The Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) is calling on the New South Wales government to include a separate license for buyer’s agents and selling agents to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Rich Harvey, president of REBAA, said the proposal was one of the many submitted by its members to the NSW Office of Fair Trading on The Property Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017, which will be debated in Parliament later this year.
Harvey said the current minimum training standards were too low and the industry desperately needed more highly qualified and better trained buyer’s agents.
There is currently a considerable difference in the skill sets of various sales agents and buyer’s agents, as well as conflicts of interest with agents possibly acting on behalf of both buyers and sellers.
“Ideally, the new regulations should clearly define buyers agents, such that the term ‘buyer’s agent’ should only be used in reference to agents who are being paid by the buyer and who do not list or sell real estate,” Harvey said. “Increasingly the waters are becoming muddied by selling agents who are calling themselves buyer’s agents and being paid by vendors.
“There is still some confusion around the term ‘exclusive buyer’s agents’ so it’s important that consumers are aware of the differences and can rely on anyone calling themselves a buyer’s agent to be legitimate.”
Under the proposed reforms, the current restricted buyers agents’ license in NSW would no longer be sufficient. Henceforth, all agents would be required to hold a complete real estate license.
There would also be stricter minimum mandatory requirements for new buyer’s agents who want to run their own business.
“REBAA supports any improvement to the licensing standards of buyer’s agents across the board, not only in NSW,” Harvey said. “Although fast-growing, buyer’s agents are still a niche industry in Australia, with many consumers now aware of the benefits that they can bring to the purchasing transaction. Having a buyer’s agent who is more highly trained can only be beneficial to our industry and to consumers who will reap the advantages of having more knowledgeable advocates on their side.”
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