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How to spot scammers, illegal real estate persons or ‘colorums’ and their modus operandi


By Genevieve F. Bonquin REC REA REB
MBA (Academics)-MLQU  SPACE
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Are you one of those scammed by unscrupulous agents and scammers?? Lost money in reservation fees to a real estate project?

Moderating many social media groups had me seen hundreds of posts every day.  Sad that 98% of these posts are from illegal agents, fake brokers or ‘colorums’.  I have also seen posts by victims or posts that showed the faces of some scammers they want the public to be warned.  Then I see stories of victims how they lost their hard-earned money through these scammers. For buyers of real estate properties out there especially pre-selling projects or those that they advertise rent-to-own, here are some tips to avoid being scammed and protect yourselves from unscrupulous agents and brokers.

$11.       They use Aliases, not their real names. 

It is easy to register in any social media and assume any names. We can’t help that, its social media but once you use it for business, advertise or sell anything, it is important to be credible. So, inquire only from those using real names. Sometimes, it’s their names but spelled backwards. Why hide their identity if you mean business? Are they for real business? On classified ads or in their websites, they only put telephone numbers.

$12.       They use their names but do not indicate their PRC license registration numbers and HLURB numbers.

RA 9646 or RESA law prohibits real estate practice without proper license and violation of its provisions merits imprisonment of not less than 4 years and P200T fines for illegals. For the legitimate practitioners who violated its half of the penalties of the illegals.  Sec 38 of RA 9646 requires display of licenses in all advertisements.

$13.       They use real names and indicate PRC and HLURB numbers but not theirs.

We have discovered unscrupulous agents in order that we allow their posts in our groups, would add a PRC number or HLURB numbers. Verify first their names if they are legitimate. If you are dealing with agents, you can verify their names at :

For Agents and Brokers :

HLURB website

For Brokers, here is another link you can verify. They don’t have the Salespersons  though and you should know their complete names


Alternate sites to verify Licensed RE Brokers and their Salespersons:

http://realestatedirectory.ph/     or  http://philrealestatedirectory.com/

In both site, you can check Brokers by their family names, their location and associations.  Just type family name then comma and click search, or use the dropdowns if you want to find brokers by location.


$14.      They want you to pay reservation the day you inquired at showrooms, their posts or at the first day you met.

Many agents are recruited by developers and after three days  product knowledge training, they are deployed in malls and distribute flyers. They are given allowances for three months and if they don’t make a sale during the period, they lose their allowance. Hence the pressure selling. So many buyers who bought from these agents are orphaned buyers because the agents they bought it from are no longer with the developer so they are left to themselves to follow up their papers.  I have heard many buyers complain about their agent no longer with the developer when they call to ask help. Real estate investment requires careful planning and once you reserved, you cannot get it back.

$15.      They advertise rent-to-own when the project they are selling is still under construction

You’ll see these posts by many agents in social media. But when you check the name of the projects, the delivery dates are few years from now, so how can you rent a unit when it’s not yet built? This they do to catch attention but it is also misinformation and is not allowed by HLURB (Board Res 922 Series of 2014).  Colorums are easy to say anything just to get your money. Countercheck their claims by verifying with HLURB these projects before making reservations or any payments.

$16.       They want you to issue blank checks or pay to cash for reservation.

This is where most buyers have lost money. Just recently, two buyers of same developer came forward to complain about an agent who accepted cash reservation but were not recorded with the developer. The agent made fake receipts and acknowledgement receipts. But when buyers checked their units, their names are not recorded with the developer and they have no reserved unit. One has paid over P48,000 and another P99,000 plus blank checks.  This even happened inside developer’s projects so the innocent unsuspecting buyers thought they were legit.  When you should pay, make sure you use checks payable to Developer and make it crossed check. Never issue check in the name of any other person unless it’s the developer. Read the reservation agreement carefully. Reservation forms has letter heads and it says there to whom you should pay your reservation fees among other payments. Get first the computation of the total price you will pay until you can own the unit.

Some buyers who has money would and inquire to showrooms with loads of cash and so unscrupulous agents can smell your cash. No matter how much you are eager to buy a unit in a project you want, always be cautious. Real estate is not like vegetables that get spoiled if you didn’t buy the day you come. Go shop and compare. Talk to as many agents as you can and verify if they are legitimate.

