Sep 16, 2011

With a slew of new agent regulations in place this year, existing real estate agents stand to lose their licenses if they don’t pass the Real Estate Salesperson exam within a year.

The new ruling was implemented nine months ago and those who are trying to overcome the language hurdle have either given up on the test or are dropping out entirely from the industry, according to a local media source.

Affected agents have appealed to the government to consider their track records rather than their educational qualifications when granting permanent licenses.

Mr Lu, a 52-year-old agent who has reportedly failed the test four times, said that having a Primary 6 qualification and being Chinese-educated made it hard for him to pass the English exam.

Ms Tan, a 46-year-old agent, who had failed the test eight times, said the questions are long and reading them takes up to one minute, making it hard to complete the exam within two hours.

Both agents have over 15 years of experience in the industry and take in an average of S$10,000 per month in commission.

The Council for Estate Agencies said English has to be the basis for the exam, as the documents and forms pertaining to property transactions in the country are in English.

As such, the agents must be capable of guiding their customers before they sign any contracts or documents. Thus, it is critical for them to understand these documents, procedures and government policies which are written in English.

Some agents argued that their tenure in the industry has given them enough knowledge of the rules and regulations to explain a standard contract.

Lu solved his problem by partnering with co-workers who are more proficient in English and letting them explain the contract to the clients.

Info courtesy - PropertyGuru.com.sg