Licence types and classes

There are several types of licences and certificates of registration that can be issued under the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002 (the Act). These include:

  • Real estate agents’ licences
  • Stock and station agents’ licences
  • Strata managing agents’ licences
  • Corporation licences
  • Certificates of registration as an assistant real estate agent
  • Certificates of registration as an assistant stock and station agent
  • Certificates of registration as an assistant strata managing agent

A licence, other than a corporation licence, may be granted as either a Class 1 or a Class 2 licence. The Class 1 licence is a higher level of licence than the Class 2.

Generally, new entrants to the industry will need to first hold a certificate of registration before they can upgrade to a Class 2 licence.

The licensing system has been significantly restructured under the real estate and property services reforms, which started on 23 March 2020.

Find out more about the recent law reforms.

Licence types and classes

Certificates of registration – Assistant Agent

Assistant agent is the title given to all certificate of registration holders. This is an entry level position, with limited functions, to allow new entrants to gain the experience and knowledge required to qualify as an agent.

A certificate of registration is issued for a four-year term and is not renewable. Within the four-year period, assistant agents must complete their qualifications and progress to a Class 2 licence. If not, they must cease working as an assistant agent and they cannot apply for a new certificate of registration within 12 months of the expiry of their certificate .

The types of assistant agents include:

  • Assistant Agent in Real Estate
  • Assistant Agent in Stock and Station
  • Assistant Agent in Strata Management

As an assistant agent, you must be employed and supervised by a Class 1 or 2 licence holder in order to exercise your functions. Assistant agents can generally exercise any functions related to their certificate type. However, as an assistant agent, you cannot:

  • enter into a contract for the sale of land
  • enter into an agency agreement, including sales agreement and property management agreements (except for agency agreements that relate to the sale or purchase of livestock)
  • enter into a franchising agreement
  • affix the seal of the owner’s corporation (if you are an assistant agent in strata management)
  • authorise the withdrawal of money from a trust account

Find out more about the qualifications required for each certificate of registration here

Note: There is a small group of certificate of registration holders who work as an Assistant Agent in Stock and Station but are subject to a restriction condition on their certificate of registration to carry out livestock-related activities only. This certificate of registration was only available as an option for stock and station agents who held a current certificate of registration immediately before 23 March 2020. This restricted certificate of registration is no longer being offered.

Real estate agent licence (Class 1 or Class 2)

A real estate agent licence allows the holder to exercise:

  • real estate sales and leasing functions
  • business agent functions, and
  • onsite residential property manager functions.

Real estate sales and leasing functions include:

  • acting as an agent for a real estate transaction
  • inducing or negotiating with a person to enter into, or to make or accept an offer to enter into, a real estate transaction or a contract for a real estate transaction
  • introducing a prospective purchaser, lessee or licensee of land to another licensed agent or to the owner, or the agent of the owner, of land
  • collecting rents payable for any lease of land and providing property management services for the leasing of any land
  • acting as an auctioneer of land (provided that the agent also holds auctioneer accreditation)

Business agent functions include:

  • selling, buying, exchanging or otherwise dealing with, or disposing of, businesses or professional practices, or any share or interest in, or concerning, or the goodwill of, or any stocks connected with, businesses or professional practices
  • negotiating for the sale, purchase of exchange or any other dealing with or disposition of businesses or professional practices, or any share or interest in, or concerning, or the goodwill of, or any stocks connected with, businesses or professional practices

On-site residential property manager functions include:

  • acting as an agent for giving possession of residential premises under a lease, licence or other contract
  • acting as an agent for collecting bonds, deposits, rents, fees or other charges in connection with any such lease, licence or other contract

Real estate agent licences are issued as either a Class 1 or Class 2 licence. A person who is nominated as a licensee in charge of a business must hold a Class 1 licence. Only a Class 1 licence holder who is also a licensee in charge may authorise trust account withdrawals for the business.

More information on the qualifications required for this licence.

Real estate agent licence restricted to business agent functions (Class 1 or Class 2)

Prior to 23 March 2020, there was a separate licence category for business agents. Business agent functions now sit within a real estate agent licence.

Individuals who held a business agent’s licence immediately before 23 March 2020 have transitioned to a real estate agent licence that restricts the holder to exercise business agent functions only.

Some people may still be eligible to apply for this particular licence, if they have the required qualifications. Real estate agent licences with this restriction condition are issued as either a Class 1 or Class 2 licence. A person who is nominated as a licensee in charge of a business must hold a Class 1 licence. Only a Class 1 licence holder who is also a licensee in charge may authorise trust account withdrawals for the business.

