Minister Kean said the proposed amendments would bolster training standards as well increasing transparency and accountability.
“Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest investments most of us will make in our lifetime – consumers have every right to expect that agents are doing the right thing,” he said.
He added that the bill came about after close consultation with key stakeholders, including REINSW.
REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said: “The lnstitute has been campaigning for over 10 years for training standards to be improved. We had substantial input to the reforms through direct lobbying and via the Real Estate Reference Group.
“The lnstitute is firmly of the view that the overwhelming majority of the issues that attract the attention of the regulator and aggravate consumers can be resolved by substantially improving the education of property professionals.”
What are some of the key reforms?
- Strengthening training standards in the property services industry, including for real estate agents
- Creating a new licensee-in-charge who will supervise agents, oversee trust accounts, and ensure compliance. Applicants will need more practical experience and additional qualifications
- Banning gifts or benefits that could cause conflicts of interest
- Greater transparency around fees, charges and commissions received by agents
- Introducing separate trust accounts for rent and sales money
- Requiring all trust account audits to be submitted to NSW Fair Trading
- New fraud prevention measures that will require agents to transfer rental income out of trust accounts at the end of each month.