Possible to buy property without going thru (paying) an agent?


Gymrat76

Senior Member
May 10, 2004
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#1
Always been a bit curious about this, whether its possible to be a direct buyer without having to pay or go through an agent. Lets say we see something listed in the newspaper or property website and contact the seller's agent directly, we view and agree on a price. The seller's agent cannot represent both sides, and so will try to still 'eat' both sides by getting a friend to represent one or the other. Can you insist in not going through any agents and do all the paperwork on your own?
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#2
Always been a bit curious about this, whether its possible to be a direct buyer without having to pay or go through an agent. Lets say we see something listed in the newspaper or property website and contact the seller's agent directly, we view and agree on a price. The seller's agent cannot represent both sides, and so will try to still 'eat' both sides by getting a friend to represent one or the other. Can you insist in not going through any agents and do all the paperwork on your own?
I believe someone posted something on this recently... There are avenues to lodge a complaint against the seller's agent for doing so, as this is possibly deemed as unfair practice.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/kopitiam/1053060-horrible-property-agent.html

I believe legally you can indeed do such a thing, but sadly, it seems that from all accounts, the game is rigged and you will usually end up being unable to buy the property.

Should I use a real estate agent? What does an agent do? | Singapore Watch

Most people don’t want to deal with the hassle of dealing with seller agents when co-ordinating viewings of flats (4). Often, if you make calls to ads in the classifieds, you may be told the unit is not available anymore, and are asked “Do you need help looking for any other units?”.

Actually, the unit never existed, and agents do make bogus ads to ‘fish’ for buyers requiring their services. By saying you need help, you are verbally engaging them for their services.

There are also cases where after you view a flat and want to put down a deposit, the seller’s agent will demand that you pay him a commission too. If you refuse, and make an offer, you’ll get a phone call later saying that ‘the seller has rejected your offer’.
 

Gymrat76

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May 10, 2004
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#3
Thanks for the reply. I feared as much

In that case, I'd rather get my friend who's an agent to represent us when buying, rather than to pay commission to someone who didn't do anything in the first place.
 

spgohjc

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Dec 21, 2007
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#4
Why can seller agent represent you? One agent is enough to close the deal and doesn't make sense to get you another agent or he will have to share the commission if I understand you correctly. Besides it is not ethical to go through agent and then behind him to under cut him to escape the fees. In addition the seller generally don't do that or he might get sued if there is an exclusive right. The agents are out there to earn a living and do respect their profession. It's like do you want to take wedding photos for others for free. I don't.
 

fotoudavid

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2005
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#5
yes you can. and be firm.

it is quite easy and the most will visit the HDB more often.
 

melvin

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Jun 4, 2005
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#6
Always been a bit curious about this, whether its possible to be a direct buyer without having to pay or go through an agent. Lets say we see something listed in the newspaper or property website and contact the seller's agent directly, we view and agree on a price. The seller's agent cannot represent both sides, and so will try to still 'eat' both sides by getting a friend to represent one or the other. Can you insist in not going through any agents and do all the paperwork on your own?
About 90-95% of the properties in the markets are represented by agts unless you are lucky enough to find a direct seller. It is also almost impossible to go without an agent, unless you don't mind spending time to go through the whole procedure, attending hdb seminar, ding dong-ing around and risk of your case being thrown out by hdb ... with due respect how many flats will you buy n sell till now or in your life time? Will you be selling / buying more then an agent? I am not saying u cant do it without agts but due to the ever changing Relgulations in HDB n govt implimentations which always adds to the already confussion. I would rather pay to have a hassle free and a peace of mind for my transcation.

True that the sellers agent cannot collect from both side. Even you were to insists without agts to help you with your paperwork, in the code of cunduct n ethics, the sellers agt are oblige to 'help' you with the paperwork to ensure smooth transcation for their sellers.

The sellers agt (agts duty) will also inform that the buyer side is without agt n might have a risk of the case not going through.
So with this in mind the seller can choose weather to carry on with the deal. So you weigh your own pros and cons.

Best if you have a friend in the industry get them to represent you at least they will ensure a smooth transcation for you.