Real estate investment or buying your first home is not a spur of the moment decision. It takes careful consideration because of the amount involved. Ask yourself first if you are ready. For OFWs, while it is fine to ask your relatives to find investment for you, it is still your hard -earned money so do careful study before making that important decision. I have seen so many buyers lose money after paying for down payment only to find out they cannot get a bank loan nor they cannot afford to pay the in-house term because the agents were in a hurry to get their reservation money and their down payment.

If you are one of these scammed, feel free to contact us and tell your story or if you are planning to invest and need advice how to properly do it and with the legitimate brokers and professionals, you may contact this author. We’ll be glad to be of help. You may visit my website: http://www.greenhuts.net/

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Who are Real Estate Service Practitioners or RESPs? Brokers, Appraisers, Assessors, Consultants

By :
Genevieve F. Bonquin REB REA REC
PRC Real Estate Broker Lic. No : 2309
PRC Real Estate Appraiser Lic No. 5754
PRC Real Estate Consultant Lic. No. 92


Have you seen this term before? Real Estate Service Professionals or Real Estate Service Practitioners? Collectively, this term refers to real estate persons duly licensed to practice real estate services in the Philippines namely, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants . Only if they passed the board exams administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) and properly registered then they can practice their profession. There were those who did not have to take Board Exam because they were licensed by DTI before the RA 9646 became a law in 2009 and were considered Licensed via grandfather’s clause but that was only until 2011. Nowadays, only those who have graduated from BS Real Estate Management, a four-year course created by RA 9646 which eventually transferred the regulation of real estate service industry to PRC, can take the Board exam. The last Brokers examination given to non-BS REM graduates will be on February 28, 2016. After this, only the BS REM graduates are the only ones qualified to take Brokers examination.


Below are their functions according to RESA or RA 9646


Real Estate Broker


“A duly registered and licensed natural person who, for a professional fee, commission or other valuable consideration, acts as an agent of a party in a real estate transaction to offer, advertise, solicit, 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. “ RA 9646 Sec 3 (4)


Under the Real Estate Brokers are “ Real Estate Salespersons – Sec 3 (5). a duly ACCREDITED natural person who performs service for and in behalf of a Real Estate Broker who is registered and licensed by the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES) for or in expectation of a share in the commission, professional fee, compensation or other valuable consideration. “ 


They are to be recognized under a Broker because their accreditation is through a licensed broker and they should be supervised by a Licensed Real Estate Broker. By themselves, they should not practice without the Broker. 

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Qualities of a good Broker/Agent
By: Genevieve F. Bonquin, REB, REA, REC
        PRC Real Estate Broker Lic No. 2309
        PRC Real Estate Appraiser Lic No. 5754
        PRC Real Estate Consultant Lic No. 92
Quite missed blogging for a while. Been busy working on my advocacy sites, improving and upgrading them. Then I thought of giving free lectures about Online Marketing which I observed very few licensed brokers are using or maximizing these new technologies available to make our practice easier and more effective. Here is a continuation of the series For Brokers. 

To succeed in this industry, you need to have/learn/acquire certain qualities, traits or characters so you stay long in this industry. The six figure income doesn’t always come in silver platter. They do sometimes but you have to prepare for it for long then one day it will come regularly.





First, let’s differentiate between the Broker and the Agents or Salespersons. Strictly speaking, before one becomes a broker, he/she should have done agent’s or the salesperson’s job. An agents finds a client, make presentation or showing, negotiating or closing. The Broker supervises agents so the Broker should know the ins and outs of a transaction so he/she can better manage or assist the agent. 




While there are licensed Brokers who took the REBLEX without selling experience, and there are many salespersons who have more experience, there should be no delineation of roles should they work together. The Broker should endeavor to learn and develop his/her skills and the salesperson must learn to submit to the broker as his/her superior to avoid conflicts. In this set up, unless the salesperson will have a chance to take up BS REM and passed brokers exam later, this will be the set up for broker-agent relationship. RA 9646 Sec 31 have differentiated this more lengthily  Read more...



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