With effect from 19 November 2015, estate agents no longer need to state the licence or registration period of the estate agent/salesperson on the estate agent card. This means that estate agents do not need to incur cost to make new cards to reflect changes in the validity period.
CEA amended the Code of Practice for Estate Agents to remove the requirement to state the expiry date of the licence or registration of the holder of the estate agent card on the card. This was in response to industry feedback on recurring costs to make new estate agent cards annually. Based on the average cost of $50 per card, the industry can enjoy savings of about $1.3 million each year with the revised requirement. Estate agents would also be able to reduce administrative work in renewing and distributing the estate agent cards. It is also more environmentally friendly not to print new cards.
Consumers can check the CEA’s online public register of estate agents and salespersons for the validity period of an estate agent’s licence or salesperson’s registration before embarking on a property transaction. Salespersons who are registered with their current estate agent can continue to use their existing estate agent card with expiry date, until the card expires, before replacing it with one based on the revised requirement.
CEA also amended the estate agents regulations with regard to the retention of documents and records. Estate agents are required to retain the originals or keep copies of documents and records in its possession for at least five years instead of three. This is to comply with the requirements for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism measures.