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SG Tough times for Singapore's property agents

Property Here - Monday, December 30, 2013

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The slew of property cooling measures introduced by the government has made life very difficult for real estate agents, a recent media report revealed. 

“Before they (buyers) came to us, now we have to follow them. And we need more patience now, because they take longer to decide,” said 43-year-old agent Sanam Mahesh Daswani.

In the past, many buyers often called her, but now it’s the other way around and she has to really persuade them before they finally buy a property. Also when a buyer decides to check out a unit, she gets pushed by eager seller agents looking to secure a deal, even if it means accepting a lower price.

Meanwhile, agent Frederick Chia, 43, had to sell a 1,200 sq ft unit in Changi Court condominium for S$1.22 million two months ago. Even though the price was lower than the unit’s S$1.3 million market value, the owner settled for that amount. 

In fact, resale prices of non-landed private homes hit their lowest level this year in November, while some deals in the segment have slumped by up to 50 percent. 

“I don’t think we would have been able to obtain that (same) price today,” said Chia, whose monthly sales in this segment have nearly halved in recent months. 

Looking at the numbers, about 387 non-landed homes were resold last month compared to 502 units in October. 

“Fewer transactions mean tougher times for (estate agents),” said Jeff Foo, President of the Institute of Estate Agents. Salespersons also have to spend more on advertisements in order to attract buyers.