Forum: Letter of the week #2 Review property agents' commission structure

Construction, condominiums and flats on Oct 9, 2019.
Construction, condominiums and flats on Oct 9, 2019.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

I recently bought a property that I sourced from an online portal.

Earlier, I had indicated my interest in it and contacted the seller's agent.

I had several questions about a leak in the house and the fresh coat of paint that had been applied in an attempt to conceal it. I had several other queries.

But the agent was vague with her responses.

Despite my doubts, I went ahead with the purchase.

The agent mediated the negotiation process.

I had to take her at her word that the offer I made was too low for the owner, and we eventually settled on a price.

In hindsight, I question the agent's role in the transaction. It was in her interest to close the deal, regardless of my satisfaction with the product.

The same goes for the property agent who faked offers to try to earn a higher commission (Property agent faked offers in bid to get bigger commission, Oct 22). He was acting out of self-interest.

Property prices in Singapore have skyrocketed over the past few decades and a commission of 2 per cent to 3 per cent of property value can be a tidy sum.

So agents will want to see this trend of rising prises continue.

While online portals have made the buying and selling of property easier, people may still prefer to have an agent to help in the process.

A more refined commission structure instead of a blunt percentage commission will force agents to focus on bringing value to their clients instead of the dollars they can potentially bank from closing a deal at a higher price.

Jeremy Ng Zhi Kai