Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

May 3, 2008

Better laws needed to regulate estate agents

Filed under: 1 — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:31 pm

I REFER to the Saturday Special report, ‘Rodeo realtors’ (April 19).

While the number of complaints is of much concern, it should be noted that they are committed by errant agents from a few companies.

As realtors deal with high value-added services, it is unfortunate that many of these complaints have invoked strong reactions.

For all intents and purposes, most practitioners realise they need to uphold the professional code of ethics and conduct to ensure long-term success in their profession.

These complaints are further compounded by the fact that, unlike in most developed countries, there are presently no well-defined laws regulating real estate practice in Singapore, an industry which is neither fully regulated nor totally deregulated.

I am of the opinion that self-regulation, in the context of the local consumer culture, operates optimally only within the framework of a well-crafted legislation for both real estate companies and agents.

Any private regulatory initiatives in a highly competitive industry are almost impossible unless there is adequate support and appropriate power to champion the best interests of consumers.

In appointing their agents, consumers should ensure they are committed to a stringent code of practice. They must go through comprehensive and vigorous training on a continuing basis.

In addition, agencies should be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and marketing resources. They should be in a position to submit an effective sole agency marketing plan, backed by a series of guarantees for performance, service and results.

Consumers can be assured, if they do their due diligence, there are many professional advisers in the market who can meet, and even exceed, these criteria.

Patrick Liew
CEO, HSR Property Group
Source : Straits Times – 2 May 2008


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