The property market in Singapore is thriving and there are many local agents who are willing to help you buy or sell a property. But how do you know if the property agent is any good? It may be tempting to just go with an agent that your family and friends referred to you. Besides, they’ve been through the transaction process before and you trust their judgement. But housing needs vary from person to person, and your best friend’s ideal living conditions may be vastly different from yours.
So rather than throwing all caution to the wind after receiving a referral, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions to help you decide which property agent to engage:
Questions to ask when looking for a property agent:
- Is your property agent registered with CEA?
- What kind of properties does he/ she specialise in?
- What is his/ her track record of selling properties?
- How does your property agent source for buyers?
- How frequently does your property agent provide you with updates?
How to check if your property agent is registered with CEA
This criteria is non-negotiable. The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) legally requires all practising property agents in Singapore to be registered with their respective property agencies. Real estate agents operating without a licence can be fined up to $75,000 and imprisoned for up to three years. While you won’t be directly slapped with fines, you definitely won’t want to become collateral damage after your property agent’s illegal activities have been discovered, either.
There are many ways to spot whether or not a property agent is CEA-registered. For one, all registered agents will have a unique CEA registration number with six digits and an alphabet at the front and back (e.g. R123456A). This registration number, along with their name or mobile number, can be keyed into CEA’s Public Register for instant verification. You should check if their personal information, from their name to their contact number, matches their CEA records to ensure you’re not talking to a property agent impersonator.
Speaking of the law, real estate agents are not legally allowed to represent both parties in a transaction due to a conflict of interest that may complicate the transactions. We talk about how to recognise potential conflicts of interest in more depth here.
What kind of properties does your property agent specialise in?
As much as property agents say they’re a jack of all trades, most are likely a master of one. While this is not always the case, most property agents will specialise in transacting a certain type of property, be it a HDB or private property. And honestly, that may be better for you.
Property Agent X may be better at selling resale HDB flats and Property Agent Y at private properties. Who do you choose between the two?
It’s simple: The agent who sells the type of property you’re selling too.
So if you’re selling an HDB flat, it would do you good to find a property agent who’s had proven success in selling HDB flats.
Thanks to CEA, you can actually check if your property agent is more experienced in selling HDB flats than private properties. You can visit their Public Register and you’ll be able to find a property agent’s transaction records from the past 2 years.
How to check your property agent’s track record of selling properties?
Once you’ve found your property agent on CEA’s Public Register, you may click ‘View more details’ and you’ll be brought to their agent page, where you’ll find:
- HDB resale records
- HDB rental records
- Private rental records
- Private resale records
The best thing about this is they will indicate the town the property was sold in, which will also give you an idea of not only which type of property they specialise in selling, but also the area where they’ve sold the most homes.
Ohmyhome Note: These records are updated on the 15th of every month, and only show transactions that were completed within the last year, from the date of access.
How to know if your property agent can find you buyers
Being able to match sellers with buyers, or buyers with the right listings, may very well be the hardest part of the job for property agents.
And not everyone has access to the kind of technology that automatically does the seller-buyer matching for property agents, making it that much quicker for your home to be sold to the right buyer.
We’ve compiled a list of buyers’ preferences from this short questionnaire, which is easily accessible on the Ohmyhome website, that asks a series of questions ranging from a buyer’s budget to the location. This information is fed into an algorithm that matches sellers with buyers by sending the listings that match a buyer’s preferences directly to the buyer’s inbox.
What’s even better is that these buyers are not just casually shopping around for a home. They are actually ready to make a purchase if they find a unit that matches their preferences.
So when you engage Ohmyhome services, your listings have a higher chance of getting viewed by ready buyers who may call for viewing at any time.
How frequently does your property agent provide you with updates?
While property agents are also workers who deserve boundaries and work-life balance, it is also equally important for you to receive regular updates on your transaction status when it comes to something as time-sensitive as selling your home. After all, there could be penalties to pay if you fail to complete documentation within stipulated time periods, such as losing a $1,000 option fee by defaulting on an Option to Purchase. Therefore, you don’t want a property agent who has a habit of leaving you hanging while you’re waiting for a reply.
So while we can’t expect property agents to respond immediately 24/7, reliable property agents should respond within one or two working days, more so if you’ve already committed to facilitating your transaction with them. This includes not just negotiations with the opposing party, but the aforementioned market trends and other relevant updates so that the process is as transparent as possible every step of the way.
At Ohmyhome, you won’t just have a property agent on your side, but a Relationship Manager as well. So when you have an urgent question, you can immediately drop them a text on WhatsApp and you will get response in less than a minute.
Frequency of updates aside, the details within included updates are equally as important. Dealing with a property agent who lowers or even increases the valuation of a home arbitrarily without proper justification is likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards. Especially so when you discover further down the road that a similar property was transacted at a better price. Good property agents will be able to back up their valuation claims with relevant data. (You won’t have to worry about this with Ohmyhome. Read how we get to your home valuation here.)
Get a second opinion with Ohmyhome’s full-service property agents
Even if you have already decided on a property agent, we’re here to provide you with a second opinion so that you can make a more informed property purchase decision with confidence. Whether you’re buying, selling, renting, or leasing, Ohmyhome’s property agents offer the full suite of services you need to ensure that all your bases are covered and that your property transaction is both financially and legally ironclad.
We don’t just have property agents to help you transact your home. From renovation to aircon servicing, mortgage, and legal conveyancing, we remove every single stumbling block that lays between you and your property goals. Don’t believe us? Check out our track record of home transactions that have been processed three times faster than the industry average. So leave all the paperwork heavy lifting to us and focus on the things in life that truly matter.
With a track record of helping 70% of our clients sell above e-valuation, Ohmyhome also ensures that you get every buck possible from your home sale. This is possible thanks to our extensive database and far-reaching algorithm that takes into account past transactions, current valuation and market performance so that you know exactly how much your property is worth. Coupled with the lowest fees in the real estate property market, you simply won’t find a better deal than us!
Looking to sell your HDB flat or private property?
Sell your home for a high price in no time, hassle-free. Our Super Agents are CEA-certified and among the Top 1% in Singapore. With more than 8,000 happy customers served, we’ve garnered 4-star ratings on both Facebook and Google! Because at Ohmyhome, we‘re always by your side, always on your side.
Secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents by contacting us via one of the links below or downloading our app. Let us help you make the best decision for your biggest, most personal asset: your home.