1. Why is there a need to regulate the real estate industry? 

The Government needs to take a proactive role in regulating the real estate agency industry, given the increasing number of complaints over the past few years.

Current licensing regime by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) only requires agencies to be licensed and subject to the control under the Appraisers and House Agents Act. It does not empower IRAS to investigate complaints against individual agents. The actions of errant agents can have serious consequences, especially for lower-income and less educated buyers, as well as sellers who rely on them for advice. Hence, there is a need for the Government to regulate the real estate industry.