Tips to choosing the right real estate agent
There are many Singaporeans buy, sell and lease their properties and there are tons of Singaporean agents in the property market. There are agents who are specialised in certain areas or districts, there are agents who are specialised in new launch projects, resale HDB or auction properties and so on. And if you’re a serious property hunter, you’re going to be spending quite a lot of time with him or her. Hence, it is important to find the right agent. Someone who’s experienced, professional and ethical is the ideal agent. In addition, he or she must be able to provide a good listener, address your concerns and willing to get the best deal for you.
Here are some tips to choose the real estate agent that suits your needs.
- Check if the property agent is registered with CEA in the Public Register
Do ask the property agent to show you his/her estate agent card and verify the information with CEA’s Public Register here. Through the CEA’s Public Register, you are able to check whether the real estate agent is licensed estate agent or the real estate agent has been disciplined by the council within the last 3 years. You may ask for their CEA license ID to be safe and do a search in CEA’s Public Register website or mobile number may allow you to search too. Just remember that Singapore’s real estate agents are required to have CEA license before representing their clients in the property market.
- Identify agents’ specialization
If you are a business owner, you would want to look for property agents that specializes in commercial listings and properties. But, if you want to sell your HDB flat, perhaps you may want to look for agents that focuses in HDB resale specialization. Apart from property type specialization, it will be good if they are area specialist too. As they are always on the ground, they are familiar with the current market situation around your area. To have a feel of their area of expertise, check out PropertyGuru, you’ll have a better gauge on their experience and their marketing strategy. A professional property agents are the one who is focused on their specializations, so get them to work with. It’s worth it.
- Responsible agent
A responsible agent that represent you should promote and safeguarding your interest in a property transaction, which also ensure during the process of transaction are transparent between you and the willing buyer/seller. The agent should also update you all potential offers and proposals from time to time. On top of that, binding agreement and explain to you the regulations especially when for HDB upgraders as the regulations could get complicated. You wouldn’t want to have heart attack due to hidden costs. Of course, the agent will have to go through the thick and thin with you during searching for your dream house or ideal tenant or willing buyer.
- Negotiable commissions
All commissions are negotiable for real estate agents in Singapore. In other words, there is no fixed commission rate. For buyers of HDB flats, it’s 1% of the purchase price. For resale HDBs, it’s 2% of the selling price. Well, don’t forget that these are subjected to 7% GST if the agencies are registered to GST. As for private properties, the practice is split commission with the seller’s agent which is always a 2% of the selling price. You can check here how much a real estate agents earn on average before engaging in a negotiation.
- Agent that listens
The very first meeting with agents should feel like counseling. You should feel confident with your agent when they have put your best interests at heart. Questions like: What’s your dream house? What is your budget level? Your floor and ceiling price for the property? What kind of tenant best suit your requirement? They should managed your expectations and requirements to cater your interests or needs in property regardless of buying or selling, HDB flat or private property. During the work processes, agents should have patience to assess your requirements with the property market before offering any proposals to waste each other’s time and unnecessary cost.
- Ethical and professional agent
You don’t want to be caught from the lawmakers that you may have violated any of the rules during the transaction process. Remember that an ethical agent do not recommend or offer you licensed or illegal moneylenders, instead they should offer you few bank options that you’re comfortable with to get a mortgage. Besides, real estate agents should be familiarised with the property regulations to make sure the contracts or paperwork are in compliance with Singapore housing law. Well, there are code of ethics that you might want to check for agent’s professionalism.
- Strategic marketing
Every agent have different styles of marketing their ‘inventories’ (their clients’ properties) be it Word of Mouth or through HDB Listing. You would be curious too which segment are they targeting for your property. If they are advertising HDB flat 3 rooms, ideal segment would be a new family or growing family that needs more rooms. How about leasing SOHO type property? Who will be the best bet segment? And which platform or channel would be good to market? It is something for you to check with your agent.
With these tips, you could use this to build a checklist searching for the best agents that can fulfill your needs and wants for a property transaction that helps you in the process.