Confused - agent fees

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x9200
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Post by x9200 » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 12:02 pm

Hidy Ho wrote:I'e read about 1/2 to 1 month commission structure in Singapore and am not opposed to paying this to get a place that suits my need. Just not sure how commission structure works in renters favor as it seems like it gives the agent no motivation to get me the best price possible as it can decrease their commission.

Nobody is sure. It simply makes no sense at all and if you unlucky enough you will have a proof of this.

Also, this forum appears to be run by or sponsored by a real estate company so not sure if it's ok to start a thread asking for good an honest real estate agent recommendation?

While oxymorons can make the discussion more alive and pleasurable they typically do not contribute well to the problem solving part :P If you think I am exaggerating I can tell you this: our agent told us once he is hesitant to tell anybody what he does for a living when he meet up with other people on more social ground. In other words, do not have high hopes for any recommendation.

What you can do is:
- not to use an agent - if you contact an agent advertising the property this is not your agent so you don't need to pay her/him anything.
- negotiate a fixed commission at the moment you hire somebody

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Post by Hidy Ho » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 12:58 pm

x9200 wrote:While oxymorons can make the discussion more alive and pleasurable they typically do not contribute well to the problem solving part :P If you think I am exaggerating I can tell you this: our agent told us once he is hesitant to tell anybody what he does for a living when he meet up with other people on more social ground. In other words, do not have high hopes for any recommendation.

What you can do is:
- not to use an agent - if you contact an agent advertising the property this is not your agent so you don't need to pay her/him anything.
- negotiate a fixed commission at the moment you hire somebody
Why do I get a sense that finding a good and honest real estate agent is as easy as finding a good and honest used car salesmen in USA :shock:

If fixed commission is acceptable business practice, then I may consider this route. My main concern is to get someone working for ME and not the LL (which I figured out means LandLord) and get me the best possible rental term, get all the legal stuff squared away and help me to get settled down in a new country with one less thing to worry about.

Hidy Ho <--- drives a BMW and will never buy a Mercedes - and do believe Honda and Toyotas are fine cars :)

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Post by luminoso » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 3:19 pm

Hidy Ho wrote: Why do I get a sense that finding a good and honest real estate agent is as easy as finding a good and honest used car salesmen in USA :shock:

If fixed commission is acceptable business practice, then I may consider this route. My main concern is to get someone working for ME and not the LL (which I figured out means LandLord) and get me the best possible rental term, get all the legal stuff squared away and help me to get settled down in a new country with one less thing to worry about.

Hidy Ho <--- drives a BMW and will never buy a Mercedes - and do believe Honda and Toyotas are fine cars :)
If you have all these misgivings, you can simply choose to work for YOURSELF and not deal through an agent at all. It's that simple. The work that agents do is relatively simple and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to be able to handle it.

If you want an agent who works for YOUR interests, then you have to pay them fees. The current commission structure is based on CUSTOM, not on the hard letter of the law. Because real estate agents are all self employed and the industry is perfectly competitive (with little to differentiate one agent from the other), they usually adopt the same sort of fee structure. There is simply no hard and fast rule stating how much they are allowed to charge, and you are better off asking them about this upfront.

However, you will need to understand that the agents' commission (based on CUSTOM) is pegged to two factors:

1) Monthly Rent

2) Duration of Lease

So it is understandable and perfectly reasonable for them to not be overly enthusiastic about negotiating for a lower rent on your behalf.
What you need to do is tell them upfront that your budget is $XXXX and you will not be prepared to pay even one dollar above that, and if they keep 'recommending' you properties that are above your budget, you will walk. You need to be firm.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 4:25 pm

Hidy Ho wrote:Why do I get a sense that finding a good and honest real estate agent is as easy as finding a good and honest used car salesmen in USA :shock:
Because they come from the exact same mold. Just badge engineering (like a lot of GM products). :wink:
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 zzm9980 » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 9:57 pm

Hidy Ho wrote: Hidy Ho <--- drives a BMW
Without an expat package you won't be for long! :p

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Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 10:00 pm

Also, a lot of companies that put you on a relocation (not ex-pat) package will arrange for you to have local "orientation". They have arrangements with realtors who will help find you properties and show you around. It will all sound great, and you may even assume the company is covering all of it. But you'll probably still be on the hook for the Agent's fee. I didn't realize this until I was already signing paperwork. My bad. For reference, my company used "Orientations Asia", so if you get the same company, beware. Let them show you around, get their find properties and take you to see them, then "go think about it" for a day or two. Go online and check out some sites and find a comparable place yourself.

