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Singapore property agents' track records now available online

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The Property Agents' Transaction Records Initiative publishes the records of residential transactions facilitated by realtors here in the last two years.

[SINGAPORE] Would-be Housing Board buyers and sellers can now find out about property agent's track record with the click of a button.

On Friday, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) launched the Property Agents' Transaction Records Initiative, which publishes the records of residential transactions facilitated by realtors here in the last two years.

The first phase of the initiative has seen the CEA's website updated to include information on completed Housing Board resale transactions.

This includes when the flat changed hands, where it is located, and whether the agent represented the buyer or seller.

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"The additional information can provide consumers with a clearer understanding of the agent's experience in terms of how active he or she has been in the last two years in closing HDB resale transactions, in which HDB towns, and whether he or she was acting for the buyer or the seller," the CEA said.

The records will only keep transactions that took place in the last 24 months, to ensure consumers are up-to-date with agents' most recent deals. Older records are available at data.gov.sg.

The initiative, aimed at making information more transparent and fostering trust between client and realtor, was among those recommended in the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map last February.

The CEA added: "Property agents will be able to provide verified records of their experience in closing residential transactions, which will help them build and sustain consumer trust."

In the next phase, which will begin at the end of the year, the CEA plans to make available agents' history in renting out HDB flats, as well as selling private residential homes.

The CEA also gave an update on the number of licensed property agencies and registered agents.

As at Jan 1, there were 29,146 realtors - about 2 per cent more than the 28,571 agents 12 months earlier. There were also 1,229 licensed agencies, about 3.2 per cent fewer than last year's 1,269 firms.

The CEA added that it issued 57 new property agency licences and 1,198 new property agent registrations throughout 2018. Meanwhile, a total of 59 property agency licences and 2,091 property agent registrations lapsed from Dec 31, 2018.

The CEA's director for policy and licensing Chia I-Ling said the industry continues to face a challenging road with rising consumer expectations and technological disruption.

"In order to remain relevant, it is vital that the real estate agency industry keeps up its efforts to transform itself and enhance its professionalism," she said.

Observers have said that a more sustainable number of realtors would be closer to 15,000 to 20,000 active agents who use technology to be more productive.

The records can be found under each agent's name at: www.cea.gov.sg/public-register

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