Like some say don't save on the penny and lost the pound!
 

melvin

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Jun 4, 2005
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#7
Thanks for the reply. I feared as much

In that case, I'd rather get my friend who's an agent to represent us when buying, rather than to pay commission to someone who didn't do anything in the first place.

Yes best is get your friend to be involve from making phone calls to appt. pay the comm to someone you know rather then a stranger right? ;P
 

melvin

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Jun 4, 2005
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#8
Why can seller agent represent you? One agent is enough to close the deal and doesn't make sense to get you another agent or he will have to share the commission if I understand you correctly. Besides it is not ethical to go through agent and then behind him to under cut him to escape the fees. In addition the seller generally don't do that or he might get sued if there is an exclusive right. The agents are out there to earn a living and do respect their profession. It's like do you want to take wedding photos for others for free. I don't.


I think the TS is not talking abt going from behind under-cutting the agts. TS is asking weather can he be not represented.
 

Gymrat76

Senior Member
May 10, 2004
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#9
Why can seller agent represent you? One agent is enough to close the deal and doesn't make sense to get you another agent or he will have to share the commission if I understand you correctly. Besides it is not ethical to go through agent and then behind him to under cut him to escape the fees. In addition the seller generally don't do that or he might get sued if there is an exclusive right. The agents are out there to earn a living and do respect their profession. It's like do you want to take wedding photos for others for free. I don't.
Do not jump to conclusions without properly understanding what I just said. I suggest you re-read my original post again
 

Gymrat76

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May 10, 2004
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#10
Thanks for the information Melvin. Will go through my friend for all dealings henceforth, if nothing else but to increase the chances of getting a flat :bsmilie:
 

spgohjc

New Member
Dec 21, 2007
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#11
Oh I am sorry. Buyer can DIY and save on the commission but not advisable because if I assume it's a hdb it's quite a hassle.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
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#12
You pay an agent because he did something useful for you. An agent represents you, the principal. You can choose not to have an agent and DIY.
A house is one of the biggest purchases in one's life. Don't mess this up by trying DIY if you do not know how.
For example, if you are buying a multi-million dollar landed property and you DIY and did not check the caveats on the property, then too bad.

Pay to learn.

The hard way.

Choose an agent because:
1) he is trustworthy
2) he is an expert and knowledgeable
3) comes from a reputable and well established real estate agency

and NOT
because he is your "friend".
 

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s1221ljc

New Member
May 7, 2006
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#13
Always been a bit curious about this, whether its possible to be a direct buyer without having to pay or go through an agent. Lets say we see something listed in the newspaper or property website and contact the seller's agent directly, we view and agree on a price. The seller's agent cannot represent both sides, and so will try to still 'eat' both sides by getting a friend to represent one or the other. Can you insist in not going through any agents and do all the paperwork on your own?
Hi Gymrat76, its possible to buy a HDB flat without appointing an agent to represent you. Its very straightforward & quite failsafe, just check with HDB on the procedures & requirements. As the HDB is involved, they make sure everything is in order & they advise you accordingly. Thousands of flats have been bought this way. I myself bought a flat 3 times doing all the paperwork myself with no hassle or problem. However, if you are a first timer & you have no confidence in understanding processes & handling paperwork, or you find dealing with a bank to obtain a loan complex & tricky, then its best you get an agent to help you & pay him a comission for his services. If no bank loan is involved, its definitely much easier & smoother since only HDB & CPF is involved.

Seller's agent always try to get a cut of an additional 1% from the buyer, in addition to the 2% from seller, in such a case. You just point out its unethical or inappropriate for him to represent/advise both parties as there will be a conflict of interest, & you are literate & competent enough to do the purchase yourself. There is no law that you must appoint an agent to represent you. Emphasise that he as agent for the seller has to act in the seller's interest & that if you are a genuine buyer & knows what you are doing, he has no right to refuse to deal with you on behalf of the seller.
 

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ringoping

New Member
Dec 2, 2007
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#14
Sometimes you or your agent respond to an ad in the newspaper, the agent who picks up the call might not be the seller's agent. So when you visit the house, you will see another agent who is actually representing the seller.

