While the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) considers a potentially shorter timeframe for dispute resolution, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has responded to Singaporeans’ feedback over a recent blog post about the CEA entitled ‘A Very Busy First Year’.
Mr Khaw expressed gratitude for the feedback, highlighting that the views agreed on were improving public education for consumers, raising the minimum educational qualifications for real estate agents and developing the quality of CPD (continuing professional development) courses.
However, opinions were varied on some other aspects, such as whether all real estate agents should be prohibited from engaging in real estate transactions, or whether a blanket ban should be imposed on do-it-yourself (DIY) resale transactions.
On his end, Mr Khaw said, “I don't think it is appropriate to prohibit agents from handling HDB resale transactions. Neither is it necessary to mandate that all HDB transactions should be via agents.”
Moreover, he noted that should a buyer get an agent to deal with a transaction, the commission will be decided on by the involved parties and stated in the Estate Agency Agreement form to prevent any potential disputes in future.
Readers also called for greater protection of both agents and consumers and appealed for increased cover for agents against consumers who do not comply with their commitments.
Going forward, CEA will send its 30,000 registered salespeople for more courses in response to recent market changes.
“At one year old, CEA is still growing in capability and capacity. There is more work ahead, and if done well, CEA can make a positive difference,” noted Mr Khaw.