Housing Agent Singapore
Pretty much the first decision you need to make when thinking about selling your home is: should I get an agent?
On the one hand, a housing agent is the path of convenience, a helping hand through the complexities of the sale. At the same time, you might have heard horror stories of pushy housing agents who just want to close a sale fast, or go MIA for weeks without updating you. After all, you want your property agent to be making your life pain-free – not adding to your woes!
To help you with your property sale, we’re giving you a quick, all cards revealed rundown of what kinds of challenges you can expect to face, and what kinds of value a housing agent can add to the process.
Common Challenges You’ll Face
It’s no surprise that selling your property is a headache – but chances are that you don’t quite know what challenges you’ll face, especially if you’re a first-time homeowner. So if you’re thinking about selling your home, be warned – here are just some of the common struggles that gets many homeowners popping Panadols:
#1: Figuring out what your property is worth
As a seller, you’ll need to price your property in relation to Singapore’s ever-fluctuating property market. Too often, this can feel like a painful game of mental chess with your opponents – ahem, potential buyers. Set the price too high and you might scare off buyers, yet going low means you might be fleecing yourself of tens of thousands of dollars.
Not only do things like amenities and location need to be factored into your property value, many larger forces that you may not be aware of can affect market trends as well. For instance, low interest rates tend to drive home buying demand, while governmental cooling measures can restrict demand by tightening housing loan limits.
#2: Puzzling through the paperwork
Option-to-Purchase form? Sales and Purchase Agreement? What’s all that? Selling your home can seem like a long, perilous road filled with legalese. There’s a ton of paperwork involved in property transactions, and unfortunately for your growing headache, it’s important to sweat the small stuff.
Not submitting HDB applications by certain deadlines, for instance, can cause you to lose admin fees or even invalidate your transaction.
#3: The horrors of negotiating
Negotiating property prices with potential buyers is probably the most essential, yet most awkward stage of your home-seller’s journey. Most of us are way too paiseh to haggle at the wet market, let alone negotiate aggressively with buyers over the course of several meetings.
It’s not all about mastering your poker face, either – before trying to play your cards, a lot of research is necessary to understand the cards you’re holding. For instance, what are the recently transacted prices of similar properties in your area? Is it a buyer’s market right now, or does the demand for flats by buyers exceed supply?
Without all this background information, you might end up with too wide a mismatch between your expectations and buyers’. Too frequently, homeowners attempting to DIY their property sale end up having one negotiation after another fall through, without really grasping this underlying reason.
#4: Wasting time
Selling your home is surprisingly time-consuming. From research to viewings to negotiations, the entire process of selling your home can drag out for months. If you’re like most busy-bee Singaporeans, you don’t have hours to waste on connecting with potential buyers when you could be spending time at work or with family.
Not to mention, a good chunk of this time will simply lead nowhere, since most buyers end up being not serious or not interested after a viewing.
The Housing Agent – Your Helping Hand
If selling your property is starting to sound way too cumbersome, it shouldn’t have to be. That’s where a professional property agent come into the picture – there’s nothing like having a trusted advisor at hand to walk you through the intricate process.
Like a lawyer, your housing agent is contractually bound to have your best interests at heart – that means, for instance, that they cannot represent you and the buyer at once. To give you a good idea of how a housing agent can simplify your buyer search, here’s a quick overview of a typical agent’s responsibilities:
- Evaluate the price of your property accurately
- Source for buyers through various marketing channels
- Manage viewings with potential buyers
- Give advice on how to promote and present your home
- Handle negotiations and biddings
- Handle the required paperwork
While a small percentage of Singaporeans are starting to handle their home sales themselves, the fact remains that most everyday individual know zilch about what such a transaction truly entails. (For instance, we’re sure you missed out a couple of the points above when envisioning your property sale.)
That’s where an agency like Savern Realty is here for the rescue. While you call the final shots on the deal, your housing agent is there to make things run smoothly and do their best to secure the profits you desire.
Why Outsourcing to an Agent is a Wise Decision for Most Home Buyers
But is a housing agent really necessary you may ask. Some of us might balk at the commission rates that come with hiring agents – typically 1-2% of the sale price.
Saving money, however, shouldn’t come at the cost of time, trouble, and knowledge – a good agent helps to vanquish most of the woes that plague home sellers. Here are just some of the benefits of hiring a housing agent:
#1: Pricing your property right
No need to crack your brains – your housing agent will likely have all the details of recent property sales in your area, plus a comprehensive knowledge of the property market. They’ll do the tricky homework of figuring out a fair asking price for your home – one that profits you while attracting buyers.
#2: No more paperwork problems
Your experienced housing agent knows how to dot every i and cross every t on the required forms – you don’t need to worry about skipping some essential document. While you still shouldn’t sign anything without reading the fine print, your agent can demystify all the legal terms and keep you on track for deadlines.
#3: Good housing agent = good sale price
As a seasoned player, your housing agent can give sound advice on the approach you should take in tricky negotiations. Agents have in-depth knowledge of the market and can guide you on how to handle counter-offers and understand buyer motivations. They’ll be the superheroes who save you from being lowballed, and fight on your behalf to secure the best possible price.
Those who advocate DIY-ing your property sale typically point out how much money you lose in commission fees. In truth, however, winging it without the right knowledge and experience can cause you to lose much more in your final sale price. With a housing agent, you can be confident you’re getting the optimal price for your beloved home.
#4: Time is money
By streamlining the process, a housing agent effectively helps you save dozens of hours. You don’t need to spend weeknights glued to property sites, since your agent will be able to give you customized information about the market and your property.
How to Select the Right Agent
Looking forward to passing all your housing burdens to your agent with a sigh of relief? Not so fast – before signing on the dotted line with any property agent, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting the right person for the job. These are just a few tips for you to make an informed decision about your agent of choice.
1) Check for valid registration
In Singapore, all property agents must be registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). You can easily do a check by searching for your agent’s name, mobile number, or registration number in CEA’s Public Register.
If your agent isn’t listed in the Public Register, this is a major red flag – they may be working illegally or have been suspended for disciplinary issues. Though your agent may come highly recommended by relatives or friends, it’s always best to verify their CEA registration for your own peace of mind!
2) Check out their track record
Through CEA’s Public Register, you can get a look at the HDB flat resale transaction records closed by a housing agent within the last 24 months. This helps you get a rough idea of the experience your property agent has, especially if you’re selling an HDB flat.
You can also ask the agent for a list of their recently-sold properties – most agents will be happy to provide you with information of past clients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to these clients for opinions on the agent’s services!
3) Ask what marketing strategies they plan to use
Ideally, your housing agent should be well-versed in the property prices around your location and what type of clients they’re advertising to. They should also be able to elaborate on the marketing portals they’ll use to attract potential buyers, including listing sites and social media. And if their marketing plans revolve around spamming letterboxes with flyers, run.
At the end of the day, property transactions will never be fun – but with a reliable agent by your side to demystify things, you’re sure to save yourself a ton of time and headache. Best of luck with your home-selling journey!
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