What’s the deal with real estate agents?
Most property transactions in Singapore go through a real estate agent. They help with matching of buyers and sellers, coordinate the selling process, and help to manage the transaction. In an ideal world, this makes things much easier and everyone is happy with the outcome. But we know that in reality, the real estate agent model is fraught with potential pitfalls.
Agents are incentivised by the commission they earn on sales, so it’s in their interest to close as many deals as possible. Therein lies a conflict of interest – how do you ensure that the agent is acting in your best interest as a buyer/seller? If you’re a seller, you might be able to get a higher price if you hold out, but an agent might persuade you to take the offer that’s on the table.
Likewise, if you’re a buyer, an unscrupulous agent might sweet-talk you into overlooking the potential issues with a property. In some situations, you might even be convinced to increase your offer because the seller refuses to budge. Is that really true? Without transparency in the transaction, it’s hard to know for sure.
The good news is that the industry is changing, and real estate transactions are no longer at the mercy of agents. In 2018, HDB introduced a resale portal, to help with the documentation for buying/selling HDB flats. This reduces the need for the involvement of real estate agents, by allowing buyers and sellers to conduct the transaction directly with each other.
However, this does not address the intermediate step of finding suitable buyers and sellers. For anyone who has ever wished for a third method that creates a better marketplace for buyers and sellers, we have good news – there is one! Introducing HDB bidding by TRUbid.
Just like any online bidding platform, this is a live marketplace where you can gauge real-time demand and see the latest bid prices. It is a transparent transaction system to ensure a fair and optimal pricing for both sellers and buyers, based on real-time market supply and demand.
For buyers, online bidding simply take the guesswork out of pricing. You’ll be able to make better decisions after seeing the real-time demand from actual buyers. This means you’ll know if you currently have the highest bid – something that you wouldn’t know for sure if you were relying on information from the agent or seller. And if someone put in a higher bid than you, you can react accordingly.
What’s more, TRUbid only accepts listings from genuine sellers, so you’ll know for sure that these aren’t owners who are just putting up a listing to ‘test the water’.
For sellers, the bidding platform sifts out genuine buyers who registered an account and placed a binding bid. This means that you get to gauge genuine buyer interest on your property. The added advantage is that you won’t have to rely on an agent’s feedback on pricing and demand – the real-time bidding information will tell you all you need to know about buyer sentiment. If your price is too high, you’ll know because of the lack of bids. Conversely, if you have a hot property, then you’ll be in the enviable situation of seeing a bidding war unfold! At the end of the day, you’ll get the best market-determined price for your unit, without having to pay high commissions to an agent.
Below is a table comparing the various channels of HDB transactions:
|Traditional transaction||HDB portal||HDB bidding by TRUbid|
|Transaction fees||High transaction fees paid to agents||Lower transaction fees if agents are not engaged||[Lowest transaction fees]|
|Price negotiation||Agent(s) serve as intermediary between buyer and seller||Negotiated between buyer and seller||Transparent pricing with real-time bidding info|
|Transparency of information for buyer||Depends on agent||Onus on individual to do research and due diligence||Property information disclosed on bidding portal, buyers still encouraged to research and book viewing|
Still feeling unsure? Here are some FAQs about this online bidding platform.
- Will I be able to do a viewing of the property?
Of course! You can make viewing appointments and register for open houses online, saving you time and hassle.
- How do I know that the listings/buyers/sellers are legitimate?
All listings go through our team to ensure that sellers are guided through the listing process, with proper documentation and assistance from our CEA-registered real estate professionals.
All buyers need to sign a bidding agreement in order to bid on any property listings. As our auctions are conducted online, we need to ensure that each bidder is verified and contractually bound to purchase the property if they are the winning bidder.
- Is there a possibility that my property will be sold at a very low price?
Sellers are able to set a reserve price for their listing. If bids are below your reserve price, the property will not be sold
Buy or sell your HDB with greater price transparency and lower transaction fees!
Contact us now to find out more.