Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Time to regulate property agents

  1. #1
    Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,129

    Default Time to regulate property agents

    July 11, 2007

    BUOYANT PROPERTY MARKET

    Time to regulate property agents


    THE current buoyant property market is creating a new set of problems for would-be buyers and tenants.

    We read of unscrupulous agents in 'HDB resale: Sellers' market or agents'?' (ST, July 7). The writer, Mr Chia Kok Chin, is not alone. I have heard of more appalling incidents.

    Some agents are becoming greedy. They do not want to co-broke, be it a sale or rental. They want the commissions from both parties for themselves. This leaves buyers and tenants at their mercy.

    A friend, a foreigner, was looking to rent another apartment when his landlord increased his rent by 68 per cent for the one-room flat in the suburbs, far away from the city. But after three weeks' experience with agents, and landlords, he decided to stay put despite the increase.

    The industry is seen by many as lucrative and is drawing many new entrants, as reported in the media. Lest we have a situation similar to that of the mid-1990s when unqualified housewives and aunties were selling properties, it is time to regulate property agents.

    Insurance agents and financial planners are licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. So, why not property agents by the Ministry of National Development? There is a dire need for professionalism in the industry.

    It is sad to read a senior member of a large property agency ('IEA not the only body regulating real-estate agents in Singapore'; ST Online Forum, June 23) arguing that as commission is left to contracting parties to negotiate, and that being not prescribed by any governmental or national body, his company's agents have not flouted industry standards, even if they do not follow the recommendations set by the industry's association.

    What then do the Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) and the Singapore Accredited Estate Agents exist for? Property companies must abide by the rules of the association they belong to.

    Teo Cheng Peow

  2. #2
    Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,129

    Default Re: Time to regulate property agents

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Putting the house in order

    Property agents should be regulated by Ministry of National Development

    Letter from Teo Cheng Peow

    THE current buoyant property market is creating a new set of problems for would-be buyers and tenants.

    We now hear of unscrupulous agents. Many are becoming greedy. They do not want to work on a co-broke basis, be it a sale or rental. They want the commission from both parties for themselves. Moreover, there are instances of agents acting against the interests of buyers by pitting one buyer against another with jacked-up prices. This leaves buyers and tenants at their mercy.

    A friend of mine, who lives overseas, had his rent increased by 68 per cent some time ago. He was considering the option of moving to Singapore and renting a place here instead. After three weeks of negotiating with the agents, however, he decided to return home despite his higher rent. He had simply had enough from the agents here.

    Many are seeing the buoyant market as a chance to make money and it is drawing numerous new players, as reported in the media. Lest we have a situation similar to that of the mid-1990s, when unqualified people were selling properties, it is perhaps time to regulate property agents.

    There are two associations the Institute of Estate Agents and the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies Scheme representing property agents in Singapore, but it seems they only provide guidelines that are not mandatory.

    Hence, an agent need not follow the recommendations of the associations on issues such as the amount of commission payable. This has resulted in agents calling the shots, flouting the norms and not having to account for their misdeeds.

    If insurance agents and financial planners have to be licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, why not property agents by the Ministry of National Development? There is a dire need for professionalism in the industry and I believe this can only come about when the authorities take control of the registration and conduct of the agents.

  3. #3
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Time to regulate property agents

    How much does an agent really earn? Can anyone enlighten us? If the commission for a pte transaction is 2% from the seller, how much does the agent get to pocket?

  4. #4
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: Time to regulate property agents

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    How much does an agent really earn? Can anyone enlighten us? If the commission for a pte transaction is 2% from the seller, how much does the agent get to pocket?
    when time are good, people start to question how much the housing agent earned and start to envy them. what about when time are bad, they have no salary and yet they have to pay for the advertisement,transport,time,meals and at the end of the day they may not close the anything. Then they have to suffer for a long time until the market recover.And end up doing odd jobs to survive. I think this part of their profession that they have to take. So don't envy how much they earn during this good time .By the way, i am not an agent. Be professional, don't envy.

