Calls to overhaul real estate standards in Victoria

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Poor qualification standards for real estate agents in Victoria are placing buyers and sellers at risk, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).

The REIV is currently in the midst of consultation process on how to address the issue of underquoting in the state, which chief executive officer Enzo Raimondo said is “clearly impacting on members of the public” in Victoria.

But while Raimondo said underquoting is a serious issue in Victoria, he said it’s also a symptom of wider problems with educational standards within the state’s real estate industry.

“We currently have a situation in this state where a Certificate III is all that is required to sell or manage real estate,” Raimondo said.

“This is the same level as that [which is] required to work in hospitality as a waiter or barista,” he said.

In particular, Raimondo said consumers are being put at risk by real estate professionals who receive their qualifications from registered training organisations who are offering full real estate licences via accelerated courses.

“These fast-tracked courses are clearly impacting on the industry, and creating poorly trained, inadequately qualified real estate agents,” he said.

“The agents receiving this training are a significant threat to consumers.”

The REIV is not alone in their calls for tougher education standards, with their counterparts in New South Wales also beating the same drum.

NSW Fair Trading is currently reviewing education standards for real estate agents in the state and the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has called for tougher entry standards, as well as on-the-job training.

“We suggest a higher entry level education standard,” REINSW president John Cunningham said.

“REINSW has also called for additional on the job training. Under the Institute’s suggested educational regime the student will take seven units of competence into the workplace and receive an additional 17 units of competence within the context of practical application and repetition,” Cunningham said.

NSW has also recently introduced a raft of more comprehensive underquoting laws.

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  • Miriam Sandkuhler says on 18/02/2016 04:41:32 PM

    While there is absolute merit in raising the barriers of entry to the real estate industry, to suggest this is the primary reason behind under quoting is ludicrous.

    After years of declaring the practice was not prevalent, Victorian industry representatives have finally taken a public stand this week on the matter, however the delay has been to the detriment of the industry and ongoing alienation of consumers.
    Deflecting responsibility from long established agents, by blaming new comers to the industry and low barriers to entry is merely a diversionary tactic
    As the saying goes, ‘the fish rots from the head down’ and much of the long established practice of under quoting comes from direct or otherwise tacit approval from long established estate agency principals.

    Unfortunately, these diversionary tactics do nothing to improve the standing of the real estate industry in the eyes of the public. The need for pricing transparency nationally must come ahead of everything else, to eliminate an ingrained mistrust of estate agents by many consumers.

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