Singapore Expats Forum

Singapore Property Search

 

Agents

Discuss about where to live, renting a property, tenancy issues, property trend and property investment in Singapore.

Sponsored by:
Image
MetroResidences

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35160
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 3:04 pm

Don't misinterpret, there are those who give excellent service, but you really have to search long & hard and usually you don't have that much time to invest. But by the same token, it IS a two way street. Lord knows they are NOT mind readers.

Hannieroo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 996
Joined: Tue, 22 Jan 2013

Postby Hannieroo » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 3:12 pm

It is different here. But when you look at the all of the companies involved in an international move that provide a service that actually just facilitates then you have to look at why people pay top dollar to have somebody else look for their house, school, book their packers, do their pet's paperwork and book their flights. Because they cannot be arsed, they don't want to get it wrong in a new environment or they are just too damned busy. So based on that you would expect within the parameters of normal courtesy that the agent for whatever has signed up for that. Otherwise they would be doing something in a field that actually provided something tangible.

I have had some of the absolute worst service of my life here and some of the absolute best. Underwater world took a child's birthday treat that had dissolved into disaster and a crying woman and put it right back on track with good humour and kindness.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 3:46 pm

I know several realtors/estate-agents, and very few of them are wealthy.*

It is not far above bagging groceries down at NTUC, and you should expect no more of them than a person sitting at a shop cash-till. I'm in no way demeaning them, but this is my experience.



*The exceptions being those who 'own the shop'

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 4:25 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Here we go again. :lol:

Seriously, though, Singaporeans don't really have a concept of "service".

Well yes, but I though we've been talking about what is right and not how to circumvent the system by seeing the lame job as normal. Sorry, after all these years here I would think less of myself if I agree and accept some of the standard local practices. And it is not like while in Rome all because this is them who say it is not. Call me Don Quixote.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 4:34 pm

Our agent, who we like as a person and think he does pretty good job at least within the client-service provider communication layer told us once that when he goes out he lies about his occupation when asked. He knows what people, yes, also locals, think of RE agents in Singapore. With overall bad quality of the service around this tells a lot, but hey, ho, tada-boom, maybe not (hope I got the last part right).

User avatar
martincymru
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 481
Joined: Thu, 16 Oct 2008
Location: out & about

Postby martincymru » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 5:34 pm

It's a complex subject..... Agents etc.

One has to compare to contrast so here goes…….

In rough areas of the UK with high unemployment it's a tough game.

Conversely Agents here have it too easy. Some are good but most are amateurs I'm afraid. The business is too easy to get in/get out.

In addition the Tenants are scared (EP, police etc) so are reluctant to take any form of action against an agent or landlord. In the UK you would be in physical danger, believe me, if an agent played around with some tenants.

The standard of service generally across most sections of Singapore society is low. property sector is no different. No real answer, you have to fight your own battles.

stuckmojo
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon, 18 Mar 2013

Postby stuckmojo » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 5:35 pm

AS someone in a similar position to the OP, (flying in at some point to find somewhere to live) I find this thread a good source of information.

On the one hand, it seem that real estate agent are not part of the service industry. That's new to me and valuable info since I may have to be much more proactive than, let's say, if I were looking for a new place here in the UK.

On the other, I wonder what one has to do other than listing requirements, agree time of meeting and perhaps advancing some shortlisted properties, because that's what I understand the OP did.

Being on a tight schedule means that you can't sometimes be flexible enough to sit in a Service Apartment for 1 month waiting for the estate agent to come free.

So, from your collective experience, what's the best approach?

Not taking any chances.

Hannieroo
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 996
Joined: Tue, 22 Jan 2013

Postby Hannieroo » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 6:07 pm

They are part of the service industry. Far more than the UK because people rarely retain somebody there to source a property for them. It's more of a US set up if that helps.

Assuming you are coming in with a largish company then I'd ask colleagues. Other than what you've said you can't do more than state what you think you need. We always do a need list, so 4 bed, has to take dogs. Then a want list of things that we'd like in budget if possible such as utility rooms/ wet kitchens, bathtubs etc then finally we do a deal breaker list of things that are not acceptable at all which I won't list because no doubt I'll offend somebody. If walking to an mrt is a definite want then you need to be clear, if parking for two cars is an issue then say.

