Should you hire real estate professionals?

Given the required documentation and substantial amounts involved in real estate transactions, it is best to hire real estate service professionals so you can be protected from malpractices and misrepresentations.

Unfortunately, not many are aware that their practices are governed by Republic Act No. 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines (RESA Law).


Real estate service practices are currently under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), with the applicants’ and practitioners’ qualifications specified, services classified and clarified, rights and responsibilities protected and enshrined, and corresponding penalties to violations prescribed in the law. Board passers are considered professionals, and are made accountable for their services.

Who can practice?

Pre-RESA Law. Existing practitioners as of the RESA law’s effectivity were allowed to become professionals without taking the licensure examination if (a) they were already licensed as real estate brokers, appraisers or consultants by the Department of Trade and Industry, provided that they were in active status and have undertaken relevant continuing professional education; (b) assessors and appraisers who held permanent appointments and were performing actual functions for the last five years as of the RESA law’s effectivity, and passed the Civil Service Commission’s Real Property Assessing Officer examination; and (c) assessors and appraisers who upon the effectivity of the law, held permanent appointments, had at least 10 years actual experience in real property appraisal or assessment, and completed at least 120 hours of accredited training.

Post-RESA Law. Filipino citizens who have a college degree in Real Estate Services (or at least two years of college education for salespersons), are of good moral character, and have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, are allowed to take the examination to become licensed professionals. In addition, would-be consultants must submit proof of experience, including being licensed for at least 10 years as a broker, assessor, bank or institutional appraiser, or as a licensed appraiser for at least five years.

Real estate service professionals

The RESA Law lists five types of natural person professionals, as follows:

Real estate consultant – offers or renders professional advice and judgment on: (i) the acquisition, enhancement, preservation, utilization or disposition of lands or improvements thereon; and (ii) the conception, planning, management and development of real estate projects.

Real estate appraiser – performs, renders, or offers to perform services in estimating and arriving at an opinion of or acts as an expert on real estate values, such services of which shall be finally rendered by the preparation of the report in acceptable written form.

Real estate assessor – works in a local government unit and performs appraisal and assessment of real properties, including plants, equipment and machineries essentially for taxation purposes.

Real estate broker – acts as an agent in a real estate transaction to offer, advertise, solicit, list, promote, mediate, negotiate or effect the meeting of the minds on the sale, purchase, exchange, mortgage, lease or joint venture, or other similar transactions on real estate or any interest therein.

Real estate salesperson – performs service for, and in behalf of a real estate broker who is registered and licensed by the PRC Board of Real Estate. However, a salesperson needs only to be accredited and not required to be PRC registered and licensed.

In addition, corporations and partnerships are allowed to engage in real estate service if they are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), provided that their departments, divisions and or offices are headed and or manned by real estate brokers, appraisers, or consultants.


Foreigners are prohibited from practicing in the Philippines, unless they are from a country that allows Filipinos to practice in their territory.

Meanwhile, property owners are not required to have a license in order to sell their own property. 

Moreover, also exempt from the license requirements are trustees in bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, persons acting upon court orders like court sheriff; attorneys-in-fact authorized to negotiate the sale, mortgage, lease, or exchange of real estate; and public officers who perform their official duties.

References include Republic Act No. 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines; “12 Things You Need to Know About the RESA Law” (; and “What is R.A. 9646: Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines or RESA Law?” by Rafael Penilla (

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Henry L. Yap is an architect and environmental planner. He is one of the undersecretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

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