Buying a house is potentially the biggest investment of your life, so how do you know the real estate agent is up to scratch?
The Real Estate Authority is working on guidelines for what makes a 'fit and proper' agent and seeking public feedback to ensure they are clear and comprehensive.
Real Estate Authority chief executive Belinda Moffat said there has always been an assessment of people wanting to attain a real estate agent's licence.
She said the guidelines will include the factors that they have always looked at.
"We'll look at past convictions, we'll look at any indications that could call into question the trustworthiness, integrity or honesty of the applicant. We might look at bankruptcy, we can look at disciplinary proceedings."
Moffat said although these types of checks have always been done, the authority wants to make that very clear to the public and applicants.
"So that they know what we are looking at and what we expect from somebody who is going to join this profession."
Moffat said the register assessing the applications will need to be satisfied that applicants meet the criteria.
"For example, if there has been a past conviction and yet we can obtain information from that applicant that time has elapsed, that they can demonstrate rehabilitation, they've got evidence of employment - then they may still meet the criteria."
But Moffat said in cases where those factors cannot be demonstrated the application may be refused.
"From a policy point of view there are so many different factors that do feed into whether someone 'fit and proper' and if you look at the guidelines that we've issued you'll see that there's a wide range of principles."
Moffat said in real estate desirable principles include like trust and confidence and ability to handle money and financially confidential information.
In the last two years the Real Estate Authority has had about 5000 new licence applications and only five of them were declined, she said.
"Which means that people are really thinking about what information they're presenting to us to enable them to demonstrate that they meet all of the criteria in the licensing requirements that we apply."
She said at this stage the guidelines are only in draft form and the authority is seeking public feedback on any other factors that should be considered and on whether they are easy to understand.