Some home owners sell their flats without agents

One in 10 conducted resale transactions of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats the do-it-yourself (DIY) way last year.

The HDB provides a DIY checklist to help shorten the process.

This is one area the National Development Ministry is looking into, following public feedback on ways to meet diverse demands and raise the standard and professionalism of the real estate industry.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he does not think it is appropriate to prohibit agents from handling HDB resale transactions.

Neither is it necessary to mandate that all resale HDB transactions be made via agents.

He stressed that the HDB does not mandate owners to go through an agent to close a deal.

Should owners decide to engage a salesperson to help them, the amount of commission can be determined between the owner and the salesperson.

However, Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) does encourage the use of the Estate Agency Agreement form to put on record the amount of commission agreed by both parties from the start to avoid future disputes.

Where there is a dispute arising from the Estate Agency Agreement, parties can make use of the dispute resolution schemes of the CEA.

Mr Khaw said some people have suggested shortening the time frame for dispute resolution.

He said CEA will look into this.

Mr Khaw shared his thoughts on the issue, along with what he thinks of the feedback and suggestions from the public, in his blog on Monday.

He pointed out that there are differing views and diverse demands.

He said some wanted to prohibit real estate agents from handling HDB resale transactions while others demanded a stop to DIY resale transactions.

Some called for greater protection of consumers from estate agents while others appealed for protection of estate agents from consumers who do not discharge their commitments.

Mr Khaw said there were many common calls, such as improving the mechanism to resolve dispute and Continuing Professional Development courses, raising the minimum education qualification of salespersons, as well as enhancing public education for consumers.

He said his bias will be towards the consumers, but pledged to do so in a fair manner.

Meanwhile, CEA will introduce more courses for its 30,000 registered salespersons to meet their diverse learning needs and the dynamic nature of the market.

Mr Khaw said at one-year-old, the Council is still growing in capability and capacity.

He said there is more work ahead, and if done well, CEA can make a positive difference.

“We are united on one common aim, and that is to continue to raise the professionalism of the industry. That will be win-win all round,” he said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 13 Feb 2012

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