What are the most significant changes to the property industry in 20 years?



New licenses, preventative measures for fraud and more in-depth investigations are just part of a massive overhaul of New South Wales’ real estate industry – the biggest set of proposals in 20 years.

The NSW Government called for submissions for the Real Estate and Property Services Industry Reform Paper on November 7th, with a view to bringing the changes before parliament midway through next year. Whether you’re searching for a family home or choosing a luxury apartment development as an investment, you’re going to find changes that affect you – read on for the details.

What can you have your say on?

With the industry valued at around $15 billion by the NSW government, the proposed changes will have far-reaching impacts for anyone involved with real estate, in particular how you work with agents and how they are regulated. The adjustments on the table include the following:

  • A new category of agent, “licensee in charge”, which is subject to strict supervision
  • Higher requirements for both conduct and accountability with reference to real estate agents
  • More supervision for trust accounts (that hold your deposit when you purchase property)
  • Greater disciplinary powers to suspend or cancel licenses when the consumer faces significant levels of risk

“Consumers need certainty that suitably qualified agents are managing this process”

“Purchasing or selling a property is often a life-changing decision and consumers need certainty that suitably qualified agents are managing this process,” noted Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello.

With submissions only open until December 5, there isn’t a lot of time to submit. Even if you don’t have anything to add, the changes will be well worth following.

Ensuring the best service when you buy property

As NSW Fair Trading points out, and as you may have already experienced when buying or leasing luxury apartments, agents handle a lot of your money. As such, there needs to be a strong framework for best practice in ethics and competence in the real estate industry.

By engaging with the property agent industry as well as the wider public, the NSW government should put together a strong set of legislation to ensure that people can buy real estate with confidence in the people they’re working with.

Some 70 per cent of people surveyed by CoreLogic RP Data in November thought that now was a good time to buy real estate, despite rising prices in most capital cities. With so many people keen on the market, it’s more important than ever that we have the regulatory framework to make sure people can do so safely.

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