New Council for Estate Agencies begins operations from Oct 22

A new statutory board to regulate estate agents in Singapore comes into operations from Friday.

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) will be chaired by Greg Seow, Chairman of AMP Capital Investors (Singapore).

The new body aims to raise the professionalism of the real estate agency industry and to enable consumers to better safeguard their interests.

Key elements include enhanced licensing conditions for estate agents, registration of salespersons, regulation on the conduct of estate agency work, mechanisms for discipline and dispute resolution, and public education.

Meanwhile the council said its immediate focus is to prepare the estate agents and salespersons to meet the higher standards of the enhanced licensing and new registration framework.

To ensure high standards, there will be a code of conduct, ethics and practice for estate agents and salespersons to follow.

And from next year, the council can subject errant estate agents and salespersons to disciplinary action, with penalties such as warnings, fines, suspension or revocation.

Serious cases may also be taken to court.

Commenting on the setting up of the new council, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said: “The establishment of the CEA is a major milestone to raise professionalism in the real estate agency industry and protect consumer interest. I encourage CEA to work closely with the industry and other stakeholders to achieve this. ”

New and existing estate agents can apply to the council for a new licence from November 1.

Existing estate agents are also required to register their existing salespersons who have met the transitional conditions prior to the formation of the CEA by November 30.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Oct 2010

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