  5. #5
    Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,129

    Default Re: Time to regulate property agents

    July 13, 2007

    Property transactions: Excessive regulation may hamper true commerce


    I REFER to the letter, 'Time to regulate property agents' (ST, July 11), by Mr Teo Cheng Peow.

    Mr Teo's rhetoric of unscrupulous and greedy estate agents who do not act in the interests of their clients is laudable and one can't agree with him more on the necessity for improved regulation of estate agents in Singapore.

    Certainly the boom in the property market has also brought with it the bane of opportunistic agents who are drawn only by the lucrative commissions that can be earned as a result of the property price hikes.

    However, Mr Teo's letter also brought a sense of disquiet if all his views expressed were left unchallenged.

    Firstly, it is simplistic generalisation that agents who do not co-broke and those who earn commission from both parties (seller and buyer) are greedy. If an agent is able to fetch a bona-fide deal for his client without having to work with another agent, is such conduct unbecoming?

    Perhaps the best judge is not co-brokerage or the absence of it; rather, it is the satisfaction of the client. It is also not unethical to collect commission from both seller and buyer provided this is made known to the parties.

    Mr Teo would definitely be aware that neither the Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) nor Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) prohibits their members from the collection of commission from seller and buyer but that double commission be declared.

    Secondly, while improved regulation of estate agents is beneficial, excessive regulation may hamper true commerce and can be structurally oppressive for any profession to thrive.

    The problem of commission does not dissipate with a fixed scale of fees. Fixing professional fees means remote or no room for negotiation. It may not be always equitable to pay the recommended scale. It can also take away the sovereign right of consumers to ascertain reasonable remuneration for service providers who exceed their expectations.

    In this regard, IEA has a recommended scale of professional fees which the body is apt to add in its document posted on the website (www.iea.org.sg) that 'this scale of professional fee/commission is not intended to restrict or interfere with any private arrangements which agents/agencies may have with their clients' (clause 1.3). In fact, the document is so well-crafted that it goes on to clarify in clause 1.4.2 that 'agencies and their clients and agencies among themselves shall document/communicate at the outset, their agreement on commission, costs and disbursements'.

    These clauses presuppose that agent's commission is a matter that can be negotiated between consenting parties and that the agreed commission take precedence over the scale of recommended fees as the latter is not intended to restrict or interfere with such private arrangements. Besides, other costs and disbursements can also be separately negotiated from commission. Are these workings of free enterprise foreign and/or untenable to Mr Teo?

    Moreover, IEA is not the only body representing estate agents in Singapore. A visit to its website (by clicking About Us) will show that it is a body representing estate agents and not 'the industry's association' as Mr Teo claimed using the definite article.

    Perhaps Mr Teo could visit the websites of SAEA and the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) as well if he has not done so.

    Not all estate agents are members of IEA and the nature of membership in IEA is individual and not corporate, that is, agency. Thus, Mr Teo's remark of regret about the online letter, 'IEA not the only body regulating estate agents in Singapore' (Online forum, June 23), is misleading.

    The large property agency Mr Teo alluded to could very well be abiding by the rules of the association it belongs to.

    In reality, no buyer or seller is at the mercy of any real estate agent. Using an agent is a matter of personal choice and the fact that agents receive more commission relatively speaking in a boom market is hardly a yardstick of their professionalism.

    Dr Tan Tee Khoon

Similar Threads

  1. New board to regulate property firms, agents
    By mr funny in forum HDB, EC, commercial and industrial property discussion
    Replies: 1
    -: 10-05-10, 19:39
  2. Public welcomes move to regulate property agents
    By mr funny in forum HDB, EC, commercial and industrial property discussion
    Replies: 4
    -: 24-01-10, 17:17
  3. New Government Body to regulate Property Agents?
    By sealover in forum Singapore Private Condominium Property Discussion and News
    Replies: 30
    -: 24-09-09, 11:20
  4. Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering
    By mr funny in forum HDB, EC, commercial and industrial property discussion
    Replies: 6
    -: 24-06-09, 17:05
  5. Industry players back idea to regulate property agents
    By mr funny in forum HDB, EC, commercial and industrial property discussion
    Replies: 0
    -: 14-07-07, 08:16

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •