Saturday, February 06, 2010

Tricks by property agents

Some property agents used unethical means to mislead the buyers into paying a high price for a property or sellers to sell the property at below the market. In some cases, they pocket the difference. There are other property agents who are honest. Share your experiences here.


Anonymous said...

Mr Tan
I rented my property two years ago. I paid one month rental to the agent for a two year lease. Recently, my tenant wanted to renew the lease. The agent wanted to collect additional commission from me for the renewal. She showed me a clause in the tenancy agreement that I have to pay her additional commission for the renewal. I was not aware of this clause. The agent put into the agreement without my knowledge.

I checked with my friends who rented out their property, but they do not have this clause. Should I pay the commission?

STG said...

An agent walked into my dad's shop, claimed that ready buyers are willing to pay 1.3mio.

Few weeks later, walked into shop again with a cheque of 10,000. says buyer now pays 1.0mio firm. take it or leave it.

wat a joke! frivolous buyer? or wishful thinking on agent's part? tryin to make a spread of 300k?

Anonymous said...

I sold my EA in 2006. My agent, after not able to sell in 2 months, colaborated with a potential buyer's agent and tried to press down my expected price by $30,000 below the valuation. We quarrelled and he keep telling me that based on his experience, that is the best price. I refused to talk to him and deal directly with the potential buyer agent. In the end I got the price I want i.e. $5k below valuation.

I sold EA East and bought a EM in the North. At this moment, I have a paper gain of $150k to $200k but very relentant to sell due to excellent location ie near to schools and supermarkets.

Lessons learnt:

i) Stand firm, do your homework and don't believe everything the agent says. One easy way is to look at HDB resale site for the latest and past transacted price. This is a good guide.

ii) Sell high buy high or Sell low buy low. I did my selling and buying in the same month thus minimize the volatility impact in the future.

iii) Becareful with bank loan.
Executive at the 4 vertical & 1 horizontal sticks bank encourages me to loan max to take advantage of 0.4% of loan amount rebate for lawyer fee. When I did my maths, the interest was crazy. Worst is this viariable interest loan package was 3.25% first year, 3.5% second and 3.75% third yr, jumped within a year. Now is at 4.5% and has not come down even though FD and interbank loan rate has hit the bottom.

As my objective was to use my sold HDB to pay my new purchase, I basically pay down the loan without penalty and owed them about $2k after 2 months installment payment in 2006. Then I wait through the 2 & 3 years locked in. Now, I wanted to redemp but faced with a $700 lawyer fee to take back my title from my bank. Since I only pay <$25 a month for loan installment, I just let it runs it's course and treat the bank as my safe deposit box for my title.

C H Yak said...

To Anon. 10:00 am

With intention to cheat, that is fraud by your agent...a criminal act which you can file a police report.

From Contracts Laws, it is an "unfair" term.

What defines the principle of unfair terms?

(1) Has not been individually negotiated.

(2) Causes significant imbalance in the parties rights and obligations.

(3) Contrary to the requirement of good faith.
(1) "Has not been individually negotiated" encompasses terms of which the consumer has not had the opportunity to mould. Terms that have been individually negotiated are outside this regulation, the contract however, and other terms, may be.

(2)"Causes significant imbalance". This requires the term to be to the detriment of the consumer and benefit the seller or supplier to an excessive degree.

(3)"Contrary to good faith". In the complex case of Director General of Fair Trading v First National Bank, the bank's seemingly unfair interest term was found to be in good faith as the term guarded the bank from a possible situation of receiving no interest defeating their business objective.

In your case, it is certain that the term has not been individually negotiated.

Anonymous said...

They sound similar to insurance agents.As long commission is behind a sale these agents will resort to cheating.

Ivan said...

I advertised to sold my HDB flat myself (i.e. Seller has no agent).

One agent brought his buyer to see my flat and sealed a deal. I told the agent very clearly that i am not paying commission. He said noted.

During paperworks, he asked me to sign an agent's commission form together with a stack of documents. I said i am not paying commission. He then said this is a HDB requirement to a complete submission. I called HDB and ask twice and HDB confirms there is no need to sign commission form if seller is not engaging agent to sell. So i did not sign despite being pressured by the agent.

In the end, the agent gave in and submit the documents without a commission form signed by the seller.

Actually, for HDB resale, HDB has a strong helpdesk to help sellers & buyers with their resale procedures.

Also, it is good to go through a course (CEHA - Common Examination for Housing Agents) to get familiar with the real estate landscape and procedures in Singapore. Students do not need to be agent to do this course but the knowledge gain will be invaluable for the rest of his/her life.

Parka said...

To the first comment, Anoy 10:00 AM, just cancel your contract with your current tenant and have your tenant sign a new rental contract. In that case, it's no longer a renewal.

Of course it depends on what your contract stipulate

Anonymous said...

I was looking for a HDB n found one unit on Property Guru. I did not get any agent to represent us n make a call for viewing.

After paying 1K for OTP, the agent make us sign e commision form to pay him 1% comm.. we refused but after hour of negotiation, we have to "force" to sign e comm form as he says it's is a norm to collect comm from both seller n buyer. We were very frustrated with the whole process.

Anonymous said...

???? marketing gimmick by newspaper to prop up economy???

No!!! not true for most agents!!! most agents are hardworking!!! governments and agency leaders please protect them through fair laws, guidelines and practices!!!!!

sanskriti said...

I agree.. There are both kinds of agents. Some of them really are fraudsters who just want to make money. But, fortunately my experience with real estate agents was good. They really helped me. People, who want to buy property in India, can visit this site or call at 800-232-2343 or 0120-4338222 for any query or further detail about the various projects, price or location etc.

james said...

If the HDB tenancy agreement got the clause saying have to go back to agent to do renewal and pay standard commission. From my understanding, standard commission is 0.5 months from each landlord and tenant. Is this unfair term?

Furthermore, which law, say that landlord cannot talk to tenant on the tenancy agreement. An agent told me so, like a warning. wtf.

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