REIA slams spruikers

THE Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has supported findings of a recent parliamentary inquiry that the Commonwealth should be responsible for policing malpractice relating to property investment advice, as with other forms of investment advice.REIA president Ian Wells said if there was malpractice, ASIC and the ACCC should have the authority for proactive as well as reactive measures.“However, the solution is not to require all real estate agents to obtain a financial services licence, just as would not be appropriate to require all financial services licensees to hold real estate licenses,” Mr Wells said.“As acknowledged by the inquiry, a specific carve out for real estate agents doing their normal work of selling, leasing and managing property is needed. There should be an exemption for agents engaging in property investment advice alone, and not in comparative advice of property with other asset classes.”He said the current situation was unsatisfactory and that anyone dealing in real property should be licensed as a real estate agent, including property developers’ sales staff. Mr Wells said real estate agents shouldn’t need two licences to give advice on the future of property, and that they, not financial planners, were best qualified to offer advice on the future of property.Financial planners, he said, would not normally recommend direct property investment because they received no commission.

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