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Thread: Token fee

  1. #1

    Default Token fee

    Have a friend who recently found an apartment/condo to rent. On top of all other fees, the broker has asked for a "token fee." If my friend does not agree to the "token fee" the broker says she will find another renter.

    Points to consider
    The rent is more than $3000. I've been told under $3,000 there is a "token fee."
    Broker does not want to give NRIC number.
    Friend found this rental on her own w/o any real estate agent or broker's help.

    Is this the normal practice; a "token fee"
    Share your infinite wisdom

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Token fee

    Quote Originally Posted by happyshot View Post
    Is this the normal practice; a "token fee"
    Share your infinite wisdom
    I'm not sure about the culture here, but "token fee" sounds like an euphemism for "bribe".

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Token fee

    as long as its stated on paper its above board, if not...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Token fee

    Quote Originally Posted by happyshot View Post
    Have a friend who recently found an apartment/condo to rent. On top of all other fees, the broker has asked for a "token fee." If my friend does not agree to the "token fee" the broker says she will find another renter.

    Points to consider
    The rent is more than $3000. I've been told under $3,000 there is a "token fee."
    Broker does not want to give NRIC number.
    Friend found this rental on her own w/o any real estate agent or broker's help.

    Is this the normal practice; a "token fee"
    Share your infinite wisdom
    You mentioned your friend found the apartment without broker's help. Why is the broker in the picture Isn't the tenant negotiating directly with the landlord ?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Token fee

    good question, one that i asked myself.
    apparently the landlord advised my friend that she must deal with the broker otherwise he (the landlord) can be sued.

    I have heard of things like this happening before where the landlord and "broker" are working together to suck more money out of potential renters.

    in my opinion, the landlord can directly deal with the tenant as long as there was no third party such as broker to help with the deal. In other words, if i wanted to rent from you, and you insisted that i deal with a broker, then in fact you, the landlord, should be the one to pay the broker's fee. I reach this conclusion simply because if the broker is representing the landlord, then the landlord will be the one to pay the so called "token fee," not my friend ( the broker represents the landlord, not my friend).

    so really, what is this token fee the broker is asking for, and if not received is telling my friend he will rent out the apartment to someone else?
    my gut feeling is that this a scam to get more money out of her.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Token fee

    From my understanding the most common agreement signed is an exclusive. It means that the landlord gives sole right to one agent to market his or her property. I don't know if the landlord finds someone on his or her own accord, does it mean the exclusive is void as it only states the landlord cannot get another agent in.

    Just to share, my friend who is renting out her place. Does not sign an exclusive. In fact she tells her agents that she is too working on her own to find an tenant. So it's a matter of who ever is hard working, who will get the commission. If no one delivers and she find her own tenant.. then too bad to the agents.

    There is no such thing as below 3000, there is a token fee.

    In my opinion, I think you friend is a victim of an dishonest agent. If the agent was proper and doing the right thing, he would not hesitate to give his ic number. I believe what he is asking for is illegal. Would advise your friend to either give up the place or if she really wants to get justice, to find out which company is the agent from and write to that company. And also write to the press. Basically blow the matter up high. Such dishonest agents give the property industry a bad name.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Token fee

    yar...

    report to the company.
    write to the press
    report to the authority.

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    Default Re: Token fee

    well if i will u , find another place , there plenty of $3000 apt around . dont bother abt the unit . just move on ....

    well it all up to the tenants to give or dont give that all . usually anything above $2500 . tenants dont have to give . it all up to the tenants if there like the house or not


    in commission they no hard or fast rules rules . it only a guideline .

    report to the company. at the most ask to leave maybe not , if he/she bring more $ to the company he/she get to stay . company only interested if u can bring in $

    write to the press . usually they dont entertain unless it big cases like cheating landlord or tenants . like sin ming paper ( gossip paper)

    report to the authority. there no authority - like police . they will say no case . if u want to give . give lor . unless he cheated u then u can file report . ( those IEA or SAEA or other are not the authority they are just like a company earning $ that all )
    Last edited by generalsales; 6th August 2008 at 11:46 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Token fee

    I think at this point in Singapore we (or I ) have had too much of "moving on."
    Sometimes for the betterment of even a few, we need to address issues so that collectively we can then move on with resolve.

    I see it from the point of view that one day it may be your mum in her old-age that may be taken advantage of in a situation like this. I think brokers who do this must be exposed so that all in the industry know there is a consequence... and then we can all move on knowing we are protected a bit better.

    so does anyone know about this "token fee?" Besides bribery, why is a broker asking for a token fee and threatening to cancel the deal if the token fee is not paid?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Token fee

    well to be honest , the agent just want to earn more $ , be it a token or service render fee . it still up to u to give . . even today the paper mention that the standard rules of commission would be abolish . it up to the agent to set the commisssion now .

    Quote Originally Posted by happyshot View Post
    I think at this point in Singapore we (or I ) have had too much of "moving on."
    Sometimes for the betterment of even a few, we need to address issues so that collectively we can then move on with resolve.

    I see it from the point of view that one day it may be your mum in her old-age that may be taken advantage of in a situation like this. I think brokers who do this must be exposed so that all in the industry know there is a consequence... and then we can all move on knowing we are protected a bit better.

    so does anyone know about this "token fee?" Besides bribery, why is a broker asking for a token fee and threatening to cancel the deal if the token fee is not paid?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Token fee

    edited by unknown force
    Last edited by ninelives; 6th August 2008 at 08:41 PM.
    Objection !!!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Token fee

    Quote Originally Posted by generalsales View Post
    well to be honest , the agent just want to earn more $ , be it a token or service render fee . it still up to u to give . . even today the paper mention that the standard rules of commission would be abolish . it up to the agent to set the commisssion now .
    would other sales jobs oso follow suit let staff set commission?

    society becoming more & more like cowboy town. rules & regulations seems to just vanish...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Token fee


  14. #14

    Default Re: Token fee

    why do u need a token fee when the broker will earn a commission out of it?

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    Default Re: Token fee

    My guess is the owner signed an exclusive agreement with the agent (so called broker), typcially agreed to pay 1 month rent to agent as agent fee, then your friend found this condo on his own and wanted to rent, so the owner refused to pay the agent fee, and re-directed the agent to ask the tenant to collect his fee. I guess yr friend can just ignore the agent (so called broker) to demand any fee. Eventually the agent will collect the fee from the owner anyway.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Token fee

    Based on the details you mentioned - that they found the apartment directly without an agent - it's just a way for them to get more money from your friend (this "agent" or "broker" could a friend or relative of the landlord).

    I've heard of landlords who pretend to be agents so that they get both the rent and the agent fee from the renter.

    As an aside, having lived in a few different countries - Singapore is the first country I've seen where the renter (and buyer for that matter) also has to pay the agent a fee - usually it is just the landlord/seller that pays the fee to the agent for helping to find tenants/buyers (since they are the ones getting money out of the deal)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Token fee

    Quote Originally Posted by gooseberry View Post
    Based on the details you mentioned - that they found the apartment directly without an agent - it's just a way for them to get more money from your friend (this "agent" or "broker" could a friend or relative of the landlord).

    I've heard of landlords who pretend to be agents so that they get both the rent and the agent fee from the renter.

    As an aside, having lived in a few different countries - Singapore is the first country I've seen where the renter (and buyer for that matter) also has to pay the agent a fee - usually it is just the landlord/seller that pays the fee to the agent for helping to find tenants/buyers (since they are the ones getting money out of the deal)
    In HK the agent gets commission from both sides, if I remember it was half a months rent from both sides, so total one month rental as a fee for agent.......

    My agent in Sengkang last time also asked for half month from me and half month from owner.....

    HS

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Token fee

    In my case I asked the agent to find a flat, so it is normal in my opinion to pay the agent as a tenant.....

  19. #19

    Default Re: Token fee

    Thanks for all the help, much appreciated.

    Yeah, my says when she talked to the owner he mentioned something about getting sued if he talks to her, so i am assuming exclusivity.

    Regarding the broker, he already made threats to keep her deposit if she does not pay the other $800. I'm beginning to think because she found the place without the broker, yes, the landlord does not need to pay the broker. However, I think the landlord and the broker spoke and agreed to pinch more money out of her.

  20. #20
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Token fee

    Quote Originally Posted by happyshot View Post
    Have a friend who recently found an apartment/condo to rent. On top of all other fees, the broker has asked for a "token fee." If my friend does not agree to the "token fee" the broker says she will find another renter.

    Points to consider
    The rent is more than $3000. I've been told under $3,000 there is a "token fee."
    Broker does not want to give NRIC number.
    Friend found this rental on her own w/o any real estate agent or broker's help.

    Is this the normal practice; a "token fee"
    Share your infinite wisdom
    "token fee" in another words he wants commission lah... cos it is $3000 he cannot say directly he want comm so he say token la... snice he say token give him 50cts la... thats also token!

    As for ur friend who have found the place without the agts help... she can no need to deal with him... provided he is not the exclusive agt.

    But if the landlord has an exclusive agent working with them normally they would want to go through the agt not that to squeeze more $$$ from the tenant but landlord esp if they are first timers they would like to have some one more experience to handle the case and hassle free as there are due deligence check to be done normally its the agt who does it n etc...!

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