Buying a property is one of life's major decisions and having a property agent can greatly benefit the navigation of this decision.
We can view life in chapters — where we segment different stages of our lives into chapters. Different people may segment their chapters differently, there isn't a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. However, we have identified some trigger events in which you may be looking to purchase a (new) property:
When you get a promotion and your earning potential increases.
When your BTO HDB reaches its Minimum Occupation Period.
When you're growing your family — resulting in size requirement increases.
When you come into money (ie. receiving a big payout for your property en-bloc).
Beginning Your Search
Of course, you can search for a property yourself. In fact — we recommend and encourage all our clients to do so via PropertyGuru to have an idea of what the current market is like. Insofar that we've created 5 top tips on using PropertyGuru.
As you search for your property be it in the resale or new launch space, you will inevitably gravitate towards questioning yourself if you should engage a property agent.
What do Property Agents Bring To The Table?
You can essentially think of your property agent (or real estate agent) as an extension of yourself, armed with the market's expertise. Your property agent will:
Work with you to understand your real estate objectives — e.g. self-dwelling or investments.
Perform a mini-audit of your financials to ensure that you understand your own current financial status and any potential new commitments to your new property.
Explore your lifestyle requirements. e.g. Ensuring you're in a location to have your child attend the school of their choice.
Help you analyze and perform comparative analysis for you to equip you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
After deciding on the location(s) based on the initial consultation, your property agent will compile a listing of all possible units and property for you, based on your financial standing, and provide a timeline of the next steps.
A Balancing Act: Selling to Buy
If you are selling a property to purchase another property, your property agent will also have to assume the balancing act of bridging the selling and buying of your homes, so that seamless transition is achieved without having to rent a place and write off the potential loss incurred during a rental period.
An example of a bridging timeline we've provided one of our clients.
Once your timeline is established, the real benefit of your property agent would come next — their network. Great property agents have a strong pipeline of buyers and sellers, hidden listings so to speak which are not on listing sites like PropertyGuru or 99.co.
Selling: Viewings and Offers
There is a lot that goes into getting a unit ready for sale. From staging, photography, and even videography, your property agent will bring in their team of media experts to get your property all dressed up.
Then they will start bringing potential buyers to your unit for viewings and act as a liaison between the potential buyers and you, conveying offer prices and counter-offers till you've agreed upon a sale.
Buying: Shortlisting A Potential Unit
Concurrently, you would be on your own viewing process — heading to units with your property agent
Once you have shortlisted a property, your property agent will introduce you to a banker (while they may have recommendations and contacts that you can leverage upon, ultimately you'll decide on the bank of your choice) to obtain a Loan Approval In Principal. This is required in order to submit your option to purchase.
Buying: A Note on Commission
A great thing for private property buyers is that you do not need to pay a commission to your property agent. This is because your agent will perform a "co-broke" with the seller’s agent — and as a result, the commission of both party's agents is paid for by the seller.
However, should you be purchasing an HDB unit, you will be required to pay 1% of the purchase price to your property agent as their commission.
3 to 4 Months Journey
All in all your real estate agent will have to see through the whole process which may take up to 3 or 4 months.
Are you ready to perform all these steps and more alone? What happens should your selling or buying timeline gets delayed? Do you know where to engage a lawyer for your documents? If you're able to manage and work through these roadblocks and unforeseen challenges yourself, we'd love to talk to you and find out how!
Before embarking on this journey alone, we recommend for you to be entirely clear about the process.
The Benefit of Engaging a Property Agent
So, at the end of the day, the benefit of engaging a property agent is something you will have to decide on your own.
In short, having the correct property agent will provide you with:
A second set of eyes on every document.
A guide who's familiar with the processes and is accountable to your timeline.
An expert to negotiate on your behalf (buying and selling).
Staging your property to fetch a higher price (selling).
A network of ready buyers, listings, and professionals.
Fundamentally we believe that working with the correct property agent will provide you with ease of mind. If you're in the market to work with an agent, we'd love to be a part of your decision-making process!
If you're all set on your own — all the best!