New body responsible for regulation of the real estate industry in New South Wales

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Regulation of the real estate industry in New South Wales is set to be overhauled with a new government division set to oversee the sector.

Part of NSW Fair Trading, The Real Estate and Property division will take responsibility for all real estate and property functions, including industry regulation, in the state.

The division will conduct random and proactive audits to ensure industry compliance on matters including licensing, trust account management and underquoting.

New resources will also be available to the industry, including an online rental bond system, forms accessible via mobile devices and a user-friendly tool kit for property professionals

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the division would benefit consumers and those in the industry.

“The real estate industry is integral to our state’s economic prosperity, with the sale and rental of property impacting on millions of NSW citizens each year,” Mr Dominello said.

“This new division will facilitate relationships between government and industry and provide for licensing that better balances industry needs with consumer protection.”

The new division will be headed by NSW Fair Trading assistant commissioner Andrew Gavrielatos, who will also be responsible for establishing a Real Estate Qualifications Review Committee.

The committee will review training requirements to up-skill the real estate industry and ensure consumer protection.

As the managing director of buyer’s agency Property Buyer and president of the Real Estate Buyer's Agents Association of Australia (REBAA), Rich Harvey said it was pleasing to see a dedicated division set up to oversee the industry.

“It’s excellent and something I absolutely agree with,” Harvey said.

“With the value of the real estate industry to the state and the volume of sales we have it’s important that there is a body that is dedicated to looking into the industry and making sure everything is up to standard.”

Harvey is particularly pleased the new division will focus on the training real estate agents receive and has some ideas about how it can be improved.

“When I saw that I thought it was fantastic and as the president of REBAA and chairman of the NSW Buyers’ Agent Chapter I’ll definitely be lobbying for some changes.

“There should be a dramatic increase in the amount of training someone has to do when before becoming an agent, there was huge backwards step a few years ago when they got rid of the old apprentice system, now someone can do a few hours of training and then sell a $10 million dollar house with no practical experience.”

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