Also, that fee is subject to GST. So it's actually another 7% on top of that 1 month's rent.

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Post by Hidy Ho » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 11:50 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Hidy Ho wrote: Hidy Ho <--- drives a BMW
Without an expat package you won't be for long! :p
This part, I already know as I was in Singapore for a year on a project back in 2001 (living @ Sheraton on Scotts Road) and lived in Bangkok 2001 to 2004 (drinking) :(

I'm actually looking forward to my carless lifestyle in a place with great public transportation (something we truly lack in USA). Beside, I think they drive on the wrong side of the road like GB or Australia.

Regarding relocation orientation, that's good info and thanks. I will follow up with the company when I'm there late October to flush out the details.

If anyone knows of any god and honest agent, let me know ;)

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wannamove
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Re: Confused - agent fees

Post by wannamove » Mon, 10 Oct 2011 6:41 am

wannamove wrote:I have been searching this forums and pretty much everyone says there is no need to pay agent fees if your rent is more than $2500. I contacted a couple of agents and they say 2 month rent as fees. They also mention that the new law makes it clear that they can charge fees.

So is there something called a new law? Is there a link/reference that I can show to the agents to say I know what I am talking about and that I will not pay agent fees

Also if I do not have an agent but contact an agent through craigslist listings will I have to "pay" any fees?

Thanks
Just thought I will update everyone - I told the agent I was talking to that I have heard otherwise about the fees and she reverted back telling that she will not charge us anything if we sign a 2 year lease and the rent is 3000$+

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Mon, 10 Oct 2011 6:46 am

Great for him, but what if you get canned after 9 months?

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Re: Confused - agent fees

Post by BillyB » Mon, 10 Oct 2011 8:50 am

wannamove wrote:
wannamove wrote:I have been searching this forums and pretty much everyone says there is no need to pay agent fees if your rent is more than $2500. I contacted a couple of agents and they say 2 month rent as fees. They also mention that the new law makes it clear that they can charge fees.

So is there something called a new law? Is there a link/reference that I can show to the agents to say I know what I am talking about and that I will not pay agent fees

Also if I do not have an agent but contact an agent through craigslist listings will I have to "pay" any fees?

Thanks
Just thought I will update everyone - I told the agent I was talking to that I have heard otherwise about the fees and she reverted back telling that she will not charge us anything if we sign a 2 year lease and the rent is 3000$+


That's pretty normal for SG. See if you can push them further and take a one year deal with the option to renew after 12 months at the same price and still pay no fee's to the agent??!! :wink:

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Re: Confused - agent fees

Post by wannamove » Mon, 10 Oct 2011 10:30 am

BillyB wrote:
wannamove wrote:
wannamove wrote:I have been searching this forums and pretty much everyone says there is no need to pay agent fees if your rent is more than $2500. I contacted a couple of agents and they say 2 month rent as fees. They also mention that the new law makes it clear that they can charge fees.

So is there something called a new law? Is there a link/reference that I can show to the agents to say I know what I am talking about and that I will not pay agent fees

Also if I do not have an agent but contact an agent through craigslist listings will I have to "pay" any fees?

Thanks
Just thought I will update everyone - I told the agent I was talking to that I have heard otherwise about the fees and she reverted back telling that she will not charge us anything if we sign a 2 year lease and the rent is 3000$+


That's pretty normal for SG. See if you can push them further and take a one year deal with the option to renew after 12 months at the same price and still pay no fee's to the agent??!! :wink:
Interesting - I like the way you think and now I need to train my mind to think like that. I am going to try talking to my agent again. I will update once I hear back

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