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Thread: Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering

  1. #1
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
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    Default Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_393955.html

    June 23, 2009 Tuesday

    Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering


    I THINK it's high time for the Government to set guidelines for the property industry. It is long overdue and radical change is needed to put things right to protect property buyers and sellers.

    Two years ago, a relative of mine got a property agent to sell her Housing Board flat, but she realised that at every viewing, the buyers were accompanied only by her own agent. We suspected the agent was trying to earn commissions from both the seller and buyer.

    I suggested that she ask the agent to hold an open house but she was given all sorts of excuses on why it was a bad idea. In the end, I posed as a property agent and called the agent, but was told that the unit was on hold. I was shocked that this agent did not want to co-broke with other agents. It meant that fewer people would have a chance to view the flat and present an offer. We fired the agent immediately. I later placed an advertisement for the flat and it was sold within a week.

    Two years later, things are still as bad. I am currently engaging an agent to look for a unit for me; at the same time, I have also been checking the newspapers for units and getting my agent to arrange viewings for me.

    There have been certain units that I selected which could not be co-broke by my agent, and were either "on hold" or "already co-broke". However, when I called personally to ask about these units, I was told by the seller's agent that they could arrange viewings at the times I wanted. This is really unprofessional.

    In such cases, isn't it better to set a guideline that an agent should not represent both parties as there is a conflict of interest especially when a dispute occurs?

    Furthermore, if an agent is found to show unprofessional sales ethics, there should be a board for sellers, buyers or even agents to complain to and, upon verification, such agents should be barred from practice and fined.

    The Government should step in and put a stop to all these unethical practices. If the insurance industry can be regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, why not the real estate industry by an independent government agency, instead of just the Institute of Estate Agents, whose members are mostly made up of those in the industry?

    Roger Lim

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_393955.html

    June 23, 2009 Tuesday

    Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering


    I THINK it's high time for the Government to set guidelines for the property industry. It is long overdue and radical change is needed to put things right to protect property buyers and sellers.

    Two years ago, a relative of mine got a property agent to sell her Housing Board flat, but she realised that at every viewing, the buyers were accompanied only by her own agent. We suspected the agent was trying to earn commissions from both the seller and buyer.

    I suggested that she ask the agent to hold an open house but she was given all sorts of excuses on why it was a bad idea. In the end, I posed as a property agent and called the agent, but was told that the unit was on hold. I was shocked that this agent did not want to co-broke with other agents. It meant that fewer people would have a chance to view the flat and present an offer. We fired the agent immediately. I later placed an advertisement for the flat and it was sold within a week.

    Two years later, things are still as bad. I am currently engaging an agent to look for a unit for me; at the same time, I have also been checking the newspapers for units and getting my agent to arrange viewings for me.

    There have been certain units that I selected which could not be co-broke by my agent, and were either "on hold" or "already co-broke". However, when I called personally to ask about these units, I was told by the seller's agent that they could arrange viewings at the times I wanted. This is really unprofessional.

    In such cases, isn't it better to set a guideline that an agent should not represent both parties as there is a conflict of interest especially when a dispute occurs?

    Furthermore, if an agent is found to show unprofessional sales ethics, there should be a board for sellers, buyers or even agents to complain to and, upon verification, such agents should be barred from practice and fined.

    The Government should step in and put a stop to all these unethical practices. If the insurance industry can be regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, why not the real estate industry by an independent government agency, instead of just the Institute of Estate Agents, whose members are mostly made up of those in the industry?

    Roger Lim
    Roger Lim, if you are reading this, I will suggest you become an agent. You write yourself as better then them

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    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
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    Default Check out SAEA if you have property brokering queries

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_394394.html

    June 24, 2009 Wednesday

    Check out SAEA if you have property brokering queries


    WE REFER to Mr Roger Lim's Forum Online letter, "Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering", yesterday.

    We take this opportunity to inform Mr Lim that the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) was launched as an accreditation scheme for estate agencies and agents in November 2005. Major government bodies, namely the Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Housing Board, were involved in its inception.

    Now an accreditation body, SAEA has accredited key estate agencies with approximately 23,000 agents on their registers. In May last year, SAEA implemented a Common Examination for Salespersons (CES) to provide a basic competency yardstick for agents primarily active in the HDB resale sector. There are now more than 2,500 who have passed the CES.

    We would like to clarify that HDB lessees and buyers need not engage the services of an estate agent for the resale transaction. However, there are benefits in appointing an estate agent, such as convenience and tapping on the networks of the agent to sell/purchase expeditiously.

    An estate agent appointed by the seller does not have the prerogative to insist that the prospective buyer use his services or to refrain from selling to the buyer who refuses his services. Such an agent is also not acting in the interests of the lessee (seller) if he does not reveal the prospective buyer's offer to him or declines to co-broke to ensure he gets more commission.

