Although the real estate business in Pakistan grown substantially over the last two decades, the fact remains that the people engaged in the real estate do not possess the required training or the expertise. This has resulted in lack of transparency and unwarranted price fluctuations.
Ideally, local colleges and universities should offer real estate certification courses that provide students a practical knowledge of all aspects of the real estate business- from real estate economics, finance and law to community planning and urban development. Unfortunately, no such courses or degree are available in Pakistan.
As there is no regulation and no required licensing, almost anyone can open a real estate agency and conduct business; the business is unregulated and does not have defined standards.
For this sector to have a streamlined system and transparency, a few concrete steps must be taken. One way to tackle this would be to make it mandatory for all real estate agents to have a license or certification before stepping into the profession. Not only will this regulate the real estate business across the board, it will raise additional revenue for the provincial governments, which could then charge a licensing fee. Licensing and regulation, in turn, will help maintain property prices at realistic level.
Currently, property sellers seek advice from non-professional, unregulated property brokers who usually quote inflated prices instead of actual values, leading to market instability. This is best illustrated by the fact that in Pakistan, real estate prices have recently increased by anywhere in between 100% and 150%, in sharp contrast to the international real estate markets which have witnessed drastic falls in property price (by 50% to 70%)
Only when obtaining a license becomes mandatory will property transactions be streamlined and gain the transparency that it is lacking in the real estate sector.