Reimbursing real estate agent for the taxi rides???

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crelfma
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Reimbursing real estate agent for the taxi rides???

Post by crelfma » Sun, 02 Jan 2011 9:36 pm

Hi all,

I am new to Singapore and have a question regarding using the service from a real estate agent. I'll start with describing the situation.

I have been in contact with a real estate agent here in Singapore for a over a month now (just emailing back and forth since I was still living in the US until last week). I told the agent what exactly I'm looking for in housing over email (very detailed with bullet points). The real estate agent and I went out looking at 6 different properties after I arrived in Singapore. After a whole day of viewing, none of the properties the agent showed met my requirements. A day after I went out with the agent, I found a place on my own and signed the lease and didn't go thru the agent I was working with.

So now, the agent I worked with is asking me to reimbursing her the cost of the taxi rides when she was taking me around to view the properties. The agent said she's asking because she spent a lot of time searching for properties for me. Is this a common practice of a real estate agent in Singapore? Won't the cost of the taxi rides be considered one of the "operating expenses" for being a real estate agent? Should I reimburse the agent for the taxi rides?

Thanks!

Singapore Property Search

 

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 02 Jan 2011 10:19 pm

Tell her to get stuffed.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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ksl
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Post by ksl » Sun, 02 Jan 2011 10:49 pm

Most agents have to bare the cost of marketing themselves, so they do rely on closing a deal to cover costs, the taxi fair would normally be absorbed in the closure of a deal within reason. You cannot expect to eat up all the agents profits by running around in a taxi's without paying towards the cost. Then drop them can you?

Though you have cut the strings of the working relationship with the agent, I would say you are liable to pay the costs of transportation if taken to SCT. In fact our agent never ever paid taxi, they just arranged to meet at the locations, or they had their own car.

I think conscience should play a little role here, the agent has gone out of his way to supply transport for you to view the locations, I would feel they are justified in requesting you pay the bill, as you decided not to use there service after all. Though you have used the service for a day viewing properties and must pay for that service.
If you think its too much then negotiate meeting half way

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 12:16 am

Afraid to disagree. When you are in a commission based business, your expenses are yours. You are self employed for all intents and purposes. Advertising (which is the showing of houses) may or may not bring in revenue. If you target the right message to the wrong market, or the wrong message to the right market. You spend money that doesn't produce revenue because of not listening to your clients. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. If your clients specified a 3K/mo budget and all the units you showed them were for 3.5~5.5k/mo, why should the potential renter have to foot the bill? Sorry, cannot agree.

I'll stand my by earlier post. Tell 'em to stuff it.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:52 am

I'm with SMS, strangley. Why should the agent without a car be compensated when an agent with a car is not, other than from closing a deal?

If the agent doesn't have a car, even a cheap second hand one, then that is the agent's business not 'mine' and honestly speaking......a property agent is required to be mobile so if he/she doesn't have a car then i would view him/her in a poor light, bordering on unprofessional but anyway 'new' when given the benefit of doubt.

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 11:09 am

If I go for shopping I do not expect to pay the shop assistant for showing me some goods even if I do not buy them later. This is how it works. Besides, there are a few jobs only with such high return from such low time, money and legal risk expenditure as for the SG real estate agents while dealing with the tenants. That's why so much scam is here attracted. Even if the whole taxi travelling was the OP's idea this is the risk the agent was supposed to take agreeing on this.

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prkravi
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Post by prkravi » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 11:39 am

Simple, the agent is trying to squeeze whatever she can, taking advantage of your status as a foreigner. You dont need to reimburse that in my opinion.

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Re: Reimbursing real estate agent for the taxi rides???

Post by curiousgeorge » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 1:13 pm

crelfma wrote:Singapore. After a whole day of viewing, none of the properties the agent showed met my requirements. ... The agent said she's asking because she spent a lot of time searching for properties for me.
Hahaha I love it. One of the things you come to realise in Singapore is that property agents don't do any searching at all, nor do they care much about your requirements. They will show you what they want to show you, usually whatever will get them the highest commission.

It is truly odd that a property agent's commission is based on your monthly rent...how is it in *your* agent's interest to get a lower rental value for you?! It reduces the commission!

Yeah, I agree with SMS, tell them to stuff it. THEN hit them with a bill for your daily salary for wasting your time showing you properties that didn't meet your criteria...see what they say ;)

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Post by ev-disinfection » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 8:20 pm

highly unprofessional agent or a newbie agent,
if she wanted money for showing you the apartments, she should tell you before hand and not ask after.

The right thing to do is to gracefully congratulate you on finding a place that you like, and in this way, you might even intro her to your contacts.

Lower or higher rental is not the point, as volume business speaks louder than a 1 time "high commission". and recurring business is what she should aim for.
Cheers

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 9:29 pm

ev-disinfection wrote: Lower or higher rental is not the point, as volume business speaks louder than a 1 time "high commission". and recurring business is what she should aim for.
Cheers
Unfortunately, that is a western concept. Singapore has always been a "let's get what we can from 'em before they leave - they won't be back anyway" and that's why she has the reputation that she does. It's gonna take a lot more people like yourself to change the mindset here (and a lot of dying off of the older generation).

Once tarred, it's hard to get it off. :-|
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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ksl
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Post by ksl » Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:11 pm

Okay, Okay I'm overwhelmed! :oops: :oops: :oops: USA + 1

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Post by durain » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 11:19 am

she is one TIGHT estate agent. next she will add in her phone bills as well!!!

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Post by beppi » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 1:04 pm

If a lady at one of the little stalls in the supermarket offers you a small bowl of the pre-packed food she just prepared, it is clearly with the goal of you buying some.
What would you say if, when you don't buy any, she asks you to pay for the expenses of the trial portion?
Show exactly the same reaction to this agent!

crelfma
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Post by crelfma » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 3:58 pm

Thanks for all the replies. The agent is a newbie and I thought it was very unprofessional for her to ask for the reimbursement. I just want to make sure this is not something normal in Singapore and I definitely don't want any problems. :)

Cheers

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 04 Jan 2011 8:37 pm

Just to add, some agents would go far as to even pick up clients from their office and ferry them to the property and then back to a convenient MRT station.

Or even buy them refreshments :D

None of these entail any obligation.
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