Property Agent Singapore
The rental system in Singapore can be a bit confusing, whether you’re navigating it for the first time, or even if you’ve been through it before. One of the the most common question seems to be ‘why are there so many people involved?’.
So, let’s get a few things clarified first of all…
Landlord’s Property Agent
The Landlord’s property Agent is the one person most people are familiar with. A Landlord’s Agent is a property agent, appointed by the landlord, who helps them to market a property. The Landlord’s Agent advises the landlord on how to promote the property, and secure the best rental price, usually in the quickest time possible. The Landlord’s Agent will also help to source tenants through a variety of different channels. The interests of the landlord come first and foremost.
The Tenant’s Agent is again a property agent, who assists the potential tenant in their home search. This usually includes co-ordinating viewings, providing advice, and helping to negotiate on the tenant’s behalf. The Tenant’s Agent is there to protect the interests of the tenant.
An Important Note: Agents are not legally allowed to be both the Landlord’s Agent and the Tenant’s Agent for a deal on the same property. This would present a conflict of interest.
However, property agents may act as a Landlord’s Agent on one deal (Deal A) and a Tenant’s Agent on a second deal (Deal B). Some agents choose to specialise in one role, but most agents will serve as either type, depending on their client.
So what exactly does a Tenant’s Property Agent do?
The Tenant’s Property Agent takes care of all the tenant’s needs including:
- Researching available properties
- Making recommendations to tenants on what neighbourhoods and properties they think fit their criteria
- Scheduling viewings
- Advising tenants on rental rates, and negotiating with the landlord and/or landlord’s agent, on behalf of the tenant
- Assisting with all the necessary paperwork, including answering any queries you have about the tenancy agreement
- Handle any payments, including Stamp Duty
- Some agents assist with conducting a property condition report
- Can represent you throughout the duration of the tenancy, especially in case of any disputes (not all agents do this)
If you choose a reputable and professional agent, they can help save you time and money. It may seem tempting to work with a number of different agents, but in our experience it’s best to pick just one, whom you connect with, as having a good relationship with your agent is the best way to find your perfect home.
How much do I have to pay a Tenant’s Property Agent?
Fees and commissions can be complex. How much you pay depends on the renal price per month, and the duration of the lease. In some instances, you may not need to pay anything at all, sometimes you may only pay upon signing your Tenancy Agreement, and in some cases your agent may ask you to pay a small fee upfront (this is more common when you have a lower budget).
However, as the standard rental term in Singapore is normally 2-years, if you rent a property with a monthly budget of above the threshold amount (usually somewhere between $3,500 and $4,000 – there is no fixed threshold, and the amount is determined by market practice), and sign a lease for 2 years, you won’t be required to pay anything.
Find out more about our fee structure here.
But I can find properties myself, do I really need a Tenant’s Property Agent?
Technology has made it much easier to do your own research, and this is something that we completely support (in fact, we offer much more upfront information than anyone else, to help you make informed choices).
The Tenant’s Agent can add value as they know much more about the properties you think you are interested in e.g. whether many families live there, what the commute is like, what supermarkets are nearby. They’ll also be able to recommend other properties you may not have discovered, or other parts of the island you hadn’t previously considered.
They’ll handle the negotiations on your behalf. It can be difficult to navigate negotiations on your own. It’s not just about price per month, but also other considerations such as inclusion and duration of diplomatic clauses, and ensuring all possible scenarios are covered by your tenancy agreement. They can advise you whether anything is missing, or needs to be further clarified etc.
They can also represent you throughout your tenancy. Sometimes issues or disputes crop up, or perhaps you might just have a question about maintenance, for example. They’ll also work on your behalf when it comes to the end of your tenancy, if you need to break your tenancy agreement early, assisting with refunds of damage deposits, or negotiating the terms of your renewal.
Ultimately, the Tenant’s Agent does a lot more than just helping you find properties. Finding the right person, who understands you, and whom you trust, is key when it comes to finding a home you’ll love.