Will Licencing All Singapore Real Estate Agents Ease Your Mind?

I was reading the article on Sunday Times today with regards to ‘Licence All Agents, Says Experts‘. It really sets me pondering on whether an accredition of all local property realtors in Singapore is going to help the situation of having unethical fellow mates weeded out;

After all, this would be an industry which has no boundaries in terms of its potential income yield, depending on how hardworking and street smart the realtor is.

Government Stepping In To Regulate Real Estate Industry a Boon or a Foe?

With the government stepping in to regulate this industry, that means there won’t be a freeplay or freedom which Realtors are enjoying now. I can’t think of any current job industries apart from the medical/ lawyer industries which require would-be doctors and lawyers to acquire a certain amount of academics before being able to practice their profession. If regulated, I would foresee older Realtors without proper education qualifications to be strike off from practicing their trades which would be really uncompassionate.

At the present moment, Singapore Realtors are not required to have any kind of academics; Basic 3 O’levels passes would suffice in almost all the Realty agencies. As long as you have a good basic command of English and understand the contract terms, you could be an agent.

The pro side of having a regulated industry would be systematic approaches in future real estate deals; again it doesn’t and probably won’t weed out totally of unethical agents.

I understand that both SAEA and IEA have their own set of rules for their accredited agents with a few strike rules and they’re out.

The Clash of IEA and SAEA

There has been always the clash of two titans of Singapore’s Real Estate groups on wanting to be the leader of regulating the industry, namely SAEA and the IEA, with both coming out their own accredition standards like CES (Common Examination for Salesperson) for SAEA and CEHA (Common Examination for Housing Agents) for IEA.

If the government would to step in and regulate the industry, who would it appoint to be the sole organisation to come out with the accredition? I for sure wouldn’t be bothered unless the Government or my agency supports me to get one of the accredition to show to my clients that I am accredited.

Bottom Line

I have passed my CEHA. So what does it do for me? As a Realtor, the reason why I did the tests was for more knowledge and to cover and learn as much as I can, and not for additional tagline advertising.

Whatever that would and must be delivered as a Realtor must be delivered from the heart. Being responsible for your actions, fair and just practices are all necessary in any industries, not just Real Estate. I would think the current law system in Singapore would suffice to protect unjust actions from buyers/ sellers or bad agents and we wouldn’t need the Government to step in to gung-ho the Singapore realtor’s realm.

I don’t think regulating the whole industry would be in any much help weed out all unfair or unscrupulous practices of the industry, but if the day comes, we’ll just have to get ready.

Written by Benson Koh
Benson is a professional real estate realtor with over 11 years of experience specializing in all forms of real estate consultancy and brokeraging of different segments from regal homes to commercial spaces. Also a boutique developer, he manages both SRI5000 Developments which concentrates on landed homes as part of his land bank segment and Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), a real estate agency which has over 7 years of group experience. You can reach him here via various channels. [ Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | RSS Feed ]