A former Key Executive Officer of an estate agent, Nicholas Kok Chiew Leong, was convicted and sentenced in April 2014 for handling transaction monies. Kok was fined $2,500 for handling an option exercise fee of $4,000 for his clients. Another charge of a similar breach was taken into consideration for sentencing.
A couple engaged Kok to purchase a unit in Clementi. They made an offer for the unit after the second viewing. Two days after making the offer, Kok’s clients handed him $1,000 in cash, the proposed option fee and they signed the resale checklist and Option to Purchase. Two weeks later, they handed Kok the option exercise fee of $4,000, which he subsequently passed to the sellers.
CEA advises consumers not to hand transaction monies to salespersons. Salespersons are not allowed to handle transaction monies in order to protect the clients’ interest and to minimise the risk involved in loss of sales proceeds. Consumers are asked not to request their salespersons to handle transaction monies as the latter would end up committing an offence.