From day 1, we’ve encouraged Singaporeans to DIY their entire property transaction to save on fees. We’ve provided guides and step-by-step processes to make sure you don’t make any mistakes that could screw up a deal halfway.
While that remains our top priority, there are times when having an experienced agent can help make things just that much easier. Even the most experienced and savvy professionals who have purchased and sold multiple properties themselves, engage the services of an agent to help them with all transactions.
Here we cover the top 5 reasons why you may want to engage an agent even though you can DIY.
1. Professional knowledge
There is a Chinese adage that loosely translates as “10 years offstage equates to a minute of glory onstage”. It means that while it may look easy and trivial for a professional, regardless of industry, who may seem only to require mere minutes to complete a task, laymen may be unaware of the blood, sweat and tears shed to acquire the expertise to perform said task with such ease. It is the same for real estate agents, who have to pass the increasingly stringent Real Estate Salesperson (RES) examination set by the Council for Estate Agencies.
Most realtors take at least a couple of tries to pass the examinations, while some have been known to doggedly try more than 10 times before passing. Given the uncompromising industry regulations have to go through and the intensive knowledge real estate professionals have to possess, it is highly likely they will be able to handle your transaction with ease while responding to any hiccups and tricky situations.
In such situations, attempting to DIY a transaction that is not so straightforward may have you realising too late that you may require to have an expert by your side to help you deal with it.
2. Non-emotional negotiations
Like how doctors never operate on their next of kin as the physician’s personal feelings may unduly influence his or her professional medical judgement, handling your own HDB transaction may put you at a disadvantage in negotiations as your emotions or personal sentiments may get in the way.
Having emotional attachments to something as intimate as our own home, we may also overestimate its value and affect rational decisions in a sale. Inexperienced buyers or sellers may also reveal too much information that may jeopardise their stand in a negotiation.
Having a professional step in to do the deed for you not only removes the awkwardness of having to fight for your desired price tag, but they can also serve as the voice of reason to help you make prudent decisions in your transaction.
3. Tapping on the network
Unless you are a savvy marketer, you are unlikely to have the same ready network of clients and fellow agents as a real estate professional. Agents usually have a team or division whose network they can tap on to complete real estate transactions more effectively. This also means they have an experienced support system to fall back on should they run into issues they have never encountered before.
When you DIY your own transactions, your resources are limited to online platforms and your own network. You may have to rely only on posting on social media, which is unlikely to have a large enough pool of friends who are in the search of your particular property right now.
For Ohmyhome, we digitised this pool of buyers using a technology built from the ground up called MATCH. This allows us to have a database of not only buyers, but buyers who have also set their specific preferences so we know exactly who would be on the first list of buyers searching for the property you’re selling.
And this qualification method brings us to the next point, where you are likely to receive a great deal of false hope.
4. Filtering out the duds
Having a real estate professional is like having a filter that sieves out the serious buyers from casual browsers, or worse, the trolls.
When you DIY your own transactions, you are not only putting out your personal information, but you are also giving a lot of strangers your contact number and address, if it gets to the viewing stage. This is hardly safe for you and your family, especially if you have children or the elderly at home.
Getting a professional not only adds a level of security to the filtering process of sussing out the serious buyers, but the agent will also serve as a “privacy shield” so only crucial or relevant questions come through to you. This will save you a ton of frustration as you can avoid answering silly, awkward, or irrelevant personal questions.
5. Not dealing with people
On the same note as Point 4, agents can help detect any shady intentions in a transaction. They are trained to identify red flags, file reports on suspicious transactions, and put their client’s best interests first. With this in mind, having an agent helps ensure the legitimacy and legality of your transaction, which could prove to be a lifesaver if you run into shady buyers or sellers.
We’ve heard of these individuals, maybe even are acquainted with one or two of them. Those who are way too busy in the day to think about their housing needs, and only get to their long to-call list at night — and it just so happens you are one of those sellers they want to enquire with. While that’s a good thing, it is 2 a.m. and you’re snug in bed, asleep. Do you really want to be awoken in the middle of the night? Or attend to phone call after phone call when you are trying to relax with your loved ones on the weekends? Having an agent means you have a paid professional who will handle all these individuals for you. We can assure you the commission you pay your agent will be worth every cent for your mental well-being and peace of mind. And if your property agent is from Ohmyhome, you also get a Relationship Manager whom you can contact for any random questions and who will answer you in just a manner of seconds.
A trusted representative
Similarly, you could be in a social engagement, at work, or even just enjoying your me time when your phone rings and a potential buyer wants to do a viewing right now, or fix a viewing where you have a clashing appointment. Your lovely time has been interrupted and you are now in a fix.
Having an agent resolves the pesky issue of prospective buyers asking for viewings at inconvenient timings. Your agent can simply hold the viewing for you while you continue with your day-to-day tasks without a hitch.
With Ohmyhome, you can either just DIY using our app or just engage an agent, or do both! You can download the Ohmyhome app here and list your home for free, and engage any of our Super Agents by dropping us a message via our Live Chat at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen, or WhatsApp us. We’ll be in touch with you in less than a minute.