    It is recommended that an agent acts and collects commission only from one party to the transaction, who could either be the seller or buyer. However, an exception may be made if both seller and buyer are aware and consent to the agent acting for both parties. The agent should preferably obtain both parties' consent in writing.

    Further, a visit to our website at www.saea.org.sg will lead Mr Lim to our Seller's and Buyer's Guides, which we believe will come in handy when he is selling or buying properties. If Mr Lim has yet to engage an agent, he may wish to consider SAEA accredited agents or salespersons as they are bound by a strict code of conduct and ethics.

    SAEA has also set up a Disciplinary Panel and Mediation Centre to look into the misconduct of accredited agencies/agents/salespersons and mediate disputes among parties to a real estate transaction.

    Dr Tan Tee Khoon

    Chief Executive Officer

    Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies Ltd

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    teddybear's Avatar
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    No intention to address the problem? The solution is very simple: An agent cannot act for the seller and buyer at the same - problem solved! All conflicts of interests etc will disappear. Why such regulation so difficult to introduce? Until they do this, the same old problem will never disappear. We should also ask MND to response rather than SAEA.


    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_394394.html

    June 24, 2009 Wednesday

    Check out SAEA if you have property brokering queries


    WE REFER to Mr Roger Lim's Forum Online letter, "Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering", yesterday.

    We take this opportunity to inform Mr Lim that the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) was launched as an accreditation scheme for estate agencies and agents in November 2005. Major government bodies, namely the Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Housing Board, were involved in its inception.

    Now an accreditation body, SAEA has accredited key estate agencies with approximately 23,000 agents on their registers. In May last year, SAEA implemented a Common Examination for Salespersons (CES) to provide a basic competency yardstick for agents primarily active in the HDB resale sector. There are now more than 2,500 who have passed the CES.

    We would like to clarify that HDB lessees and buyers need not engage the services of an estate agent for the resale transaction. However, there are benefits in appointing an estate agent, such as convenience and tapping on the networks of the agent to sell/purchase expeditiously.

    An estate agent appointed by the seller does not have the prerogative to insist that the prospective buyer use his services or to refrain from selling to the buyer who refuses his services. Such an agent is also not acting in the interests of the lessee (seller) if he does not reveal the prospective buyer's offer to him or declines to co-broke to ensure he gets more commission.

    It is recommended that an agent acts and collects commission only from one party to the transaction, who could either be the seller or buyer. However, an exception may be made if both seller and buyer are aware and consent to the agent acting for both parties. The agent should preferably obtain both parties' consent in writing.

    Further, a visit to our website at www.saea.org.sg will lead Mr Lim to our Seller's and Buyer's Guides, which we believe will come in handy when he is selling or buying properties. If Mr Lim has yet to engage an agent, he may wish to consider SAEA accredited agents or salespersons as they are bound by a strict code of conduct and ethics.

    SAEA has also set up a Disciplinary Panel and Mediation Centre to look into the misconduct of accredited agencies/agents/salespersons and mediate disputes among parties to a real estate transaction.

    Dr Tan Tee Khoon

    Chief Executive Officer

    Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies Ltd

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    agree with you on this. even then, buyer agents' commissions will still be more when price paid is more right? so ultimately, still skewed towards higher prices and disadvantage to buyer.


    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    No intention to address the problem? The solution is very simple: An agent cannot act for the seller and buyer at the same - problem solved! All conflicts of interests etc will disappear. Why such regulation so difficult to introduce? Until they do this, the same old problem will never disappear. We should also ask MND to response rather than SAEA.

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    Wonder what kinda of "Disciplinary Panel and Mediation Centre" will be set up hor ... recall one case of agent helped boss & his wifey to get a cheap hse, then the agency which this agent belonging to also show support despite the case already in the media ... wah can't imagine .. tsk tsk.

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    teddybear's Avatar
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    Commissions will remain the same if agent legislated that they cannot represent buyer as well as seller but both seller and buyer benefits. Also, agents who previously didn't want to co-broke now have more incentive to co-broke (e.g. for HDB because they can't get a single cent from buyer).

    I heard of agents who didn't want to co-broke so that they can keep the full commissions from the seller (for private properties), and can also collect extra 1% from the buyer (if buyer not represented by agent) giving all sort of excuses etc that buyer must submit paper through them (for HDB properties). If buyer represented by agent, then buyer never ever able to get their most desired property because of all these conflicts of interests going on for the agents. I also heard of agent relying lower offer prices from buyer who are paying them commissions rather than higher offer prices from another not paying them commission. No wonder there are so many complaints on agents!

    Quote Originally Posted by bargain hunter
    agree with you on this. even then, buyer agents' commissions will still be more when price paid is more right? so ultimately, still skewed towards higher prices and disadvantage to buyer.

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