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DIY or Agent/Basic Information On Property


             Sellers or Buyers can sell or buy without engaging a Housing Agent (DIY - "Do It Yourself") or engage a Housing Agent.


http://www.oocities.org/sg/yslc5830/1ps_Scenery3a_Water_Lilies.JPG2.           "The engagement of housing agents has its benefits such as handling of the advertising, viewings of flats, obtaining and submitting forms etc. They are familiar with the government rules and procedures and can assist you to smoothen the transaction process." One pays the agent for the value and quality of service. One should not just judge the value of work by the actual physical work or how simple it can be done. DIY may be cheap but could get one into many problems and loss, financially and emotionally, too.

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3.           See Procedures - Buy Flat With Or Without Engaging A Housing Agent. One can do-it-yourself (D-I-Y) to sell one's property and this may save oneself from paying commission but this is not easy as can be shown below. One is more likely to employ a real estate agent whose services include determining the asking price to negotiating with prospective buyers and conducting the sale including procedural paperwork. As property transactions are not simple or straightforward transactions, it is not certain how successful are D-I-Y cases. Property transactions are also affected by the constant changes in law, regulations, procedures affecting property. One of the latest changes include "From 1 Jan 2007, HDB requires all potential flat buyers who intend to obtain an HDB loan to apply for an HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter before committing to buy a flat. For buyers of a resale flat, they must obtain the HLE letter before they exercise their Option to Purchase."


4.          Sellers presumably wish to sell property at or near asking price and want to sell fast so that they can get the money quickly. It is natural and easy to wish selling at prices one wants. But it is not always possible. Quite often the buyers find the asking price unreasonable or too high. This is where the real estate agent come in, to advise if the price is around the market price. He does so from experience, comparative studies as well as analysing the latest property trend and data. If the price is too high, prospective buyers will not be interested. No point to put up for sale.

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http://www.oocities.org/lc_ys2003/4zp_yishunpark_yoga_area.JPG5.          Although a reasonable price may influence a quick sale, it is not enough. It has to be marketed or advertised through the agent's network of resources, newspapers, internet, signboard placing infront of the property to give it a wide exposure, etc.


6.          Real Estate Agent's service also include advising how to conduct the sale and how to enhance the value of your property to attract buyers, quicken the sale and achieve the highest reasonable price possible.


7.          If there are many prospective buyers, a competent agent will be able to assess and size up the most prospective buyer and work towards achieving the highest reasonable price possible. The agent's competency comes from his motivation, experience and training, including negotiating skills and verbal and body language skills etc. Without qualifying buyers, must precious time would be wasted.


8.          Whether buying, renting or selling property, is unlike straight forward retailing or shopping. It is complicated and involve large amount of money. It can be messy and problematic if not done correctly. Loss of money and sleep would also be worrisome. For tenants, finding the right property with conducive amenities and environment is crucial for their physical and emotional well being especially foreigners and permanent residents (PRs) working in Singapore.  Security and safety should also be well considered.

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http://www.oocities.org/lc_ys2003/4zp_batam_directionofSpore.jpg9.          To D-I-Y, one should have a good knowledge on property matters and on how to avoid many tricky situations. Law, rules, regulations, procedures, interest rates etc relating to property are wide ranging, complex, and they change rather frequently to adapt to changing situations.


10.        Here are just some of the problems/disruptions in property transactions, not meant to exhaustive:-


a.         Seller's ownership of property (title) not ascertained or has lost "Duplicate Lease" .


b.         Seller or buyer undischarged bankrupt or served bankruptcy notice.


c.         Seller did not /cannot pay upgrading fees using CPF before submission of application forms thus causing delay


d.         No consent from spouse to sell HDB flat


e.         Divorce proceedings & property is matrimonial home involved.


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f.          Seller / Buyer cannot decide when to submit application for sale and purchase of HDB flat causing delay. Delay cause change to ethnic proportion and disruption to contract.


g.         One of the sellers is away and cannot attend appointment personally and no special legal arrangements made.                                                      


h.         Action by HDB pending against seller for infringements of Housing & Development Act. 


i.          Caveat lodged by third party


j.          Property being sold by administrator or executor for estate after owner died.


k.         Seller cannot deliver vacant possession as he has no place to shift to or stay and cannot shift out on completion of transaction.  


l.          Seller has not completed minimum period of occupation due to period of rental.

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m.        Seller did not make good any renovations/alterations not approved.


n.         Buyer has not enough financial resources in time to buy property.


o.         Buyer has no or not enough documents to support his application and may be more other reasons not foreseen here.


11.       The following are some of the important steps in the type of transactions as indicated:-


a.             Seller


(1)     to get the best price and sell fast i.e. to set Target Price through:


(a)    Transacted prices


(b)    Caveats lodged to reflect latest transacted prices


(c)        Current asking prices in the market.


