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As Singaporeans, one of our best qualities is our frugality. Wherever and whenever we can save the extra buck, we do it. And if there is an option to do it yourself, the better. But is it really worth skimping when it comes to buying and selling properties? There’s no doubt that you can buy or sell properties yourself. Hey, it’s the 21st century. It’s easy to just post your listing online, for free. But then again, should you?

A property agent’s job is more than just settling paperwork or posting properties online to bait buyers/sellers. In this article, we hope to broaden your mind to duties of your property sales agent and the many perks that come with finding a great agent.

In 2019, 81% of Sellers and 46% of Buyers used an agent (*data only available for HDB market)

It is crucial to make a distinction between buying and selling. The number of individuals buying property without an agent has undoubtedly increased over the years, with the ease of property portals providing individuals with the ability to search for relevant listings and information. On the other hand, we think sellers benefit the most from hiring an agent, and the market evidently agrees. With that in mind, let’s get started onto the first of five points on why you should use a property agent!

1. A smooth transaction aka an easy experience

It comes to no surprise that when you use a property agent your job will be 10 times easier. That’s the main reason why people hire agents in the first place right? Well, not really there’s a lot more to it than that. A smooth transaction only touches the surface. So what do we mean by that? To simply put it, your agent does everything. From the paperwork to dealing with buyer/seller enquiries, even the aggravating ones that waste your time, posting on property portals, coming up with creative ways to market your property, handling the property viewings, following up with interested parties, negotiating with the buyer or his agent, etc etc. 

2. The paperwork - budget, finance, loans, cpf rules & regulations, conveyancing, etc

While you may not be fully equipped with all the knowledge, property agents are. They know everything that has to do with real estate matters such as financing regulations, bank loans, stamp duties, ideal conveyancing lawyers to work with, etc. Even though buying or selling a property may look straightforward, there is so much that goes into it. For example, do you know how much down payment you have to make for your property? Do you have the right budget? Or what about Seller Stamp Duty, Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD), is that something that you have to pay? How much accrued interest have you incurred on your CPF that needs to be paid back?

As a tie in to the previous point, engaging a property agent helps ease your mind and act as a guide through your process so you have a better and smoother experience. Not only do agents have the knowledge when it comes to this stuff, they also have the right contacts such as home loan specialists, conveyancing lawyers, which will be a great asset to you.

3. Knowledge of buyer sentiment and potential pricing

A sales agent has the knowledge and the means to find data or information that will aid in the process of buying/selling a piece of property. For example, they are able to extract information such as resale transactions which will help to better price your property and give you an insight into how much properties in your area or in your condo have been bought or sold at. These types of information are crucial because they give you an idea on the market price so you don’t wrongly price your property by either inflating or deflating the price.

4. Knowledge on transaction process

When you hire an agent, he or she would walk you through the entire transaction process of buying or selling. In this step, they would go through with you the prices that have been transacted in the location of your property (as explained in the previous point) based on the type of property that you are selling. Buying or selling your property is a big ticket transaction, which only happens perhaps two or three times in your life. So why take the risk when you can get someone experienced to guide you through the process. This way you won’t make wrong decisions that may cause you to lose a substantial amount of money.

5. Better marketing on property portals

It’s no surprise that only property agents are able to post listings on portals like PropertyGuru or 99.co, and that in and of itself puts property agents on a different league when it comes to expanding reach to potential buyers. Various DIY websites (e.g. Averspace, Snappyhouse) have come and gone in the last few years, simply because they are unable to compete effectively with the large property portals. Think about it, when someone is thinking of buying or renting a place, they immediately think PropertyGuru. That is where they usually begin their search. And if your property is not on that platform, you’re already missing out on thousands of views.

We will follow up with a next article on how to pick the right agent. So do check back on this blog.