There is always a question in the minds of many people — why the real estate sector in Singapore is very professional with no space for touts or frauds disguised as property agents.
The answer is that there is an effective mechanism for real estate broker education, professional training, and accreditation by a regulatory body that oversees responsibilities and functional ethics.
It is mandatory in Singapore that before a property agent obtains a license and ID tag, he must qualify for the crucial Real Estate Salesperson (RES) qualifying courses and pass the final RES exams. This mandatory requirement has made a qualitative effect on the whole property market.
Singapore has many RES course providers. The cost for RES exam papers including GST will be different from that of re-takers who will be charged more.
After passing the RES theory exams, a candidate can seek registration with the state’s licensed estate agency to start professional practice as a property agent. There are also costs for registration such as the Real Estate Salesperson Registration fee and the yearly CEA fees plus professional Indemnity Insurance costs.
The real estate salesperson exam in Singapore is no cakewalk as it needs a systematic learning plan and dedicated study to pass it. The RES exam has two main papers which are computer-based. Content-wise the two papers cover real estate agency laws and practices in Paper 1, and matters relating to property transactions and financing in Paper 2. The 150 minutes exam will have 50 multiple-choice questions.
As for the minimum age for RES course registration, the applicant must be at least 21 years and has to be a Singaporean. If the applicant is a foreigner then he has to follow some extra requirements.
The basic qualifications suggested for RES are local ITE Higher Nitec or Master Nitec or 4 GCE ‘O’ level subject passes; diplomas from local polytechnics or Degrees from the local universities.
The candidate must also obtain better grades in WPLN tests in the areas of speaking, reading writing, listening, and numeracy.
However, passing the RES exam will not make anyone a real estate salesperson. The applicant has to fulfill many registration requirements under the Estate Agents Act, including the fit and proper criteria.
Foreigners seeking to register with CEA must have a valid Employment Pass (EP) issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to work in the real estate agency sector. They should also get mentoring from a practicing estate agent and produce a letter of support from that estate agent.
The property agent career in Singapore offers huge scope for professional growth and earnings. The big perks are commissions from sales and rentals that will be many times higher than the average monthly salary from other jobs in Singapore. Estimates suggest that the average earnings of a Singapore Real Estate agent will be close to 9,800 SGD a month.