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Thread: Free up commissions in housing market

  1. #1
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    Default Free up commissions in housing market

    April 20, 2007

    Free up commissions in housing market


    I REFER to recent reports on the removal of fee guidelines for doctors, and the article, 'Does home owner have recourse against agent with poor service?' (The Sunday Times, April 15).

    Although some concerns have been expressed, I believe removing fee guidelines is a wise move, primarily because the quality of service varies. I hope this will apply to more sectors, including property.

    Currently, housing agents charge a standard fee of 1 per cent, regardless of the effort needed and service provided. Recently I dealt with two agents - one for a sale and the other for a purchase.

    In response to my advertisement, Agent A telephoned to make an appointment for a potential buyer to see the property. During the viewing, he was busy on his mobile phone and left early for another appointment. The viewers were visibly annoyed. It appeared that Agent A was standing in for another who had made the arrangements.

    A week later, the viewers arranged directly with me for another viewing and subsequently decided to buy the property. After the option was signed, the agent called to demand his 1 per cent commission even though he was not involved after the initial visit. Subsequently, his company sent me a bill for the commission.

    In contrast, Agent B who represented the owner of the apartment I bought did the advertising, prepared it for viewing, did the sales pitch, helped to negotiate the price, prepared the option, and provided advice on financing.

    He was professional, patient and provided value- added service to the seller. And I was not the only one he showed the property to. His commission? Also 1 per cent.

    Something is not right when agents A and B demand the same fee.

    Agent A's company is a big name in the industry and the poor service may reflect poorly on Singapore as we strive for top First World status and welcome international house buyers.

    Would the administrators of the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies Scheme care to comment?

    Lee Chong Kai

  2. #2
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    Default Estate agent's fee depends on market

    May 9, 2007

    Estate agent's fee depends on market


    I REFER to the letter, 'Free up commissions in housing market' by Mr Lee Chong Kai (April 20).

    The Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) does not stipulate any guidelines concerning agents' commission rates. The actual commission is a matter to be negotiated privately between the parties, and will depend on market forces.

    The SAEA's main role is to elevate the standard of practice and conduct in the real estate agency industry. All SAEA agencies and any individuals associated with the SAEA have to abide by the Code of Conduct and Ethics set by the SAEA. We will hear complaints concerning the conduct of any individuals associated with accredited estate agencies, and if necessary, take action against those found guilty of such misconduct.

    We thank Mr Lee for his feedback and suggest he approach the SAEA should he find any allegation of misconduct of our accredited agents. Check www.saea.org.sg for further details and a list of accredited agencies and agents.

    Manisah Jalil (Ms)
    Secretariat
    Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies

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