HELP w/ Finding a House via an Agent

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claireadams

HELP w/ Finding a House via an Agent

Post by claireadams » Wed, 07 Jun 2006 6:02 pm

We are moving to Singapore in a few months time and have started house hunting with the help of a housing agent. We have found 2 houses we liked and have put offers on them. However, we have not been able to get much further than that. We end up waiting and waiting and then the house is rented to someone else. Our offers have not been unreasonably low but we seem to be getting the "round around". The agents who show us the house will claim they have other offers. We were willing to negotiate on the price but nothing is ever said to us directly, i.e. "If you offer a higher price then we will rent it to you." ( in both cases we would have been willing to pay a higher rent, but we never even get to the negotiation phase!) there just seems to be endless delays! What is going on? Is this the usual process when trying to rent a house? Should we be working with another agent? In the States, when one wants to rent a place, we just pay the asking price and that's that. we are getting extremely frustrated with the entire renting process here. Help! What are we doing wrong? Should we be working with another agent? We were told that it is not a good idea to work with more than 1 agent. Any advice will be greatly appreciate!

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joop
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Post by joop » Wed, 07 Jun 2006 6:11 pm

There may be times when the house has already been in the market for a while, many people have seen it, and vested interest in taking it. So at times when you put up an offer, you will realise you also have a competing offer which is not uncommon.

The best strategies to get what you want is not to lower the asking price too much and minimise requests. It also gives the landlords an easier time picking the right offer, and thus your offer may have a better chance.

You are discouraged from using too many agents at any one time because the tendency of them not understanding your likes and dislikes is high and the chances of showing same houses/ apartments are also very likely possible. One good agent will be able to follow you through the whole process, understand your needs and inteprete it from their experience.

You can contact our Call Centre at 61000300 or email: enquiry@singaporeexpats.com if you would like us to make some suitable recommendations for you.

:)
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Finding a house from afar

Post by Luz » Wed, 07 Jun 2006 6:51 pm

Claire...welcome to Singapore! You're almost here. Yes, it is difficult dealing with agents from across an ocean, and sounds like yours is not communicating with you enough...I'd change...some use multiples when searching. The one who closes on the house or apartment that you like gets the commission. Communicate with owners if you can...many don't use agents. Nevertheless, those places weren't yours...it's obvious. The right place for you and your family will come...be patient. ....no telling what you may have been saved from. You could also come here, get a temporary place for a few weeks or a month...and look firsthand at your own pace, at all the housing offerings, and look for the location that is best for you. You can get something furnished, or not. ...many are. What else do you want to know? Just ask. You need to register rather than staying in a guest status, in order to communicate more effectively...it's easy. :)
Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.

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Post by taikoo » Fri, 09 Jun 2006 3:30 pm

I have a related question...we will be moving to SP on 30th June and will be initially staying in a Service Apartment for a month. If I find a suitable flat, say within 15 days, is it a norm in SP to ask for a contract to start from later date, eg., from 1st July in my case?

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Post by joop » Fri, 09 Jun 2006 3:54 pm

taikoo wrote:I have a related question...we will be moving to SP on 30th June and will be initially staying in a Service Apartment for a month. If I find a suitable flat, say within 15 days, is it a norm in SP to ask for a contract to start from later date, eg., from 1st July in my case?
When you mentioned 'norm in SP..' would you mean private apartment instead? To start contract on a later date..?
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Post by taikoo » Fri, 09 Jun 2006 4:59 pm

Joop,

Let me clarify...

can I finalise an apartment lease with the landlord on say 10th July to let out the same from 1st Aug?

In Hong Kong, I can sign a contract with the landlord to start from a future date. And normally the flat is released/handed over to the tenants atleast a week (known as 'free-period') by the landlord.

My question was more on the above.

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rent free

Post by joop » Tue, 13 Jun 2006 10:01 am

In Singapore, it depends on the landlord to hand over the keys earlier to you say 1-2 weeks earlier, you can work out the terms with the Landlord on an agreement that you would be given the keys a week earlier upon signing of the agreement.

Make sure that there is an agent or witness around just to ensure the landlord doesn't eat back his words.

So the 'rent free' period is negotiable. :)
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Post by spam » Fri, 16 Jun 2006 10:33 am

Clairedreams, first of all maybe you should re-think your approach. I am an American who has moved here twice with a full family and both times we arrived and stayed in service apts until my wife found a place that we liked. Each time this only took 3 to 5 weeks and my wife probably looked at 20 to 30 places before finding the right one. I CANNOT IMAGINE trying to do this from accross the ocean. Also, with all due respect to the many singaporeans that visit this site, the Singapore brokers are generally an unscrupulous lot. You will come and go, but the brokers and owners are here for the long haul, so their logical allegiance is not to you. TRUST ME ON THIS. If you are renting from overseas there is a good chance you will end up with a real lemon.

With regard to the difficulties that you are encountering, it is because the mkt is somewhat hot, and you are trying to negotiate with owners that are looking for people to just take their offer. The mkt has been soft for some time - so now that the advantage is on their side - they are getting the most out of it. Please PM me if you have any more questions.

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