New Statutory Group for Singapore Estate Agents

The verdict is finalized with actions taken by Singapore Government. Ministry of National Development will take the reigns over from Inland Revenue of Singapore to create a Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) as the licensing authority for real estate agents.

MND will introduce a Bill in Parliament in the second half of this year to set up the new Council and to establish the new regulatory framework.

I’ll just highlight the most important point which most fellow agents are keen to know,

Arrangements will be made to help existing estate agencies and agents transit to the new licensing and registration framework. For instance, they will be exempted from the new educational qualification criterion.

Those who have passed an industry examination will not be required to take a new examination.

Those who have not passed any existing industry examination will be given one year to pass the examination, and be given a provisional registration in the interim.

Existing agents who are undischarged bankrupts or have past criminal records will be considered for registration on a case-by-case basis.

So you’ll definitely need to sit in for either CES or CEHA before practicing. To read the article in details, check out AsiaOne.

Singapore Property Agents to be Regulated

It’s confirmed. The Government will be stepping in to regulate the pool of real estate agents in Singapore.

The Straits Times announced and understands that an independent body will be formed and chaired by a neutral party appointed by the Government. It will also house a dispute resolution centre for agents and consumer mediation.

The intiative was hasten with the old ERA agent case of flipping an apartment in Riverside Piazza.

It’s about time as mentioned before that this would happen. Like Nicholas Mak mentioned, the only wish I had was that the independent body will not have any agency heads involve in the process as this will have conflicting of interest within the party.

Public consultation on the proposed reforms is due to begin this month with the findings due by December.

What Should Property Agents Do Now?

To fellow colleagues who’s rushing to take your CES or CEHA at this point, I don’t see the point of speeding up. It would be an added bonus to have the qualifications.

If you see these papers as added or refreshment to your real estate knowledge, the papers would be much easier to clear.

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.