Do You Know Series – Whether to Use A Housing Agent

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Using Singapore’s housing prices, selling a $300,000 HDB flat through an agent will cost you $6,000+ worth of commission. Which is not a small amount, right?

Well, before you decide to send your housing agent packing and DIY your sale or purchase, be warned that selling or buying property can be a troublesome, time-consuming affair and an extremely tedious problem-solving process. 

 

Here are five questions to ask yourself before you decide to manage it out on your own.

 

Do you have the time? (for sellers)

Selling your flat involves more than just placing an ad in the newspaper classifieds, and then sitting back and waiting for the offers to come streaming in. Firstly, you’ll have to research which online platforms are available for you to advertise your property on. Most sellers place their property on multiple platforms like 99.co, which is more time-consuming than you might think. 

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After listing your property on multiple platforms, you must then be prepared to actually start taking calls from prospective buyers and/or multiple housing agents who might or might not have ready clientele.

Assuming people are actually interested in your ad, you then have the unenviable task of scheduling appointments and being present at flat viewings. Be prepared to invest in weeknights and weekends to meet prospective buyers, showing them around the flat and repeating the process of presenting the property every time.

 

Do you have the time? (for buyers)

If you decide to go it alone, you’ll first have to spend time going through the internet and the various platforms, both online and off, which publish local property ads.

But being lazy and only searching on one or two platforms will mean you are missing out on good deals and might end up overpaying.  By contrast, when you use an agent, the agent can usually arrange for multiple home viewings condensed into one to two days saving precious time as many listings could be duplicates.

 

Do you want to save money?

As a buyer, you’re already bracing yourself for the pain of emptying out your bank account and the prospect of being chained to a home loan for the rest of your days on earth.

And as a seller, you understandably want to cash out with as much money as possible.

This is why paying thousands of dollars to a real estate agent seems like a very unattractive prospect. 

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Your real estate agents possess years of experience. This experience is critical and outweighs more than the commission because of the time involved, knowledge of the market and understanding of the market demand, sentiments of various different scenarios.

 

Do you know what goes into the process of buying or selling a home?

Very often, Singaporeans buying or selling a home for the first time are completely clueless as to what happens in a property transaction. A real estate agent will be able to clearly explain and guide you through the process from analysing your financial status including available grants for HDB properties to a detailed timeline from sale to purchase and identifying the type of property based on financials and investment objectives.

  • Option-to-purchase? 
  • What’s that? 
  • When do you put down the downpayment and when do you need to start applying for a bank loan? 
  • And what are all these documents they’re asking you to sign?
  • How much will you cash out after the sale? 
  • Will there be a negative sale? 
  • What do negative sales imply?  
  • What other hidden fees prior to net cash?

 

Can you be bothered to do your own research to find out what happens in a property transaction? If the answer is no, you should probably engage an agent to take care of everything for you.

 

Can you be bothered to do your own research and execute the entire transaction on your own?

Ultimately, agents are there not because their work is rocket science or anything you couldn’t do on your own if it were a matter of life and death.

The real value in hiring an agent is the fact that they give you a whole lot of convenience, and have more complete knowledge of the market and how to smoothly affect a property transaction (from purchase/sale to completion).

 

In general, a real estate agent is more than someone publishing a sale listing on related platforms. He/she brings along with them a wealth of experience in analysing finances, managing and planning the process in transition to completing the offer and transaction. It protects both the buyers’ and the sellers’ interests and minimises any pitfalls that may occur. Reach out to us if you need any further consultation or advice on any realty queries.

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