Am I missing something with property rental sites?

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Benji1975
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Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Benji1975 » Thu, 23 Jul 2015 5:51 pm

In this day and age of decent mobile cameras etc, why are there adverts out there that offer very little information?? If I was the agent/owner I'd ensure my advert had 20-30 decents pics showing all the rooms etc. Instead, I'm looking at places and the worst so far was 2 pics, one of a toilet and one of the building from 100m away. Is this a deliberate ploy? Are they made up adverts to bolster number or properties available headline number?

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by nakatago » Thu, 23 Jul 2015 7:17 pm

Benji1975 wrote:In this day and age of decent mobile cameras etc, why are there adverts out there that offer very little information?? If I was the agent/owner I'd ensure my advert had 20-30 decents pics showing all the rooms etc. Instead, I'm looking at places and the worst so far was 2 pics, one of a toilet and one of the building from 100m away. Is this a deliberate ploy? Are they made up adverts to bolster number or properties available headline number?

regards
Ben
It's a mix of intentionally hiding something and utter incompetence, sometimes both at the same time.
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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Benji1975 » Thu, 23 Jul 2015 8:21 pm

Cool, if we head out there I'll look forward to dealing with agents then....sounds like a joyless experience.

On a similar subject, when the rent is neatly rounded to the nearest thousand and described as negotiable, any idea what percentage reduction is 'the norm'? I read somewhere about losing face and sometimes incentives given like free months rent. On a place costing 5-6k a month, if signed up for 2 years, would a 10% reduction be possible? more maybe?

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 23 Jul 2015 9:58 pm

I had to laugh. Sorry. In the good ole days when this board first started, when an advert mentioned a price and negotiable, it meant negotiable "upwards", not downwards. That was before the act covering Real Estate agents rules of conduct. Back then most were cowboys and the government couldn't bring in FTs fast enough. It was a Landlord's market and the favorite trick was to get a shill or two to view the place at the same time (to keep from inconveniencing the current tenant too much), but essentially starting a bidding war with a bogus cheque in hand for the deposit from one of the shills. Then the agent would get you aside and let you know that the shill was offering 5/8/10% premium over the asking price in order to get you hooked if it looked like you really wanted it. In fact, it was because of these types of shenanigans the the Real Estate Agents Act came about. Times have change in the last two years or so and I'd recommend holding out after you find two places you like (but don't tell the agent until you have found two and then let the agent dicker for you.

Then tell the agent that in addition to the agent's commission on the final rental price you will give him double the difference in rent, e.g., if the rental is 2k/mo then the commission would be one months rent for the two year lease. If he can negotiate the rental down say 10% to 1.8K then he would get 2.2K as a commission for the 2 year lease or an extra 200 over the original commission if rented at 2K. It works.
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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by JR8 » Fri, 24 Jul 2015 2:15 am

Benji1975 wrote:In this day and age of decent mobile cameras etc, why are there adverts out there that offer very little information?? If I was the agent/owner I'd ensure my advert had 20-30 decents pics showing all the rooms etc. Instead, I'm looking at places and the worst so far was 2 pics, one of a toilet and one of the building from 100m away. Is this a deliberate ploy? Are they made up adverts to bolster number or properties available headline number?
In a way SGn agents have witnessed the Klondike these past few years, it's been easy money. Now the rental market is going south, and I suspect many agents are going to get a 'rude awakening'.

So, what you have seen historically is that they do the absolute minimum to get a commission. This includes listings with no photos, or listings with a few 'representative' photos that might be of the block but are not of the specific unit in question. Since this was all they previously required to get a unit let, perhaps they think this remains all that is ever required.

