Those greedy agents/LL! How to deal with them?

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Ebony Chic
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Post by Ebony Chic » Fri, 14 Nov 2008 8:09 am

Saint wrote:Just tell the agent that at no point do you exclusively engage him/her as your agent so you aren't liable to pay any fees. He can claim his fees from the Landlord!
yes this is what we were going to do but I wanted to know what are the possibilities after the letter of intent has been signed? I doubt they will back out of renting the place - can they?

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US Expat
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Post by US Expat » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 12:04 am

We just rented a place here and had a very bad agent as well. We found the condo on a property website, called the agent and decided on it after looking. The agent demanded 1 full month as commission on a $5500 rent. I later found out he charged the owner the exact same amount. When we confronted him about this, he said "well I am representing you as well as the owner so both sides pay commission to me".

Got my money back in the end though.

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Post by AussieSkater » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:10 am

Has anyone used the agents from which this website forum is hosted? Or what were the reasons for not using them. It appears from these posts that people used "other" agents.

Just wondering what the reasons were for not selecting this one.

Dave Sebastian
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Post by Dave Sebastian » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:34 am

I used agent in the past based on colleague's recommendation and this seems to be the case for many people I know. This was typically based on good service experience. Though, I had problem w/ one (small problem - as the agent focused too much on what she wants to sell us vs. what we want) - in that case shopping around few agents help.

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:44 pm

AussieSkater wrote:Has anyone used the agents from which this website forum is hosted? Or what were the reasons for not using them. It appears from these posts that people used "other" agents.
SingaporeExpats is one of the bigger agencies out there, and they specialize in homes for expats (surprise surprise). Obviously they're reliable and good at what they do, but a) they have quite a few agents, so your experience may vary based on who you get, and b) they concentrate on condos and higher-end property (S$2500+/mo), so you may have better luck elsewhere if you're looking for that mythical S$850 studio in Dhoby Ghaut. Although I suspect you'll need a lot of luck anywhere to find another one of those, since deals like that sell themselves, and no agent anywhere is going to bust their hump to find one for you, because their commission on a cheap apartment is also low.
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Post by qus » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 10:00 pm

AussieSkater wrote:Has anyone used the agents from which this website forum is hosted? Or what were the reasons for not using them. It appears from these posts that people used "other" agents.

Just wondering what the reasons were for not selecting this one.
I was planning on using them but then was told i had to pay half month comm, even when my budget is > 2,500 pm

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DimWit Kid
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Post by DimWit Kid » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 10:44 pm

jpatokal wrote:
AussieSkater wrote:Has anyone used the agents from which this website forum is hosted? Or what were the reasons for not using them. It appears from these posts that people used "other" agents.
SingaporeExpats is one of the bigger agencies out there, and they specialize in homes for expats (surprise surprise). Obviously they're reliable and good at what they do, but a) they have quite a few agents, so your experience may vary based on who you get, and b) they concentrate on condos and higher-end property (S$2500+/mo), so you may have better luck elsewhere if you're looking for that mythical S$850 studio in Dhoby Ghaut. Although I suspect you'll need a lot of luck anywhere to find another one of those, since deals like that sell themselves, and no agent anywhere is going to bust their hump to find one for you, because their commission on a cheap apartment is also low.
jpatokal, I usually used agents I know but this time around since I find here a listing of a place I'm interested, I actually called in. Was given the agent's name by the operator of singaporeexpats, and I called. The listing was low - 2.5K. When I call, it miraculously the agent said 3K. I asked then why she listed it as 2.5K and she said "where got? you want good place you must pay" - I hang up. This is two Saturdays ago, and I have since closed a deal in the same place, at 2.4K for the same kind of abode (3+1) - which ironically was listed as 3K!

If they list 2.5K then I expect them to negotiate on that basis and what she (this agent) was doing I regard as cheating. But hey, I've been here more than 10 years now and I don't get overly worked up anymore with such morons.

Friggin agent like that really can destroy a good reputation. I've emailed back the name of the agent but has not yet received feedback... Now, I've been visiting this site for years and I want to believe that actually it's one bad apple - need to be careful with those kind of rowdy agents mates!

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DimWit Kid
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Post by DimWit Kid » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 10:51 pm

Oh by the way, about the commission - what I understand is that there used to be $2500 limit on whether tenant pay commission to the agent. It's not law or by-law, it's just a "guidance" from IEA Singapore. But nevertheless every agent charged the same.

I read in IEA website that this "guidance" has been abolished last August, and it's because it's in grey area as far as anti-competitive behavior is concerned. My experience this time around is that at first glance all agents want to charge half month for every year of contract. In my case, after negotiating the deal, we agreed to pay half month (+GST) for 2 year contract at 2.5K.

My last contract (2 years ago) in a different place, the landlord agent asked us for commission as we don't use any agent of our own. At first I rejected but afterwards I actually negotiated a $1K commission with the agent, provided he could get us a $200 discount from the asking price from landlord. He got us that so I paid the $1K commission to him.

Bottomline, everything is negotiable now - just say no if you don't want to pay, or find other thing for the agent to fulfill that will worth your paid commission. The market is really going renters' way now, so do NOT be afraid to say no. There are more and more vacant units out there.

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 10:15 pm

DimWit Kid wrote:jpatokal, I usually used agents I know but this time around since I find here a listing of a place I'm interested, I actually called in. Was given the agent's name by the operator of singaporeexpats, and I called.
In other words, you called the landlord's agent who placed the listing? They're just classified advertisers with no connection at all to SingaporeExpats, and because they're on the landlord's side, they can and will screw you blind -- it's a total crapshoot as to who you get.

The whole point of SingaporeExpats is that you hire their own agent, and the SE agent will then nego with greedy landlord agents on your behalf. You pay the SE agent's commission, and the landlord pays his own agent's commission. If they can (say) shave S$500/mo off that rent, the commission is money well spent.
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DimWit Kid
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Post by DimWit Kid » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 10:54 pm

No, what I mean is that I found a place listed in the rental listing in this site. Next I call the number here (6100....) and when I enquire about the place I was given another number. I was under the impression that this site has its own agent so I was surprised when I was asked to call the "listing agent" by SingaporeExpat operator. I even clarified with the operator that I'm not paying double commission (ie to that so called "listing agent" and to Singaporexpat agency) and was told the site gets its own arrangement with listing agent.

The rest of the (disappointing) story.. I've written on my last post..

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