Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Check out SAEA if you have property brokering queries

WE REFER to Mr Roger Lim’s Forum Online letter, “Time to set up agency to regulate property brokering”, yesterday.

We take this opportunity to inform Mr Lim that the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) was launched as an accreditation scheme for estate agencies and agents in November 2005.

Major government bodies, namely the Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Housing Board, were involved in its inception.

Now an accreditation body, SAEA has accredited key estate agencies with approximately 23,000 agents on their registers. In May last year, SAEA implemented a Common Examination for Salespersons (CES) to provide a basic competency yardstick for agents primarily active in the HDB resale sector. There are now more than 2,500 who have passed the CES.

We would like to clarify that HDB lessees and buyers need not engage the services of an estate agent for the resale transaction. However, there are benefits in appointing an estate agent, such as convenience and tapping on the networks of the agent to sell/purchase expeditiously.

An estate agent appointed by the seller does not have the prerogative to insist that the prospective buyer use his services or to refrain from selling to the buyer who refuses his services. Such an agent is also not acting in the interests of the lessee (seller) if he does not reveal the prospective buyer’s offer to him or declines to co-broke to ensure he gets more commission.

It is recommended that an agent acts and collects commission only from one party to the transaction, who could either be the seller or buyer. However, an exception may be made if both seller and buyer are aware and consent to the agent acting for both parties. The agent should preferably obtain both parties’ consent in writing.

Further, a visit to our website at will lead Mr Lim to our Seller’s and Buyer’s Guides, which we believe will come in handy when he is selling or buying properties. If Mr Lim has yet to engage an agent, he may wish to consider SAEA accredited agents or salespersons as they are bound by a strict code of conduct and ethics.

SAEA has also set up a Disciplinary Panel and Mediation Centre to look into the misconduct of accredited agencies/agents/salespersons and mediate disputes among parties to a real estate transaction.

Dr Tan Tee Khoon

Chief Executive Officer Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies Ltd

Source: Straits Times, 24 June 2009

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