Published February 9, 2007


ERA seeks to offer guaranteed sale to HDB flats

Company president Jack Chua says it has yet to discuss plan with HDB


ERA Real Estate Singapore wants to extend its guaranteed sale plan to Housing & Development Board flats.

Mr Chua: ERA has not begun talks with HDB. A key issue to be tackled is that companies are not allowed to own HDB flats

The firm said last week that under a Sellers Security Plan it will guarantee to pay 90 per cent of a pre-agreed price for any private property it cannot sell.

ERA president Jack Chua said yesterday the firm would like to offer a similar deal to owners of public flat. It has not begun talks with HDB but everything would have to be 'legal' and above board, Mr Chua said. A key issue to be tackled is that companies are not allowed to own HDB flats.

Mr Chua also said yesterday that ERA could lose money on the Sellers Security Plan, but added: 'It's how you manage it. We could rent out these properties.'

Still, he believes it is not difficult to sell a property. 'It just depends on the price.'

Judging by the results of ERA's agents, he could be right.

They handle about 40 per cent of all HDB resale transactions and about 30 per cent of all private property transactions in Singapore's secondary market, and about 30 per cent of all new sales by developers.

ERA revealed the figures at its annual ERA Asia-Pacific Conference yesterday. Last year its 2,300 agents together earned $73 million in sales commissions.

And its top agent, Regina Lau, set a worldwide ERA record of $1.2 million in commissions.

On average, its top 10 agents made about $500,000 in commissions, while the agent who ranked 200th made $100,000.

At yesterday's conference, Mr Chua gave details of the criteria for eligibility for the Sellers Security Plan. Among them, the home for sale must be in move-in condition and must also be pre-qualified for financing through an approved vendor.

The home must also be covered by an ERA Home Warranty Plan.

Commissions, at 2 per cent for ERA agents, must also be paid.

ERA will not be the only agency to offer a guaranteed sales plan.

HSR International has its own guaranteed sales plan and is offering to pay its clients legal fees.