TWO out of three people are satisfied with the service they get from real estate agents but there is still room for improvement, according to a survey conducted by Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Of the 1,041 people questioned in the poll - 564 of whom had prior experience of property transactions - 64.6 per cent said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service they got from their agents.
Another 27.7 per cent felt neutral about the service provided, while the remainder were either very dissatisfied or dissatisfied.
Even among those who were satisfied, 71.1 per cent reported negative experiences of their property agents.
Chief among their complaints was failing to negotiate a 'good' price for the property. The second most common gripe was being given the 'wrong advice'.
Of the survey's respondents, 63.8 per cent felt that a property agent should have at least two years of relevant work experience before being accredited by a professional body.
The polytechnic's real estate lecturer Nicholas Mak, who is the survey's research coordinator, said: 'Two years is an indicator of the standard a real estate professional accreditation body should require from its members.'
An overwhelming majority - 96.6 per cent - of respondents called on the Government to implement changes to the industry.
The most popular proposed action was for the implementation of a property agent certification scheme. Although such a scheme might involve higher costs, 49.1 per cent of respondents did not mind paying a higher commission if they got experienced property agents.
Dr Tan Tee Khoon, chief executive of the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies, acknowledged that despite a variety of measures taken towards self-regulation, 'there is still much to be desired of this industry'.
Publication of the Ngee Ann Polytechnic survey, which was conducted in the middle of last year, comes before the expected publication of the Ministry of National Development's proposed regulatory framework for the real estate industry.
Source, Straits Times 28 January 2010