Can a Muslim be a Real Estate Agent?

Not according to Mufti Monzer Kahf, unless it’s for a cash-only sale, no financing or bank mortgage allowed.

He states:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Being a real estate agent for a certain company is permissible as long as the agent avoids writing an application for a forbidden interest-based loan and avoids selling stolen property. What applies to real estate also applies to refering others to the same real estate company for the purpose of buying and selling.

Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist, counselor and mufti states the following:

Working as a real estate agent or owner of an agency is permissible because the main line of business is helping people buy and sell real estate properties. What is prohibited in the Shari’ah is taking interest, giving it, writing it, and being a witness to its contract. It is not forbidden to help people buy and sell properties. Of course, two things are haram: to write an application for forbidden interest-based loan (a buyer may be under conditions of necessity and hence its loan may not be forbidden); and to help sell stolen property. These must be avoided by any agent, whether in real estate or other businesses.

The same applies to the referral because in referral you are also helping in buying and selling, and it is none of your business how the buyer is going to finance the purchase or whether the other agent is going to help in writing the loan application; you are not required to investigate what other people (agent or buyer) are going to do or how they are going to proceed in their relationships.

Thus, in both cases your commission is halal, in sha’ Allah.

Having clarified the above, I would like to add that in referral there is another point that must be clear: When you refer a friend who comes to you on the basis of trust and confidence and you refer him or her and take commission, the referred friend should know that in referring him or her to that specific agent you will get a commission; if he or she does not know that and takes your advice as a friendly trusted advice, such a commission is deserved to the friend not to you. You can’t be a paid adviser without the recipient of the advice knowing that you are paid, that is, that you have an interest in this advice.

Islam Online – Fatwa on being a Real Estate Agent

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