Buying or selling a house is a major milestone and let’s face it, met with all those large numbers, it might be tempting to scrimp and save wherever you can. These days, with so much information available online, many choose to take the DIY route to avoid paying a commission fee to a property agent.
But it is one of the biggest transactions you will probably handle in your life. There is plenty of research, paperwork, and back-and-forth involved. If unfamiliar with the property market, you might just end up losing out even more -- the last thing you would want.
In such cases, it might pay to hire a property agent, But even then, how do you choose the right one for you? Naturally, many turn to top-rated real estate agents. We are here to make the case that this might not always be the best option.
A property agent is essentially a middleman being paid a commission to find the perfect match between buyers and sellers. When you pay a property agent, you are paying for all the legwork they do -- the research, scheduling of showings, the paperwork, the list is endless.
While intuitive to get a top-rated agent, they often come with a hefty price tag, one that does not always mean you’ll be getting the bang for your buck.
The standard commission rate is 2% for selling a resale HDB or private residential property. However, if you have friends or relatives whom are realtors, they could provide you a special commission rate from 1.5% to 1.8%.
To put the fate of your dream home into a stranger’s hands takes great trust. It is undeniable that top agents have the know-how, strategies, and connections to find you the right house or buyer.
But the fact of the matter is that a top property agent will be juggling multiple clients and a tight schedule. While other agents might go above and beyond to educate you about the market, top agents simply do not have the time.
In the same vein, top agents are often racing against the clock. Faced with the pressure of hitting their sales targets within a time period, they might not place your interest above theirs.
When it comes to selling your house, at the first hint of an offer - whether it is below or just meeting your asking price - they just might urge you to take the offer in an effort to close the deal fast. Caught between a rock and a hard place, they may not go the extra mile to negotiate a higher amount, to your detriment.
In the real estate industry, some of the top property agents are notorious for not co-broking with the buyer's agent.
They are unwilling to share the pie with the buyer's agent as they will earn a much lesser commission.
"If I could make 2% commission for the sale of this $1.5M condo, why would I make do with just 1%?"
Remember that top property agents are ranked based on the gross amount of commission they earn.
Even if the buyer's agent can offer to pay a higher price for the house than a direct buyer, the seller's top agent may not convey this attractive offer to the seller.
So, the seller is kept in the dark and did not manage to sell at the highest possible price.
The behaviour of some top agents are unacceptable and against the code of conduct based on CEA regulations.
Whether your property agent is the most well-known agent in the market or a fresh new property agent coming onto the scene, when you’re selling your property, prices are pegged to the market rate.
Having the biggest name out there as your property agent hardly translates to being able to sell your property at a premium.
Regardless of reputation or qualifications, finding the right fit is the most important factor in choosing an agent. After all, they are the person you will work closely with to find your dream home.
Ultimately, someone you get along with and can communicate effectively with makes all the difference in your property journey. And who knows, choosing a lesser-known agent you are in sync with can be just like finding a diamond in the rough.
When all is said and done, property agents in Singapore often hold similar qualifications. The crucial factor in choosing the right agent is to choose the person you believe will go over and above to ensure you get the best deal.