Tag Archives: Council of Estate Agencies

Amendments to CEA regulations

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.

Public Register of Estate Agents and Salespersons


Exodus of property agents

A significant number of property agents left the industry after March 2012 due to shrinking profits and higher marketing costs, according to media reports citing data from the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA) and property experts.

Although 5,245 new agents joined the industry between October 2010 and March 2012, the overall number of salespersons after that period rose by merely 1,213, said SLP International’s Executive Director Nicholas Mak. This means 4,032 people left the property industry after March 2012.

“This could be due to the poorer sentiments in the real estate market from 2013 onwards,” he noted, adding that some property agents are currently earning less money compared to the market’s heydays from H2 2009 to H1 2013.

“From mid-2013 to now, the transaction volume had fallen drastically, even though the price decline was fairly gradual. For example, in 2010, the total transactions volume in the private residential property market was about $63.2 billion. In H1 2014, it was only $11.1 billion,” Mak explained.

Another reason for the exodus is the higher marketing costs, said Eric Tng from ECG Property.

“It is taking a longer time to close a sale and more money has to be spent on advertising. I know of some resale or rental cases which the marketing costs reached 60 percent of the commission which typically should not exceed 30 percent in good times,” he added.

Meanwhile, ERA Realty Network still reigns as Singapore’s largest property agency based on the number of real estate agents with 5,911 agents, followed by PropNex Realty with 5,685 salespersons, based on CEA’s figures as of September 2014.