Real Estate Agent Representation

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SingLaw
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Real Estate Agent Representation

Post by SingLaw » Sun, 14 Oct 2012 7:29 pm

I've searched the forum and there appears to be some conflicting information (perhaps even some deliberate misinformation) out there about what is "typical" in terms of representation in Singapore. I read some references to changes in the law and/or registration process for agents, but I'm still not clear what is the norm at present.

Thus, a few questions, all of which I am asking about for the rental market only:
1. When I look at any of the major property websites, there always seems to be a "contact agent" for any given property. Is this agent explicitly working for the landlord?

2. If so, then are any negotiations with that agent for that property only or can he or she steer you to another property?

3. Are there "renter's" agents where one can go to them and say, I would like to see, for example, 3 bedroom places in condos between $4000 and $5500 a month in district 4? Or does this sort of agent not exist in Singapore?

4. How much are the fees?

5. How are the fees usually divided if an individual finds a place to live without using a renter's agent?

6. How are the fees usually divided if an individual uses an agent to find a place to live?

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beppi
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Post by beppi » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 8:58 pm

[My post, quoted below, was meant as reply to another thread and is irrelevant here, thus deleted. I must have clicked wrongly, sorry!]
Last edited by beppi on Wed, 17 Oct 2012 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ebiburger
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Post by ebiburger » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 3:10 am

beppi wrote:To fill your stomach in the cheapest (most unhealthy and boring) way possible will cost you S$10/day. That means never eating out, hardly any meat or milk products, no soft drinks, etc. Not a life I want to live!
You must deduct that from your S$8000/year, and also another S$50/month for a handphone contract with Internet and an occasional call home, and another S$50/month for transport (assuming you only need a short bus ride to school and back, and hardly ever travel on weekends).
Then you have S$260/month left for accommodation, clothes, literature (academic books aren't cheap!). This is not possible!
The cheapest rooms available in Singapore at the moment are around S$600/month, and even student hostels on campus (with two students to a room, and no aircon) cost more than your budget (IF you can get a place there).

I myself lived a very frugal student-style life for a while, when I first came to Singapore, and spent just over S$800/month (incl. S$300 rent for half a shared room), but that was 20 years ago and prices have almost doubled since. A yearly trip home would have increased my financial needs to almost S$1000/month.
What was posted above is totally irrelevant to what was asked.

Some quick answers to questions posted.

3. Are there "renter's" agents where one can go to them and say, I would like to see, for example, 3 bedroom places in condos between $4000 and $5500 a month in district 4? Or does this sort of agent not exist in Singapore?

Yes, there are agents who would do that for you and draws commission from you.

4. How much are the fees?
1/2 month worth of rental as commission if you are renting for 6 months
1 month worth if you are renting for a year

5. How are the fees usually divided if an individual finds a place to live without using a renter's agent?
6. How are the fees usually divided if an individual uses an agent to find a place to live?

Diff between 5 and 6, (rent + agent's commission/12) per month
against rent/ month

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 8:55 am

ebiburger wrote:

4. How much are the fees?
1/2 month worth of rental as commission if you are renting for 6 months
1 month worth if you are renting for a year

5. How are the fees usually divided if an individual finds a place to live without using a renter's agent?
6. How are the fees usually divided if an individual uses an agent to find a place to live?

Diff between 5 and 6, (rent + agent's commission/12) per month
against rent/ month
I think the "typical" fees are actually One month rent for a two-year lease, and half-month rent for a one-year lease, plus GST. 7% is a fair chunk on a $3k/month lease.

Now I say "typical" because this fee is 100% negotiable. The prices above are just what they'll try to charge you. You and the agent can agree to anything. If you notice the above price system puts it in the agent's best interest to not show you cheaper properties. I would suggest coming up with a nominal flat rate, or better, a nominal flat rate plus a bonus based on how much less your rent is every month from the top end of your budget (Your agent makes more money if he finds you just as nice of a place at 3000 vs 4000 for example).

You can also just ask them to show you properties they are representing and offer no commission. They'd make the commission on the landlord half. You'd have to be willing to talk to numerous agents though as the selection between each will be limited to what they're showing.

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Saint
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Post by Saint » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:07 am

Don't pay any commission. If the agent is advertising an apartment, the agent is therefore acting for the Landlord, ask this from the outset and then you do not have to pay any agent fees.

ebiburger
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Post by ebiburger » Thu, 18 Oct 2012 1:02 am

zzm9980 wrote:
ebiburger wrote:

4. How much are the fees?
1/2 month worth of rental as commission if you are renting for 6 months
1 month worth if you are renting for a year

5. How are the fees usually divided if an individual finds a place to live without using a renter's agent?
6. How are the fees usually divided if an individual uses an agent to find a place to live?

Diff between 5 and 6, (rent + agent's commission/12) per month
against rent/ month
I think the "typical" fees are actually One month rent for a two-year lease, and half-month rent for a one-year lease, plus GST. 7% is a fair chunk on a $3k/month lease.

Now I say "typical" because this fee is 100% negotiable. The prices above are just what they'll try to charge you. You and the agent can agree to anything. If you notice the above price system puts it in the agent's best interest to not show you cheaper properties. I would suggest coming up with a nominal flat rate, or better, a nominal flat rate plus a bonus based on how much less your rent is every month from the top end of your budget (Your agent makes more money if he finds you just as nice of a place at 3000 vs 4000 for example).

You can also just ask them to show you properties they are representing and offer no commission. They'd make the commission on the landlord half. You'd have to be willing to talk to numerous agents though as the selection between each will be limited to what they're showing.
You are right, it should be 1 month rent for 24 months lease and 1/2 month lease for 12 months instead.

SingLaw
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Post by SingLaw » Sun, 21 Oct 2012 10:14 pm

Thanks for the replies all.

Now off to navigate the rental market.

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 22 Oct 2012 8:43 am

Looks like CEA just released apps for iPhone and Android:

http://www.cea.gov.sg/cea/app/newimplpu ... ister.jspa

I guess you can install this and check an agent's credentials or complaints record on the spot.

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