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Expert Opinions

How “real” is your real estate agent?

Alexander Romanenko
President and founder of ADVECS Real Estate Corporation


A proper real estate sector needs integrated national legal systems, services in accord with international professional standards and a code of ethics. It should also have clearly defined professional training and certification requirements that are based on high-level standards.

In 2002, Russia abolished the compulsory licensing of real estate activities. Now, anyone can call themselves a real estate agent. Certified companies exist in only 21 out of the country’s 81 regions. And out of over 100,000 agents and brokers, less than 10% are certified.

The World International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Congress, held in St. Petersburg last year, discussed the decline of the realtors’ professional image and the scarcity of qualified brokers in Russia and other countries with economies in transition. Qualified brokers must protect the interests of both consumers and professional realtors and ensure secure transactions.

There’s a particular need to improve the sector’s professionalism in many European countries, including in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics.

Relevant real estate laws need to be adopted. It might therefore be useful to organize a working group to create recommendations for such laws in conformance with European Standard EN 15733. There could be subsequent round-table discussions in Russia and other countries to address professional education and certification.

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