Are foreigners allowed to work as a real estate salesperson?

Are foreigners allowed to work as a real estate salesperson?

As a default, CEA only allows Singaporeans and PRs to be salespersons.

16 Sep 2015

HDB mockup

There is a rumour circulating online that as long as a foreigner fulfils the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA)’s criteria, they will be allowed to register as real estate or property agents, and are hence jeopardising Singaporeans’ rice bowls.

This does not provide the full picture.

The total number of foreigners on Employment Pass who are registered salespersons is very small. They constitute about 0.1% of the total pool of about 30,000 salespersons or less than 40 currently. They are salaried staff and mostly employed by real estate consultancies who serve international clients.

As a default, CEA only allows Singaporeans and PRs to be salespersons. They must meet the CEA’s registration criteria listed on its website (www.cea.gov.sg), which includes undergoing the real estate salesperson examination to ensure that they are familiar with our local laws.

But, CEA does make some exceptions. Estate agents who intend to employ foreigners to be salespersons must seek CEA’s preliminary assessment. CEA only considers Employment Pass holders who are able to value add to the estate agency industry and contribute to the industry’s development.  CEA requires the applicant to possess specialised expertise and experience in international estate agency work, such as understanding their international clients’ business requirements and sourcing for buildings/complexes which meet their business needs.

If anyone suspects someone of carrying out unlicensed estate agency work, they should report the case to CEA for investigation.

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