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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Appointment of Solicitors and Estate Agents, Purchasing Completed First-hand Residential Property
Q8.1
What should prospective purchasers of first-hand residential properties pay attention to in the appointment of estate agents under the Ordinance?
Q8.2
Under the Ordinance, can vendors reserve residential properties for prospective purchasers before commencement of sale?
Q8.3
Under the Ordinance, what should prospective purchaser pay attention to in the appointment of solicitor?


Q8.1
What should prospective purchasers of first-hand residential properties pay attention to in the appointment of estate agents under the Ordinance?
A8.1

Prospective purchaser may appoint any estate agent, i.e. not necessarily from those estate agencies appointed by the vendor, to act in the purchase of any specified residential property in the development, and may also not appoint any estate agent to act on his behalf.


Before appointing an estate agent to look for first-hand residential property, prospective purchasers should:

  • find out whether the estate agent will act on prospective purchaser’s behalf only. If the agent also acts for the vendor, he may not be able to protect prospective purchaser’s interests in case of any conflict of interest;
  • find out whether any commission is payable by purchaser to the estate agent and if so, the amount and the time of payment; and
  • note that only licensed estate agents or salespersons may accept appointment. If in doubt, prospective purchasers should request the estate agent or salesperson to produce his Estate Agent Card or check the Licence List in the Estate Agents Authority’s website (www.eaa.org.hk).
Q8.2
Under the Ordinance, can vendors reserve residential properties for prospective purchasers before commencement of sale?
A8.2

Vendors (including their authorized representative(s)) should not seek or accept any specific or general expression of intent of purchasing any residential property before the relevant price lists for such properties are made available to the public. Prospective purchasers therefore should not make such an offer to the vendors or authorized representative(s).


Vendors (including their authorized representative(s)) should not seek or accept any specific expression of intent of purchasing a particular residential property before the sale of the property has commenced. Prospective purchasers therefore should not make such an offer to the vendors or authorized representative(s).


Q8.3
Under the Ordinance, what should prospective purchaser pay attention to in the appointment of solicitor?
A8.3

Prospective purchaser may in his own interest appoint any solicitor, who is not necessarily the one appointed by the vendor. Prospective purchaser should beware that if the appointed solicitor also acts for the vendor, the solicitor may not be able to protect purchaser’s best interests in case of conflict of interest.


Prospective purchaser should compare the charges of different solicitors before appointment.