Your second point. Made up property adverts are used the world over, probably more-so in rather desperate times. Put up a dummy ad for a unit that you know will get attention, get the punters calling, then take them out to that unit (if indeed it exists) and what ever else you have on the instructions list, esp the crap you're dying to get rid of. It's a version of the sales tactic of 'Bait and switch'. If you see an ad like that, ask them the floor number, rent and when it's available, and if they're at all vague then you know it's a lead-on.
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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by JR8 » Fri, 24 Jul 2015 2:34 am

Benji1975 wrote:Cool, if we head out there I'll look forward to dealing with agents then....sounds like a joyless experience.
On a similar subject, when the rent is neatly rounded to the nearest thousand and described as negotiable, any idea what percentage reduction is 'the norm'? I read somewhere about losing face and sometimes incentives given like free months rent. On a place costing 5-6k a month, if signed up for 2 years, would a 10% reduction be possible? more maybe? Ben
Joyless, yes that's a good word to describe it. I'm currently getting an attempted ream by an agent trying to get our tenancy deposit back. The kind of 'you can't touch me, and you know it' positioning is pretty amazing. But hey-ho... there is little customer protection in Singapore in any sector. (Renting, 'Sale of Goods', etc).

There is no 'norm' for negotiation, not as in going down a Middle-Eastern bazaar rug shopping and starting at 40% of the offered price. This is where having your own agent can help. But even then they'll never care a fraction of what you do; why should they, their commission is higher the higher the rent is lol.

What you can do is find a building, or several units in a few buildings, not be too attached to any and just put low-ball offers in. Not stupidly low, but hopefully informed current offers: The asking prices will ALWAYS represent approx the previous peak, and the landlords unrealistic dreams. You will never see anything that is honestly and genuinely 'priced to go'.

Watch the offer prices. Look at the URA stats (via their www) to get a feel on each particular block. Read the papers for a feel for the wind direction in the market. Then keep in mind you're going to be taking that reality vs a bunch of prideful owners, who would rather have a one year void, than take $100/mo. less than they've concluded it's worth.


p.s. 'losing face' etc suggests nobility. Forget it, it's all about chiseling the last 5c out of you.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by nakatago » Fri, 24 Jul 2015 6:43 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Then tell the agent that in addition to the agent's commission on the final rental price you will give him double the difference in rent, e.g., if the rental is 2k/mo then the commission would be one months rent for the two year lease. If he can negotiate the rental down say 10% to 1.8K then he would get 2.2K as a commission for the 2 year lease or an extra 200 over the original commission if rented at 2K. It works.
This. Make their greed work for you.
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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Benji1975 » Fri, 24 Jul 2015 9:53 pm

this is great information and very much appreciated, thanks.

I get what you are saying about blocks and guess this applies to condo's etc but we are mostly looking at houses so bit more tricky as can't always compare like for like.

Eyes firmly wide open to practices of agents now, ta!

Ben

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:21 pm

In my experience, houses can be very tricky deals to get, and by houses I assume you mean semi-D's or fully detached.

I used to live in Watten Estates. I paid $4200 a month for an older 4 bedroom, two story semi-D with beautiful grounds. Were you to talk to an agent about rentals, you couldn't get anywhere near that number.

What was happening is this. I knew the folks who were moving out of the place and we went to the landlord. I said I'd pay for the repaint. We showed how long it would take to recoup agent fees and vacant, non rent producing time, even with substantially increased rental rates. I got the place for only a little bit more than the previous tenants.

And so it was when we left Singapore. Friends on the block introduced us to their friends who were looking for a place, and the same dance played out again... and they took over our place for only a modest increase in rent. I've seen this happen 3 times in my neighborhood alone.

The ideal situation would be to put feelers out, to check bulletin boards, to find these properties before they become enmeshed in the vacancy/agent roulette game.

