Why property agents are so important in your real estate investments

In 2012, when my wife and I finally decided to downgrade to a smaller HDB flat, we started to search for a trustworthy property agent to sell our five-room flat. At that point of time, we didn’t approach our friends or relatives for referral because we wanted to be discreet about our plan. So when we saw a flyer from my property agent, we dropped him a call and arranged for a no-obligation meeting.The first meeting went well because my agent was really transparent about the whole process. He provided us an insight of the market dynamics, assessed our financial profiles, determined our needs and advised us on the various fees (legal, stamp duty and commission fee) and proceedings. He came across as a honest chap and did not brag about his past property transactions. We had a good vibe about him and decided to engage him to market our first home after a few phone calls.

One thing I liked about my agent was that he was able to provide a “one-stop” services such as recommending us a banker and a lawyer to process my home loan and CPF transaction. Our case was a bit complicated because we opted for a private loan instead of HDB loan. On top of this, the buyer of my home gave us a maximum grace period of six weeks to vacant our home, so we needed to manage the transaction schedule closely with the buyer and seller of our present home to ensure my family has a roof over our head. Therefore, my wife and I were very concerned of any potential show-stoppers. But thankfully, everything went smoothly and we completed the transaction in time.

I know most Singaporeans want “value for money” for their investments and prefer to arrange their own housing loans and lawyers to process their housing transactions instead of relying on their property agents’ recommendations. But I preferred to trust my agent because I knew that from his perspective, he would want the whole transaction to be completed as soon as possible in order to collect his commission fee. If there were any hiccups, I would make him accountable for it and withheld the commission fee. In addition, if I was to look for my own banker and lawyer, that would mean that my agent had to deal with them separately, thus making the whole process complicated.

Of course, in most cases, the property agents would earn a small sum of referral fees but if you look at it from another angle, don’t you think it is better to forsake a couple of hundred of dollars to ensure that your property transaction, which is worth a few hundred thousands, go through smoothly? Most Singaporeans overlook the fact that property agents need to earn a living as well, so it is not possible to win 100% of the time. You need to adopt the approach of give and take. But then again, I consider myself to be lucky because my agent was trustworthy and was really competent. So it all boils down to selecting the right property agent and developing a “win-win” working relationship with him/her.

To succeed in property investments and become rich, you need to be educated in knowing how to handle property agents in Singapore. To this end, local finance blogger, Property Soul is organizing an education seminar on “Building a Win-Win Relationship with Your Property Agent”.

Do you know your rights when dealing with property agents? What are the ways to protect yourself as a consumer? What can you do when you have disputes with your agent?

Do you know that property agents can make or break your deal? Can you tell a good agent from a bad one? How do successful investors and smart landlords benefit from using a good agent?

Come and learn first-hand from experienced industry experts who will share with you all the tips and traps, and above all, how to build a win-win relationship with your property agent.

Seminar details
Date       : August 3, 2014 (Sunday)
Time       : 2.30 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Venue     : National Library Building

14:00 Registration
14:35 Welcome
14:40 A heart-to-heart conversation with my property agent
Irene Lim, Senior Marketing Director, ERA Realty
Property Soul, author of No B.S. Guide to Property Investment
15:10 Networking session: my experience with property agents
All participants
15:40 Tea break
16:10 Knowing your rights: tips of finding a good agent
Property Soul, author of No B.S. Guide to Property Investment
16:25 Upholding our code of conduct: how we handle complaints and resolve disputes
Randy Chan, Compliance Manager, ERA
17:00 End of seminar

Member: $35
Non-member: $55
Seats are limited. Registration will be closed once function room reaches full capacity.

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