To start with, any sound investment requires a little luck, but mostly a good eye and an analytical mind. An even more successful investment requires all of these, as well as a knack for selecting a committed, trustworthy and well-informed partner. Prime district property in Singapore has no lack of typical property agents who are willing to introduce a list of properties from which to purchase and also to help seal off a deal competently. But agents sometimes pack along a list of profession ills — a tendency to hard-sell by bombarding clients with uninvited offers, a lack of commitment to the long-term interest in the property and a fixation on sealing a deal as quickly as possible with little regard for clients’ interests.
On the other hand, an ideal working relationship is with someone who goes beyond the expectations of an agent. He is an efficient and trusted property agent, but is also one who pays attention to market trends and price movements, who analyses and follows up on new inquiries, and who casts a wide net for both buyers and sellers of different expectations i.e. someone who has had first-hand experience with buying and selling and behaves as an investor himself.
I recommend that a respectable real estate agent will possess the following trade qualities:
1. CEHA qualifications
The CEHA stands for Common Examination for Housing Agents. This is an accreditation scheme for estate agents and agencies that has been in place since 2005. The CEHA is introduced by ways of this Singapore Accreditation Estate Agency Scheme (SAEA). The Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) and the Singapore Institute of situs judi bola resmi Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) jointly run this scheme and are supported by the Ministry of Finance, Housing and Development Board and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. The SAEA sets guidelines, minimum educational and practice standards for agents, by the requirement that they pass a professional examination. A strict code of conduct is also observed. The aims of the scheme are to raise professional standards in providing a better service to homebuyers and sellers.
2. Willingness to have a separate account for handling clients’ money
An agent should always be willing to keep clients’ monies i.e. option or deposit monies, in a separate bank account from their own. On top of the technicality that clients’ monies are held on trust by the estate agent, an understanding agent should always be ready to take more measures to avoid the instances of the wrongful refusal to refund clients’ deposits i.e. rental deposits.
3. Recommended commission fee
To prevent fee undercutting, professional estate agencies/agents usually observe a prescribed scale of fees. In the context of Singapore, a fee of 2% of the sale price is recommended by the SISV, and this is further subject to a minimum of S$500. Furthermore, the commission/fee for project marketing is negotiable. The Institute of Estate Agents makes recommendations for different types of properties/projects. And an agent should be forthcoming with information on all types of recommended fees.
For example, for private properties, the seller pays a minimum of 2% of the contracted selling price. The buyer pays 1% as finder’s fee, if an agency is represented by an agent. An agency shall not be accepting any commission/fee from both selling and buying parties in the same transaction, without prior knowledge and consent of the parties.
For project marketing of the sale and purchase of more than four units, commission/fee shall be negotiable. The commission becomes due immediately upon completion of sales and purchase or as otherwise agreed between the parties.