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Benji1975 » Sat, 25 Jul 2015 1:09 am

Cheers Eagle, again, a good insight.
Yeah, looking at semi's or terraced and budget between 4 and 5', maybe more depending on package offered. We really want a garden as our children are used to playing in garden. Ok, luxury in SG but we're basing all the sums on being able to go out there lifestyle we want I guess.
Between the 5 and 6 range have seen some lovely full furnished places and can tell vacant as have blank photos frames set up. Past that, it sounds all very complicated and take everything agent says with pinch of salt! I'll go with assumption that you are trying to be had over until proven otherwise.
Are their no ex-pats who offer a 'Mr/Mrs fix it' service...surely must be a market for that! You pay a fee and they advise, once over there, on all aspects of integrating...kinda like a locally knowledged part time executive PA lol. I think some of you guys could start a new business.

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by thismyvoice » Sat, 25 Jul 2015 8:54 am

Always check the URA website for transacted pricing, URL below. Do not overpay in this market. Agents may also show you the recent transactions from their company's transaction database, or some third party property portal (paid service). This can be more informative as it contains information such as floor and unit number. Usually, lower levels cost less.

https://www.ura.gov.sg/realEstateIIWeb/ ... rch.action

Ask the landlord or agent how long the unit has been in the market. Generally, the longer it has been in the market, the more desperate the landlord. Of course, some landlord could be very stubborn.

Happy hunting.

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by fusu1111 » Sun, 26 Jul 2015 3:02 pm

It's just the nature of the market, and the landlords always have the upper hand. Do hire a decent agent though, learned it the hard way...

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Strong Eagle » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 1:56 am

fusu1111 wrote:It's just the nature of the market, and the landlords always have the upper hand. Do hire a decent agent though, learned it the hard way...

Sent from my SM-N910U using Tapatalk
What did you learn the hard way? And why hire an agent? Lots of people on this board have dealt with LL agents with much better success than any agent allegedly representing the tenant.

And far too many tenants have posted horror stories about their own agents being worse than useless when it comes to getting promised repairs made or getting deposits back. So, tell me again what a tenant's agent can do that you cannot do for yourself?

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by fusu1111 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 9:53 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
fusu1111 wrote:It's just the nature of the market, and the landlords always have the upper hand. Do hire a decent agent though, learned it the hard way...

Sent from my SM-N910U using Tapatalk
What did you learn the hard way? And why hire an agent? Lots of people on this board have dealt with LL agents with much better success than any agent allegedly representing the tenant.

And far too many tenants have posted horror stories about their own agents being worse than useless when it comes to getting promised repairs made or getting deposits back. So, tell me again what a tenant's agent can do that you cannot do for yourself?

Hi Strong Eagle,
I would assume you've lived in the city long enough to know how things are operated, so you might not need anyone to represent you on such small matters.

While I can't post the details, I have encountered shady landlords and agents myself. Nothing special though, withholding info, accepting cash (it's illegal) etc... So yes, hiring an agent can be tricky as well.

As for those who's had issues with their own agents regarding "promises", just remember, this is Singapore, nothing can't be enforced as long as it is stated in the TA. Although one might have take more action than usual. Unless though, the TA wasn't even valid to begin with..........

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Re: Am I missing something with property rental sites?

Post by Primrose Hill » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:54 am

Benji1975 wrote:Cheers Eagle, again, a good insight.
Yeah, looking at semi's or terraced and budget between 4 and 5', maybe more depending on package offered. We really want a garden as our children are used to playing in garden. Ok, luxury in SG but we're basing all the sums on being able to go out there lifestyle we want I guess.
Between the 5 and 6 range have seen some lovely full furnished places and can tell vacant as have blank photos frames set up. Past that, it sounds all very complicated and take everything agent says with pinch of salt! I'll go with assumption that you are trying to be had over until proven otherwise.
Are their no ex-pats who offer a 'Mr/Mrs fix it' service...surely must be a market for that! You pay a fee and they advise, once over there, on all aspects of integrating...kinda like a locally knowledged part time executive PA lol. I think some of you guys could start a new business.
What about townhouses? Or houses within a condo development? If you aren't fussed whether it is a older property, you can get a house with a smallish back yard/patio and you still have the children play area, pool, etc. Arcadia/sommerville/watten/gallop residences have all that, I think Illoura too

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