3 min article

Real estate policy

Unlike listings in most other eBay categories, real estate listings are not a binding offer to sell the property shown.

Policy overview

To best meet the needs of our users while accommodating the wide variety of laws governing the sale of real estate across the globe, eBay offers advertisements of real estate in a variety of formats. These Real Estate Rules explain these format offerings, clarify eBay's limited role as a publisher of advertising and venue provider, and outline certain limitations on eBay's obligations and liabilities. Your use of the eBay Real Estate Pages confirms your agreement to these rules.

eBay Real Estate Inc.

Real estate advertising services on eBay are offered by eBay Real Estate Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay Inc. On eBay's site and in these Rules, this company is referred to as "eBay Real Estate".

Due to the wide variety of laws governing the sale of real estate, eBay Real Estate auction-style advertisements of real property do not involve legally binding offers to buy and sell. Instead, eBay Real Estate's listings are simply a way for sellers to advertise their real estate and meet potential buyers. eBay is commonly referred to as an online auction Web site. However, eBay Real Estate is not a traditional "auctioneer". eBay Real Estate is not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers and, as a result, has no control over the quality, safety or legality of the properties advertised, the truth or accuracy of the postings, the ability of sellers to sell items or the ability of buyers to buy items. eBay cannot ensure that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction.

The applicable Malaysian law depends on the type of property being bought or sold.

Members should note that there are restrictions on foreign ownership of private residential property in Malaysia. This is governed by the Economic Planning Unit of the Ministry of Finance. In particular, foreign persons (including natural persons, companies and societies) are restricted from purchasing:

  • vacant residential land;
  • landed property [i.e., detached house, semi-detached house, terrace house (including linked house or townhouse)]; and
  • landed property in strata developments which are not approved condominium developments.

Some examples

Auction Formats

eBay Real Estate offers two auction formats for real estate advertisements, "Non-Binding" and "Binding", each involving different procedures and expectations on the part of both seller and buyer.

Non-Binding Auction Formats

"Non-binding" auctions of real estate do not involve binding commitments by users to buy and sell property. Instead, these "auctions" are simply a way for sellers to advertise their real estate within the auction-style environment familiar to eBay's user community. At the close of the auction, the seller is expected to contact the winning bidder to discuss entering into a contract for the real estate property. Neither party is obligated to complete the transaction. Non-binding auctions are used in cases where the "binding" auction format (discussed below) is unavailable due to legal or other restrictions.

Binding Auction Formats

"Binding" auctions of real estate are designed to more directly result in the sale of the property to the highest bidder. In this format, users are asked not to bid unless they intend to complete the purchase of the listed property, subject to customary diligence and contingencies. While eBay Real Estate cannot guarantee consummation of the sale to either the seller or a potential buyer, eBay’s rules require the seller and the final selected buyer to follow through in good faith. Hence, these auctions are "binding" strictly insofar as this good faith requirement, like the eBay User Agreement more generally, is binding on each eBay user, and insofar as a user's disregard of the required good faith intent can result in negative feedback. "Binding" auctions are not universally available. Each seller selecting the auction format for the advertisement will be informed whether the property to be posted qualifies for binding auction.

Classified Ad Listings

eBay Real Estate also offers sellers the option of advertising their property in a Classified Ad format rather than an auction format. The Real Estate Classified Ad format has the following features:

  • You can list your asking price. No bidding takes place.
  • Interested buyers fill out a contact form and their information is sent to you.
  • You can advertise your property for 30 days or 90 days.
  • You may revise your item at any time in the advertisement duration.

Real Estate Classified Ad listings do not result in feedback, because the format aims to generate multiple leads rather than a single high bidder. When this contact information is forwarded to sellers via email, sellers are obliged to treat the potential buyers’ contact information in full compliance with eBay's Privacy Policy. This policy prohibits use of the potential buyers’ information for any purpose other than communicating with the potential buyers about the information and services referenced in the item description, unless expressly permitted to do so. Failure to comply with this policy can result in seller expulsion from the eBay community. Once buyers and sellers make contact through these listings, they can, as noted above, then proceed to discuss off the Web site purchase terms, including price, inspections, and the like, as is customary in an offline real estate transaction.

Purchase Notes and Mortgage Notes

Within eBay's "Other Real Estate" pages, eBay sellers are permitted to advertise for sale certain purchase money notes and mortgages (referred to in these rules as "mortgage notes"). These mortgage notes are created when, in a real estate transaction preceding the offer of the mortgage note on the eBay site, a purchaser of certain real estate obtains financing for all or a portion of a property from the seller, and executes a note in favour of the seller secured by a mortgage on the real property being purchased. A mortgage note created in this manner may be advertised for sale on eBay (in the auction format or Classified Ad format) if the following requirements are satisfied:

  • the mortgage note must have arisen in connection with a bona fide real estate transaction;
  • the interest offered constitutes the entire indebtedness under the note;
  • the purchaser will receive the mortgage note by unconditional endorsement, without recourse, together with a full assignment of the mortgage securing the note, both of which the purchaser will hold until satisfaction of the note;
  • the mortgage note is offered without any interposed services or other enhancements to be provided by the seller; and,
  • the sale of the mortgage note complies with all applicable law.

Additional information

Privacy of Information

Sellers must treat buyers’ contact information in full compliance with eBay's Privacy Policy. This policy prohibits sharing the buyer's information with third parties as well as use of the buyer's information for any purpose other than communicating with the buyer about the item, unless expressly permitted to do so by the buyer.

eBay Real Estate's Role as a Venue Provider / Brokerage Relationship (Agency) Disclosure

The role of eBay Real Estate in the sale of properties is limited to publishing advertising provided by sellers and providing a venue for communications about a property. eBay Real Estate is not responsible for, and does not engage in, brokering, selling, purchasing, exchanging, or leasing posted properties or providing a "multiple listing service" as that term is traditionally used. eBay Real Estate does not counsel sellers or buyers, show properties, negotiate sales contracts, or hold a position of trust and confidence, whether or not in connection with the eBay Web site. Accordingly, no brokerage relationship or any agency or fiduciary relationship is intended to be or shall be deemed to have been created between eBay Real Estate and any seller or buyer of real estate. eBay Real Estate makes no representations about properties advertised on eBay, about the sellers of such properties, about the accuracy of information provided by such sellers, or about the financial capabilities of prospective buyers. Prospective buyers are advised to perform all due diligence before entering into a contract to purchase property, and, as emphasised above, all parties are encouraged to seek the help of a licensed real estate professional and real estate attorney. eBay Real Estate does not purport to broker transactions.

Professional Assistance

The purchase and sale of real estate is a complicated matter that is governed by laws, practices and customs that vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Sellers are advised that many jurisdictions require that you provide a disclosure statement to all prospective buyers regarding the condition of your property. Members are strongly advised to seek the help of a licensed real estate professional and/or a real estate/conveyancing lawyer to help in the negotiation and sale of any real estate.


Why does eBay have this policy?

eBay wants to ensure its sellers and buyers comply with all governmental laws and regulations. Since the sale of real estate is regulated, or may cause harm to eBay or its members, the sale of real estate on eBay is restricted.

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

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