Be alert.
 

ahboy168

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Mar 30, 2009
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#15
Just remember that all agents act in their own interest over yours. Two headed snake ... Why not just sign up as a agent yourself, then u perform the transaction yourself. Your "school" will do all the paper work with a small fee. You yourself will be the best agent !
 

Dec 11, 2008
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#16
Hi guys,

Reading this thread, I believe there's alot of misinformation being circulated.

The simple answer to TS's question is: No, you need an agent to do the legal documentation, even if the agent is not directly involved in negotiating the deal. Yes you can try to buy templates of these documents and do the stamp duty yourself, but there alot of legal complications and risks involved.

As s1221ljc pointed out, you can do the documentation and procedure yourself is you are competent, but often your inexperience means its a big hassle and there are some legalities you miss out. Therefore, its always adviseable to engage an agent you trust.

In similar circumstances to what TS describes, you can hire an agent just to do the documentation for you, and agree to an agent's fee that two of you are comfortable with (but far less than the full commission due).
 

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Dec 11, 2008
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#17
Just remember that all agents act in their own interest over yours. Two headed snake ... Why not just sign up as a agent yourself, then u perform the transaction yourself. Your "school" will do all the paper work with a small fee. You yourself will be the best agent !
And in relation to this proposal, this is STRICTLY ILLEGAL. You may not transact a HDB deal in your name and as your own agent. The legal loophole would be to list your parents or friends as the owner instead but... if you can be proven guilty, you will still be liable to professional misconduct.
 

ahboy168

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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#18
Oic, don't know this.
Does that mean propery agent himself buy property for own use also must find another agent ??
 

s1221ljc

New Member
May 7, 2006
821
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#19
Hi Gymrat76, its possible to buy a HDB flat without appointing an agent to represent you. Its very straightforward & quite failsafe, just check with HDB on the procedures & requirements. As the HDB is involved, they make sure everything is in order & they advise you accordingly. Thousands of flats have been bought this way. I myself bought a flat 3 times doing all the paperwork myself with no hassle or problem. However, if you are a first timer & you have no confidence in understanding processes & handling paperwork, or you find dealing with a bank to obtain a loan complex & tricky, then its best you get an agent to help you & pay him a comission for his services. If no bank loan is involved, its definitely much easier & smoother since only HDB & CPF is involved.

Seller's agent always try to get a cut of an additional 1% from the buyer, in addition to the 2% from seller, in such a case. You just point out its unethical or inappropriate for him to represent/advise both parties as there will be a conflict of interest, & you are literate & competent enough to do the purchase yourself. There is no law that you must appoint an agent to represent you. Emphasise that he as agent for the seller has to act in the seller's interest & that if you are a genuine buyer & knows what you are doing, he has no right to refuse to deal with you on behalf of the seller.
Just to clarify. My above comments were in relation to buying a HDB flat since the word flat was mentioned in the discussions. For HDB flats buyers (even sellers) can DIY. Just refer to HDB website here HDB InfoWEB: DIY or Engaging a Salesperson : Buying a Resale Flat

If TS is referring to private property, he MUST engage a lawyer to do the conveyancing. The legal process & paperwork is complex that include title search, launching caveats etc & legal risks are involved. This should NOT be done by a layman. Hiring an agent is not mandatory as an agent does nothing more than look for buyers, or sellers & market the property through a sales pitch. Here, the legal paperwork is done by private lawyers unlike for HDB flat. HDB has their own conveyancing lawyers which buyer can use at very low cost for buying/selling HDB flats.

Seems there is a lot of misinformation in the discussions here :)
 

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Dec 11, 2008
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#20
Oic, don't know this.
Does that mean propery agent himself buy property for own use also must find another agent ??
Technically, yes. but as mentioned, there are loopholes around this. Like registering under someone else's name, or getting your colleague to help for free/token sum.

I'm not entirely familiar with the updated laws under the new guidelines, but they are definitely much stricter to prevent professional misconduct and fairness.
 

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