May I do this as long as my health permits,” says Grobler.

Grobler specialise in the selling of farms in the Little Karoo, from Ladismith to Beaufort West, down to Aberdeen and back through Willowmore to George.

“To be successful isn’t just about making money. If you do what you must and you do it as correct as possible, then you will make money. Whether I’m 60, 80 or a 100, what does it matter. Age is just a number,” Grobler sums up his philosophy of life.

But being over 60 years, he would like to apply for exemption from the educational requirements of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) but says he can’t get confirmation that his application was received. “I have given up trying to get somebody at the EAAB to acknowledge receipt of my application for exemption for persons over 60,” he laments and he is not alone.

A 73 year old agent, who wish to remain anonymous, says she has made many enquiries as to whether she needs to do certain exams or whether she is exempt, but she has had no feedback. She has been a full status agent for 25 years and says she loves property, is in excellent health and enjoys her independence.

“Property gets into your system – it is aggravating (humans), demanding and yet very exciting.

Bottomline – I do not like tea parties and I don’t play cards, Bingo or Bridge. Property is far better than any of these “distractions,“ she concludes.

Others complain that they paid the required fee for the exemption, but then heard nothing further. Ana-Maria Delgado has been waiting for three years for feedback after she paid R1 600 when applying for Professional Designation Examination (PDE) exemption for the first time in March 2015 where-as Richard Moore, already 78, has been making enquiries for two years with no conclusive answers from the EAAB on whether he can continue as registered property practitioner. “I’m running out of time,” says Moore.

And so it continues …

How to apply for exemption if 60 years and older

According to EAAB’s statement on their website the Board can grant estate agents that are 60 years and older exemption from the NQF 4 and NQF qualifications in real estate. Agents in this age group may also apply for exemption from completing the Professional Designation Examination (PDE).

When applying applicants must provide acceptable proof both of their age and of the fact that they have held a valid fidelity fund certificate issued by the EAAB for a continuous period of at least five years. The applicants must also be in possession for a valid fidelity fund certificate for the current year. The applications for exemption must be accompanied by the prescribed fee, R2 130 is current rate effective from 1 April this year.

EAAB policy dictates that upon receipt of the applications the Board will then investigate whether the candidates are estate agents in good standing and that they have no previous criminal convictions or convictions for any estate agency related offences.

The next step, if the relevant education and training official is satisfied that all is in order, is for the candidate to be invited for an interview prior to a cut-off date set by the EAAB – no rescheduling or postponements are allowed. If you can’t or don’t attend this interview, then it is up to you to arrange for another date that will still be prior to the cut-off date or within the allowable set-deadlines. Failure to arrange, attend and successfully complete the interview will render the person disqualified in terms of Section 27 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act. The EAAB further states non- confirmation and non-pitch at the interview venue without a valid reason will also result in the forfeiture of the paid fee.

However, here fees have in some cases been paid or enquiries made with inconclusive feedback in some cases in others nothing apparently. Property Professional also made repeated enquiries about the above to the EAAB and have to date not received any reply. Hopefully the candidates will receive feedback on their queries soon …

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