More information on the qualifications required for this licence.

Real estate agent licence restricted to on-site residential property manager functions (Class 1 or Class 2)

Prior to 23 March 2020, there was a separate licence category for on-site residential property managers. On-site residential property manager functions now sit within a real estate agent licence.

Individuals who held an on-site residential property manager’s licence immediately before 23 March 2020 have transitioned to a real estate agent’s licence that restricts the holder to exercise on-site residential property manager functions only.

Some people may still be eligible to apply for this particular licence, if they have the required qualifications. Real estate agent licences with this restriction condition are issued as either a Class 1 or Class 2 licence. A person who is nominated as a licensee in charge of a business must hold a Class 1 licence. Only a Class 1 licence holder who is also a licensee in charge may authorise trust account withdrawals for the business.

Given the unique working arrangements of onsite residential property managers, there is an alternative qualification pathway to obtain a Class 1 real estate agent licence with the on-site residential property manager restriction condition, without having to first obtain a certificate of registration.

More information on the qualifications required for this licence.

Strata managing agent (Class 1 or Class 2)

A strata managing agent licence allows the holder to exercise the following functions:

  • any function of an owners corporation (strata schemes), or
  • any function of an association (community schemes)

Strata managing agent licences are issued as either a Class 1 or Class 2 licence. A person who is nominated as a licensee in charge of a business must hold a Class 1 licence. Only a Class 1 licence holder who is also a licensee in charge may authorise trust account withdrawals for the business.

More information on the qualifications required for this licence.

Stock and station agent (Class 1 or Class 2) 

A stock and station agent licence allows the holder to exercise the following functions:

  • where the transaction concerns rural land, to act as an agent for:
    • a real estate transaction
    • inducing or attempting to induce or negotiating with any person to enter into, or to make or accept an offer to enter into, a real estate transaction or a contract for a real estate transaction
    • the introduction, or arranging for the introduction, of a prospective purchaser,
    • lessee or licensee of land to another licensed agent or to the owner, or the agent of the owner, of land
    • collecting rents payable for any lease of land and otherwise providing property management services for the leasing of any land
  • for a livestock transaction, to act as an agent for:
    • inducing or attempting to induce or negotiating with a view to inducing any person to enter into, or to make or accept an offer to enter into, a livestock transaction or a contract for a livestock transaction
    • providing agistment for livestock or collecting of fees for the agistment of livestock

Stock and station agent licences are issued as either a Class 1 or Class 2 category. A person who is nominated as a licensee in charge of a business must hold a Class 1 licence. Only a Class 1 licence holder who is also a licensee in charge may authorise trust account withdrawals for the business.

More information on the qualifications required for this licence.

Dual licence – real estate and stock and station (Class 2)

There is an option to apply for a dual Class 2 licence as a real estate agent and stock and station agent, if the applicant satisfies the required qualifications.

More information on the qualifications required for this licence.

Corporation licence

A corporation carrying on the business of providing agent functions requires a corporation licence. To be eligible for a corporation licence, a corporation must appoint at least one director of the corporation who holds a licence required for the area of work carried out by the business, including satisfying other requirements specified in section 14(2) of the Act.

Corporations must also employ an individual, who holds a Class 1 licence in the same category in which the corporation carries on business, to be in charge of the business as the ‘licensee in charge’.

More information on corporations’ obligations in respect to licensees in charge here.

Auctioneer

To be an auctioneer, you need to have an accredited real estate or a stock and station agent’s licence with the appropriate qualifications.

More information on the qualifications required

Assessment

A person who holds a real estate agent licence (Class 1 or Class 2) or a stock and station agent licence (Class 1 or Class 2) may apply for accreditation as an auctioneer, if they hold the appropriate qualifications.

Automatic accreditation is not granted to agents, even if they previously held an auctioneer’s licence or attended auctioneer training in the past.

Application for accreditation

To demonstrate competency in the required units for accreditation as an auctioneer, a licence holder needs to hold a statement of attainment assessing them as competent by a qualified trainer working with a registered training organisation (RTO).

When lodging an application for accreditation, attach evidence that the relevant competencies have been attained along with the prescribed fee. Application forms are available from the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).

Email your application to: propertylicensing@customerservice.nsw.gov.au.

Applications can also be lodged over the counter at a Service NSW centre.

If a person has had his or her licence accredited to conduct one type of auction and later applies to have another accreditation added, the prescribed fee will again be payable.

If all accreditations are applied for in the one application and accompanied by the required evidence of competency completion, the prescribed fee needs to be paid only once.

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