Sydney 9 May 2016. An overhaul of education and training standards for the real estate profession must take place to help prevent illegal activities, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.
REINSW President John Cunningham said trust account fraud, misleading and deceptive conduct, underquoting and a lack of knowledge about property and the laws relating to its transaction are simply unacceptable behaviours.
“On the surface real estate sales and management appear to be very simple,” Mr Cunningham said. “However it is in reality a very complex and multilayered process that requires a high level of knowledge and diverse skills to carry it out in a professional manner.
“Most people would expect that an agent has been properly trained and has the required qualifications to fulfil their obligations. The sad truth is that for the past 10 years the education standards delivery especially in NSW have been watered down and in the interest of increased competition abused by many course providers that are allowed to continue operating.
“It actually requires more training to become a barista than a real estate agent,” Mr Cunningham said.
“You would expect an agent to understand how the property they are dealing with was built; its age; what the zoning is; if there are any easements, building or height restrictions; and what special conditions are in the contract, to name just a few issues.
“Professional agents can answer all of these questions, but not every agent will be able to because of the low level of training in the industry.
“The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales has been fighting for the past 10 years for better training and qualifications, and government cannot ignore the issue any longer.
“Inadequate real estate agent training needs to be addressed to achieve better consumer experiences and outcomes. Both the NSW Government and NSW Fair Trading must act on our recommendations for reform.
“Professional agents and consumers demand it, and now is the time to deliver it,” Mr Cunningham said.