(d)       Where necessary/possible, valuation reports.

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(2)        ensure eligibility to sell such as


(a)      verify status of the property in terms of title


(b)      verify the particulars to ensure only deal direct with actual owners or his Power of Attorney if applicable.                                                                                   


(c)       minimum occupation period satisfied (HDB),


(d)      marital status clearance (such as divorce which will affect approval for sale of properties esp HDB property),


(e)       owner not bankrupt or has approval to do so.


(3)       qualify the buyer such that the sales procedure is not disrupted leading to conflicts and legal action:-


(a)       eligible to buy re financial plan


(b)       Obtain In-Principle Approval letter from bank for financing or confirm eligibility to get a loan before committing.


(c)        eligible to buy re bankruptcy cleared, etc

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b.              Investors and Buyers


(1)        to get the choice property at the best price possible through extensive search - developers projects, various property for sale databases, networks and contacts, media, etc.


(2)       ensure the eligibility of owner to sell:


(a)      verify status of the property in terms of title


(b)      verify the particulars to ensure only deal direct with actual owners or his Power of Attorney if applicable.


(c)       minimum occupation period satisfied,


(d)      marital status clearance (such as divorce which will affect approval for sale of properties esp HDB property),


(e)       owner not bankrupt or has approval to do so.


(3)        qualify the buyer such that the sales procedure is not disrupted leading to conflicts and legal action:-


(a)       eligible to buy re financial plan including ability to service instalments throughout.


(b)       eligible to buy re bankruptcy cleared, etc 

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c.              Landlord


(1)        to get the best rent and best tenant


(2)        help to ensure that landlord does not get into trouble with the law (E.g. see  Immigration and Control Authority on Due Diligence Procedures).


12.       Valuation is important in determining the correct price. But still, most important is that maximum exposure ensures that the best / highest price possible is obtained. Maximum exposure also implies much increased effort, knowledge and cost in marketing. This is my commitment.


13.         Here are some of the important legal and other requirements:-


a.     foreigners or Singapore PR are NOT ELIGIBLE to purchase Landed Property. They can apply to the Land Dealing Unit to seek approval and the Option to Purchase has to include a statement something like this -  "The sale and purchase is subjected to the approval of the Land Dealing Unit". Click Urban Renewal Authority link for more website information.

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b.       the need to follow set standard procedures to ensure that rentals or  accommodation are not provided to illegal immigrants etc. Failure to do so may lead to prosecution. Click Immigration & Control Authority-Due Diligence above re verifying Immigration Passes and Work Passes for more information.


Immigration Control Authority - Due Diligence

Guidelines on Work Permit Validity Checks


14.       Do not be involved in any cash back arrangements when buying or selling property. Cash back is illegal and not worth being involved. Better to have peace of mind.


15.        The Institute Of Estate Agents or IEA, provide the Recommended Commission Guidelines for payment of commission to real estate agents (house agents or housing agents). IEA stated that it's objectives are to promote and protect the interests of real estate agents as well as the interests of the public who engage the services of IEA members.


16.        It is important to select an agent who can show how your property is marketed and evaluate the chances of success in terms of exposure and realistic pricing using analysis, reports, market segment assessments etc. Also assess his professionalism, reliability, commitment, honesty etc. Moreover, there must be ongoing co-operation and discussion between the agent and his client base on realistic data and market conditions to sharpen the edge and close the transaction.

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17.        I am associated with C & H Properties Pte Ltd. Our team won the top sales team award during the recent C & H Group Annual Awards 2005.


18.        Majority of the property are sold within 3 months through extensive marketing / maximum exposure for best price. Some properties were even sold within 2 weeks to 2 months. Exposure and pricing are key factors in the success rate. Although, proof of past performance is no guarantee of future success, records do show some extend of reliability and level of service.


19.         I am a professional House Agent with Cert-in-CEHA.




a.           The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), the licensing body for house agents in Singapore, implemented a Common Examination for House Agents (CEHA) in April 1996. The aim is to raise the standard of practice in estate agency business here. The Common Examination is conducted by a Board of Examiners which comprises officials from IRAS and representatives from the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) and Institute of Estate Agents (IEA). Click here ->  S'pore Institute of Surveyors & Valuers.

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b.            A pass in the CEHA examination is one of the minimum pre-requisites to apply for a House Agent's License under the Appraisers and House Agents Act. For more info click ->  Criteria For Granting House Agent Licence. The Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) has been appointed as the Secretariat for CEHA, under the direction of the Board of Examiners for CEHA.


c.          Under the new Accredited (SAEA - Singapore Accredited Estate Agency Scheme:-


(1)        60% of all Agents must have CEHA by 1.1.2007;


(2)        80% of all Agents must have CEHA by 1.1.2008 and


(3)        100 % of all Agents must have CEHA by 1.1.2009.


d.            Go to this website CEHA Course Contents for more information.

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