Australia’s largest professional body of buyer’s agents is calling on the NSW government to include a separate license for buyer’s agents and selling agents to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) president Rich Harvey said the proposal was one of many submitted by its members to the NSW Office of Fair Trading on The Property Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 which is expected to be debated in Parliament early this year.
Mr Harvey said the current minimum training standards were too low and the industry was crying out for more highly qualified and better trained buyer’s agents.
He said there was a significant difference in the skill sets of sales agents and buyer’s agents and a significant conflict of interest with agents possibly acting for both buyers and sellers.
“Ideally, the new regulations should clearly define buyers agents such that the term buyer’s agent should only be used in reference to agents who are being paid by the buyer and who do not list or sell real estate,” said Mr Harvey.
“Increasingly the waters are becoming muddied by selling agents who are calling themselves buyer’s agents and being paid by vendors.
“There is still some confusion around the term ‘exclusive buyer’s agents’ so it’s important that consumers are aware of the differences and can rely on anyone calling themselves a buyer’s agent to be legitimate.
“If in doubt, engage a REBAA buyer’s agent to ensure you’re obtaining the best independent representation.”
Under the proposed reforms, the current restricted buyers agents’ license in NSW will no longer be sufficient and all agents will be required to hold a complete real estate license.
There will also be more stringent minimum mandatory requirements for new buyer’s agents who wish to run their own business.
This includes the completion of a Diploma and having at least two years’ practical experience as an agent under the supervision of a ‘licensee in charge’ or a Certificate IV in Property Services and an equal qualification in business management.
CPD minimum standards are also being increased across the board, improving the minimum level of ongoing professional development.
“REBAA supports any improvement to the licensing standards of buyer’s agents across the board, not only in NSW,” he said.
“Although fast-growing, buyer’s agents are still a niche industry in Australia, with many consumers now aware of the benefits that they can bring to the purchasing transaction.
“Having a buyer’s agent who is more highly trained can only be beneficial to our industry and to consumers who will reap the advantages of having more knowledgeable advocates on their side.”
For a full list of REBAA accredited buyer’s agents visit http://www.rebaa.com.au
To double check your buyer’s agents qualifications online visit https://www.onegov.nsw.gov.au/publicregister/#/publicregister/search/Property