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Real estate standards threatened by national reform

30 Jun 12

Real estate standards in South Australia look set to drop unless the Government agrees to review the position of lowering entry requirements leading into national licensing, the leading real estate body has warned.

Speaking out on concerns with national licensing, REISA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Greg Troughton said that it’s now just 12 months until the new system is due to commence, but there has been no recent communication from Government about the levels of standards consumers should expect.

“Over the past two years, REISA, and other industry groups, have been involved in liaising with Government to discuss the professional standards we believe are critical in South Australia,” he said.

“However, there has been little communication in recent times and this is really concerning as the implementation date has been set for July 2013, which is literally just 12 months away.”

“REISA is keen to keep talking and work through the issues we believe are critical for consumer protection in South Australia.”

“Interstate, the entry levels are lower, but REISA simply can’t accept that lowering standards is a good move, especially when our salespeople assist buyers and sellers with so much of the paperwork and important legal documentation.”

“As an industry body committed to raising professional standards, we’re not interested in winning a race to the bottom.”

“Although there are generous financial incentives for the State Government to agree to national licensing and implement within the agreed timeframe, we can’t compromise standards for cash.”

REISA’s position on registration for salespersons is that they should have extensive training in legislative matters, legal documentation, transaction processes and risk management. This largely mirrors the current licensing requirements in SA.

Mr Troughton reiterated that REISA fully supported the principle of national licensing, as long as consumer protection and industry standards were maintained.

“Real estate salespersons are trusted to assist consumers through very large financial transactions, and they need to have the skills and training to make sure they can do this in a very professional way,” Mr Troughton said.

“To ensure the skill level is there, adequate training is essential and we will keep fighting to uphold high standards, on behalf of industry and consumers.”