Four day real estate licenses: could it be your agent?

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The real estate industry has called for stricter education requirements amid rising levels of fraud and qualifications which can be completed in a matter of days.

At the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales’ recent Industry Summit leaders were united in their desire for higher standards, REINSW deputy president John Cunningham told Your Investment Property sister publication Australian Broker.

“It’s [got] to the point now where it’s so easy to get your real estate agents’ license that the people are just not getting educated as to what they require so the standards are just dropping lower and lower,” said Cunningham.

Real estate agents deal with dozens of different pieces of legislation and handle millions of dollars in trusts, said Cunningham, and a high standard of education is crucial.

Currently there are providers who will issue a real estate license after as little as four days of study, he said.
“It’s just a farce. The requirements for a lawyer are four to six years of university. Real estate agents are dealing with just as many pieces of legislation… so they’re opening things up to fraud.

“I’ve seen probably more trust account fraud in last couple years than I’ve seen in a long, long time and I think it’s just the beginning in terms of people who are working in the business who shouldn’t be.”

Forging reform and introducing Australia-wide minimum requirements is the biggest challenge the industry has faced in over 30 years, said Cunningham, but often legislators are less than co-operative.

“In the past there’s been this advent in government to take away barriers of entry to certain industries and all that does is lower the standards and the person who suffers in the end is the consumer.”

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  • Mike says on 13/12/2013 08:17:10 PM

    Four days is not nearly enough time to learn the ins and our of being a Real Estate Agent. I have to say, I've worked with some people who seem like they had even less training than a couple days! There are a lot of clueless agents out there, so I welcome a crackdown on false certifications. Let's get rid of all of these know-nothing wannabe agents so that they can stop giving a bad name to the rest of the industry.

    There's my little rant...

    Performing Agents

  • Kevin young says on 29/12/2013 11:07:47 AM

    Don't confuse complex law with selling a product. In England no licence is required it was in Australia.The result? More agents,more competition.lower fees & less pressure selling.Salespeople last years v just 9 months on average in Australia.Hence the pressure here to make a sale to survive.

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