Following NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s win at the NSW state election, a key property figurehead has renewed calls for “much needed” property industry reform.
The CEO of the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) Tim McKibbin said the NSW state election result has refuelled calls for the state government to reform the property industry by instating a property services commissioner to act on real estate, planning and consumer protection legislation and to remove property services away from NSW Fair Trading.
“Under NSW Fair Trading, the property services industry has suffered from a misguided policy of competition at any cost, which has lowered barriers of entry by reducing the education requirements to become an agent. This ill-conceived policy exposes consumers to identifiable and unnecessary risk,” Mr McKibbin said.
“Real estate practice is not easy. Real estate agents manage high-value transactions of significant legal complexity that occur infrequently for most property owners – it’s a very stressful time.
“Despite the acknowledged complexity, under the standards set by NSW Fair Trading, it is possible to pretty much walk off the street and put yourself forward as an agent.”
Mr McKibbin stressed that the minimal training required to be an agent and placing property under NSW Fair Trading, along with the 40 other industries it governs, were significant factors to the REINSW’s calls for property industry reform.
“Our homes are the most valuable and psychologically important assets many of us own. Property transactions demand well-educated, experienced and dedicated specialist,” Mr McKibbin said.
“The industry similarly requires the support of a specialist property services commissioner, who like the Legal Services Commissioner, has industry experience and expertise and can who work cooperatively with industry to raise industry standards, improve consumer protections, advise on property taxes and remove the red tape that plays such a large part in making property so unaffordable in NSW.
“We’re seeking better regulation – not self-regulation – and higher standards for the property services industry. NSW Fair Trading does not have the industry skills and experience to support such a dynamic industry.”