Industry group Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) is calling on the new government led by Gladys Berejiklian to move property services out of NSW Fair Trading.
Berejiklian won in the recently concluded state election, marking Coalition’s third-straight term in office.
Consumers and the industry would be better served by a property commissioner who would focus on real estate, planning and consumer protection legislation, according to Tim McKibbin, CEO of REINSW.
“The industry requires the support of a specialist property services commissioner, who like the Legal Services Commissioner, has industry experience and expertise and can who work cooperatively with industry to raise industry standards, improve consumer protections, advise on property taxes and remove the red tape that plays such a large part in making property so unaffordable in NSW,” he said.
McKibbin pointed out that the property services industry has suffered from a misguided policy of competition at any cost under NSW Fair Trading. The rule makes consumers more prone to risks.
“Real estate practice is not easy. Real estate agents manage high-value transactions of significant legal complexity that occur infrequently for most property owners – it’s a very stressful time. Despite the acknowledged complexity, under the standards set by NSW Fair Trading, it is possible to pretty much walk off the street and put yourself forward as an agent,” McKibbin said.
In addition, the education required by Fair Trading to become an agent can be completed in four days.
NSW Fair Trading squeezes the regulation of property services in amongst 40 other different trade and service providers which are all low-value, high-frequency transactions of minimal legal complexity, said REINSW.
“Our homes are the most valuable and psychologically important assets many of us own. Property transactions demand well educated, experienced and dedicated specialist,” McKibbin said.
Real estate industry in NSW generates $107 billion annually. “We’re seeking better regulation – not self-regulation – and higher standards for the property services industry. NSW Fair Trading does not have the industry skills and experience to support such a dynamic industry,” McKibbin said.
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