At its Singapore Key Executive Officers and Leaders Conference on Nov 14, the Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA) signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to facilitate dispute resolution. The guest of honour at the event was Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development.
Adam Wang, president of SEAA, noted in his speech that the increasing number of scams in Singapore is a real concern for everyone. The $2.8 billion case, the largest anti-money laundering crackdown in the country, involves a large number of high-value real estate transactions, and property agents are assisting in the investigations – a point that Mr Wang emphasised in his speech.
The issue was further discussed during a separate ceremony celebrating the collaboration of SEAA with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and Council for Estate Agencies.
These events recognising the need for property agents to be aware and cautious with every transaction they make prompted SEAA to sign the two MOUs. The first was signed with the Law Society of Singapore and is aimed at promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution schemes, such as mediation and arbitration. These can be used in the case of commission-based disputes occuring between agents from different agencies.
The second MOU was signed by SEAA with 16 property agencies, including Professional Realty, ERA Realty, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie, and SRI. Together, the agencies represent 88% of the total number of property agents in Singapore. This MOU consequentialised the adoption of the best practice guide on co-broking commissions, with effect from July 1, 2024. It also offers complimentary associate membership for all the agencies’ salespersons.
Mr Wang explained that when a commission dispute arises between agents, handling it is difficult for the agencies, as a large part of the commission goes to the agents and their stakes are higher. It is here that SEAA and Law Society can step in to resolve the conflict.
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SEAA’s initiatives aim to heighten agent safety and secure the best interests of property agents. The MOUs come as a reflection of the dedication SEAA President Wang has for the protection of the industry’s professionals.