Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Real Estate Scene in Singapore

In the course of my real estate career journey, I have seen the ugly and the beautiful sides of this industry in Singapore. Unfortunately, the ugly side takes most of the roles:

1) The unbelievable poor attitude of some realtors;

2) The wrong education imparted by some team leaders from various agencies to their down-lines;

3) Customers are culprits too. Yes.

4) Some solicitors with very little knowledge of conveyance procedures, try to prove their worth, push all the blames to the realtors, so as to get away with, because, the word 'solicitors' carries more weight than the word 'realtors' I supposed;

With all that, no wonder the stigma of 'cowboy industry' adheres to the industry, here in Singapore.

Agents with little or no knowledge of their prospects' requirements, often waste their time, their prospects' time and the co-broke agents' time, in the name of self-center.

Team managers imparting wrong education to their down-lines, is the birth of unethical agents.

Agencies and team managers who often grade themselves as the '1st' in the industry, cause the formation of goose bumps all over my body.This keeps appearing on the classified ads every single day with:

'The Number 1 Real Estate Agency'; or 'The Number One Team in ABC Agency'.

In Singapore, most property buyers prefer to deal with the number one real estate company and the number one agent. In my opinion, this is over-rated. Clients are misled, confused and overwhelmed by many number 1s out there.

Pages on the Singapore Classified Ads of The Straits Times will be a lot cleaner if the relevant department from the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice keeps a watchful eye on this.

Customers(Sellers/buyers) who do not respect the time of realtors and owners, often arrive late, without prior notice.No words of apologies when they have finally arrived at the scene, an hour later.

Customers' responsibility to pay GST to registered agencies, refuse to acknowledge the tax, openly ask the realtors to absorb that expense, which is rightfully the formers'.

The move by the Singapore government to regulate the industry, through the newly formed Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) will certainly help to eliminate the obvious. Strict rules are set to fine and or jail unethical agents who try to perform pressure selling; dual representation - receiving commissions from both sellers and buyers.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) role is to protect the consumers, which, I fully agree. However, there is a need to protect the agents too. The unethical and unprofessional practices by solicitors and consumers must be looked into as well.It is not fair to smack rules that penalize all agents when there are agents who are lawful, ethical and honest, suffer from the strict rules being imposed by the Ministry of National Development (MND).

I guess, it is the beginning and the approaches will be fine tuned as the industry grows, but, don't take too long please. The industry was given the opportunity to self-regulate, it is a real pity that, the opportunity was taken too loosely, resulting the lost of 10 good years.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Agents: Is It a Good Career Change?

You might be considering a career change and looking at being an estate agent. Real estate agents are the people that you will hire to look for a property that can be bought and will help you sell your property as well. They earn money through commissions if they get to make a sale or make a successful deal between his client and a seller or buyer.

Men and women can be real estate agents and it doesn't really require a graduate or degree course. You can choose to make it your main job or a sideline job. Another good thing about being one is that you can work from home and work at your own time. Working at home is an advantage as you can easily connect through the Internet and find properties for your clients. Building a network and posting advertisements will be your bread and butter in being a successful agent.

In helping you decide whether a good career change is, let us discuss about it in work details, earnings, requirements and qualifications and future career options. The first is the work details. Being a estate agent, you will need to meet your client's face to face and talk to them clearly about what they are looking for. You should take note of the specifics like location of the property, size of the property, payment options and the budget. Once you find good candidates for their clients, they should be open to bringing them there and showing them around. They are also the one who can meet up with lawyers regarding the legalities of property transfers.

How much do real estate agents earn? They earn via commission and that is around 1%-3% of the selling price of the property. It also goes to say that the bigger the deal you are looking for, the bigger commission you will be getting. But if you are working for an agency, you will salary and a part of the commission if you make a sale. If you own a real estate agency with a couple of business partner, then surely, you will have a revenue sharing policy at ha

What are the requirements and qualifications to become a real estate agent? Well, there is really none. You don't have to have a formal degree as anyone can be an agent. Most often, when you get accepted in an agency, you will undergo a training period to equip you with the right tools to be able to sell properties. However, there are some exams that you can take to become a certified real estate broker, which can be helpful in getting more clients and earning more.

What other career options can you have? Well, you will always need to start small. Since you are just new to the real estate industry, applying to an agency can be a good stepping stone for you to learn the ropes. If you feel like you have gained enough experience, you can be a freelance real estate agent or make a small company of your own and get a team of real estate agents on board.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Buying a Property in Singapore: Things to Take Note Of

Buying a property in Singapore is one complex area that can be difficult to comprehend. Because of this, getting the help of real estate agents is advantageous especially when it comes to finding the right kind of house, apartment or condominium that will suit you and your family. Properties in Singapore are either sold through a leasehold tenure or a freehold tenure. A leasehold tenure means that the owner can hold the property in perpetuity while a leasehold tenure provides for a certain period of ownership, wherein the property gets returned to the State upon the tenure's expiration.

When it comes to foreign ownership, foreigners were allowed to own property in Singapore since 2005. Properties such as apartment units or condominium units were called strata titled properties and did not need the approval of the Singaporean government. However, buying a property in Singapore requires the approval from the Singapore Land Authority was needed if the property consisted of land such as bungalows and houses. When it comes to those covered by the Housing Development Board, foreigners are not Permanent Residents or are not corporate bodies cannot buy an executive condominium coming from the open market. Instead, they had to contact the developer.

When buying a property in Singapore, finding the right kind of property is part of the game. Seeking the help of professional real estate agents will be of good use because not only will they ensure proper documentation of everything but they already have a working knowledge about the Singaporean real estate market thereby making it easier for you to pick your choice. In choosing an agent, you can request the Institute of Estate Agents for recommendations. When buying a property in Singapore, it is also important to secure the assistance of a solicitor. Compared to the agent who does the leg work in looking for the right kind of property for you, the solicitor handles the legal issues as well as conducts a title check making sure that the ownership and title to the property is legitimate.

The process of buying a property in Singapore requires the solicitor who will lodge a caveat with the Singapore Land Registry in notifying the public that the buyer has interest over the property just to make sure that the property is not the subject of any adverse notice and the like. In connection with this, the solicitor can also check into the seller's reputation and credentials making sure that any renovation or alteration on the property was legally made and approved, and if not, request that it be corrected at this expense.

Buying a property in Singapore also requires that you narrow your choices down and schedule a viewing. After this, and you have already made your choice, you will be required to sign an Option to Purchase document that specifically calls for a 14-day period within which you will decide whether you will buy the property or not. There is not caveat still at this stage because you have not signified your intention to buy just yet. At this stage in buying a property in Singapore, you will have to have at least one percent of the purchase price available already. If the purchase pushes through, then you will have to exercise this option and send the document to the seller's solicitor. At this stage, at least nine percent of the purchase price should have already been paid.

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