Personally, looking at agent profiles etc I wouldn't use anyone who plasters their face over the property pictures or uses the term revert but I am a grumpy old bitch about that kind of thing.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 9:02 pm

If you see that the agent does not perform, ignores your calls, takes you to places that are completely off your requirement list etc do not wait for a miracle but find another one. Still factor in what was said here before - an average quality is low, so don't get irritated on minor things like punctuality issues (15-30min margin is a standard). Once you find your place be extra careful with putting together the tenancy agreement (TA) - there is a number of thread covering it, but basically anything you want to have, have it in TA, no verbal promises etc. Also remember that letter of consent is worth nothing and is not a binding agreement. This is a double edge sword allowing you to escape form the contract even after the good will deposit was paid but also the landlord to get another tenant in place of you just by returning you the deposit.

katbh
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu, 04 Oct 2007
Location: Singapore

Postby katbh » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 9:04 pm

My experience of 11 moves in Singapore. Do not use an agent. Go on the websites, find the property you are interested in. Ring the agent tell them you are interested.
They will try to say, what other properties are u interested in - this is so they become your agent and you have to pay them. Do not be fooled.
Find a property or two you are interested in - tell the owners agents that you would like to see the property and negotiate for yourself. An agent has no interest in negotiating for you as any lower rent means that they get lower fee.
Offer 30% less than asking ( i know i will get shot down for saying this) but it is normal and usual. You will get a couple of hundred a month off your rental when all is said and done.
Do not allow anyone to be your agent - deal only with landlords agents and you will not need to pay a fee.
If they say the property is no longer available, it is often because they have put up a false ad just to get punters.
They will arrange viewings for you - usually viewing can be within 24 hours and most will be empty apartments/houses. Usually tenants leave before the property is put up for rental.
Negotiate on things to be done. Ask for curtains and painting etc, but then ... say.. hey, how about we do not bother and I will pay less rent.
Sorry for all you landlords out there, but expat landlords are different to the rest. Usually landlords DO negotiate significantly on rental and ARE prepared to do work , or reduce rental for forgoing the work.
What ever, in todays internet world of rentals, you should not need to pay an agent to find a property. Go for a drive around, look at the condos and the area. Search on . and call owners agents directly.
There is simply no point ( in light of the change to the regulations) in paying an agent to do it for you.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 9:54 pm

I agree that not using your own agent can be a very reasonable approach but I am not sure if this the best way to go for a freshly arrived person.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:49 pm

x9200 wrote:I agree that not using your own agent can be a very reasonable approach but I am not sure if this the best way to go for a freshly arrived person.



^ +1



[It's like suggesting a person in Europe find a place by fly-posting a neighbourhood... great for the opportunist that has years to find the cherry, but not the expat that needs a place this month.

dresch
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu, 28 Feb 2013

Postby dresch » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:54 pm

Back home you do all the leg work yourself (you pick up the keys and show yourself through most vacant properties), but here I was under the impression that the absolute bulk of people engage an agent - both as a landlord and as a tenant.

I'm busy, but not ridiculously busy. Having said that, if I agree a 2 year tenancy I don't pay agent fees, so I don't mind getting driven around from house to house. Ask me again in 2 years and I might do this myself.

I don't work in an independent business, because I am a lazy prick. And I have loads of sympathy for those who do. Mind you, as much as I'm sympathetic, that doesn't mean I won't shift my business elsewhere if I get burnt on plans that had been laid over a week in advance.

I know I came on here to have a moan, but geez some people like to get stuck in on here!

Anyway, turns out the agent is 'still pushing' to arrange viewings for this weekend. I'm not in a rush to secure anything, so will be interesting to see what comes of it.

What does everyone think of the suggestion you limit yourself to one agent? Seems absolutely sensible, and honourable. But everything I've heard in the last day or so suggests otherwise...?

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:10 am

Its bad enough as it is...


But, please, honour your obligations.


One agent....

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5272
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:

Postby the lynx » Fri, 28 Jun 2013 9:24 am

This post on rental/tenancy by kouichi4 is very good. I highly recommend anyone trying to understand the rental scenario in Singapore to read this.

http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic95093.html


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Property Talk, Housing & Rental”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests