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How much should you be paying for Property Agent Commission

property agent commission

Found your ideal property agent based on our helpful guide (Complete Guide To Engaging The Perfect Property Agent 2020)?

Now it’s time to discuss and agree with your agent what the property agent commission fee (if fixed) or structure (if flexible) will be like.

In a nutshell, the property agent commission is the payment you pay your agent in exchange for their work in helping you find and secure your ideal home, or to sell your existing property.

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) Singapore does not fix commission rates or even provide guidelines on this. It is to allow market forces to drive competitive pricing in the industry.

Today, let’s look at some factors that you can consider to determine a fair property agent commission structure. 

Like how different people in a workplace doing the same job can be paid different salaries, this applies to property agent commissions as well.

property singapore

Table of Contents

Property Agent commission For Sale

Isn’t there a range you ask?

Well, if you asked your friends and family, some common, old school responses you might hear includes:

HDB Flats

  • Seller usually pays 2%

  • Buyer pays 1%

Private Properties (Condominiums, Apartments)

  • Seller usually pays 2- 4%

     

  • Buyer don’t need to pay commission. (If buyer has an representing agent, seller’s agent to split the commission with co-broke agent.)

Private Properties (Landed Properties)

  • Seller usually pays 2 – 4% (negotiable as it is dependent on the situation)

  • Buyer don’t need to pay commission. (If buyer has an representing agent, seller’s agent to split the commission with co-broke agent)

Property Agent commission For Rental

Monthly rental is $3,000 or lesser for a lease term of 1 year or less

  • Landlord pays half a month’s rental to the Landlord’s Agent

  • If the tenant engaged an Agent, tenant pays half a month’s rental to the agent.
    Note: The tenant does not have to pay if tenant did not engage any Agent.

Monthly rental is more than $3,000 for a lease term of 2 year

  • Landlord pays a month’s rental to the Landlord’s Agent. If Tenant has an representing agent, Landlord’s agent to split the 1 month’s rent with co-broke agent.

  • Note: The tenant does not have to pay if tenant did not engage any Agent.

Is that really the case? Be sure to check with them when was the last time they sold or bought a property – chances are they have not done so recently and are basing their experiences from decades ago.

The property landscape has evolved over the past decade into a saturated and hyper-competitive market, where thousands of homes are listed on DIY platforms competing for the same pool of potential buyers.

A more accurate range is perhaps, as shared by Channel NewsAsia report in December 2018, showing that local property agent commissions can range from 2% to 5%, depending on several factors.

Curious? Let’s unravel these different factors that determine how much you should pay your property agent.

Difficulty and Urgency of Selling Your Property

when-to-pay-property-agent-comission

Makes sense doesn’t it? Not all properties on the market are equal.

Some are less appealing (could be an older flat, shoddily maintained, inconvenient location, low floors etc.) than others, and are more difficult to sell as compared to others in a better situation (prime location, new estate, well maintained etc.)

In such situations, even with lowered property prices, it is still going to be harder to sell.

In another situation, imagine you really need to let go of your property immediately.

Wouldn’t your property agent need to step up significantly on his/her effort to help make that happen?

In a saturated property market, with hyper-competition coming from all the DIY platforms posting thousands of properties, do you think your property is going to be in demand (especially if it needs to be let go quickly)?

Put yourself in the perspective of how hard or easy it will be to sell your property and you should be able to calibrate a more realistic property commission.

The general rule should be: the harder it is to sell the property, the higher the commission should be. This helps to motivate and reward the property agent’s increased efforts accordingly.

Expectation of Your property selling price

sell house price

With all things being equal, a property with a lower asking price is likely to be an easier sell compared to a similar property with a higher asking price.

If your neighbours are selling their apartment for $1 million and you are asking for $1.1 million, your agent is going to have to put in extra effort to make that happen.

This may mean having to search harder for more buyers willing to pay that higher price, facilitate more viewings and definitely dedicating a longer time and effort for marketing.

In such a situation, your agent may ask for a higher commission rate.

Property Agent Value-added Services Offered

Selling a house in the saturated and highly competitive Singapore market these days take a lot more effort than it did 10 years ago. 

Nowadays, to even get your property in front of the right potential buyers, takes plenty of effort – and that is just the first step.

Successful property agents that aim to help their clients get the best possible selling price now need to provide significant value-added services to do so.

From providing home styling services, to doing market analysis, to advising suitable price position, to coming up with detailed marketing strategies (which platform to use, targeting buyers using social media platforms and unique content), property agents now need to provide these additional services and expertise at additional cost to best service their clients.

Lets look at some of them;

1) Marketing Platform

property marketing

Market your house in more than one platform.

Propertyguru, 99.co, SRX, Edgeprop, Social media, can also become a powerful marketing tool for your unit.

Luring in potential buyers who are digital natives with aesthetic photos (no cat-fishing) and features of your unit that would relate to them.

Take a look at Youhome.sg selling house marketing strategies

2) Profession Add-on

selling hdb

Professionally-angled photos and videos has become a trend of attracting buyers to consider coming down for viewings.

And it takes effort and cost to the property agent to add all this services to market your unit.

Take some time to Understand what are the actions and game plan they will be carrying out during marketing.

3) Marketing Report

Get to know what kind of services they add on during viewing.

Old school salesmanship no longer works as much in today’s market. Buyers would want to look at market analysis report comparing price trends and upcoming developments that will interest them into buying your unit.

During get-to-know session with the agent, do try and understand their working style

An Investment in Knowledge pays the Best Interest

- Ben Franklin

Furthermore, knowledge expertise is vital for more complex circumstances for example, HDB contra where you sell and buy properties concurrently.

Property agents are required to determine the exact timeline or you may end up with no place to stay.

Property investments such as Sell One Buy Two will also require in-depth knowledge of the market situation and comprehensive understanding of financial calculations.

After knowing these behind-the-scenes efforts, doesn’t it make sense to motivate and reward the extra-hardworking agent who’s doing their best to get you that ideal price?

Questions to ask yourself

Some food for thought:

Does lower property agent fees mean better selling price for your home or better results?

What is the purpose of selling your flat?

Are you familiar with the latest marketing trends?

Do you have a step by step action plan?

Do you know that 73% of homeowners did not prep their house right for selling?

So how much property agent commission should I pay?

Use the above factors as a guideline to help you decide.

Speak to your agent and understand their perspective too.

My recommendation is to consider how value – time saving - your agent is providing to the transaction and adjust the commission fee accordingly.

If you are interested in exploring my services to facilitate your property transaction and would love to discuss property commission fees, please feel free to contact me for a non-obligatory discussion on your needs.

What does it mean when agent co-broke?

It’s a situation where two agents agrees to work on a deal, one representing Landlord/Seller and the other representing the Tenant/Buyer.

cpf-accrued interest
Read article: The Silent Threat of Cpf Accrued Interest and How It Can Affect Your Property Cash Proceeds

When to pay property agent commission

Be fair to your property agent.

Pay the agreed commission after he/she facilitates a successful property transaction.

Commission payment should be made the to your agent’s property agency, and not to the agent, after a transaction is completed.

Conclusion

All in all, there is no best choice on how to sell your house and choose the agent.

However, these factors should be able to help you understand what are the pointers to consider when discussing the commission package with your agent.

At the end of the day, a good marketing effort with the right presentation skill set definitely will increase your chance of a higher selling price.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, meet their needs and they may just say yes to your house.

Bonus for my readers

property-agent-fees

My readers can request a 1-time free 30 min Dynamic Property consultation. 

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Self Introduction

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Rick Huang, Associate Deputy Group Director of OrangeTee & Tie, has been in the Real Estate industry for a decade.

He is driven, committed and is enthusiastic about real estate investments.

Today, he leads Team Youhome.sg, and together, he aims to provide his clients with the best experience in their property journey.

The team focuses on understanding the client’s finances and needs and is determined about delivering the best solutions and results for them.

Amidst the hustle and bustle, Rick enjoys quiet time and indulge himself in the intricate art of tea-brewing and teapot appreciation.

He would also take this chance to energize himself and reflect on his personal development and areas of improvement.

Related Articles:

Ever wonder if you are suitable for Sell one buy two investment concept? – Read more (Sell one buy two)

Is buying new launch or resale condo have better returns? – Read more (New Launch vs Resale condo)

Looking to upgrade from Hdb to condo? – Read more (Sell Hdb buy condo)

What to take note when selling Hdb resale flat? – Read more (Hdb Resale Process)

Buying another Hdb flat, and using the fund from current home? – Read more (Hdb contra)

Why do some Hdb flat price depreciate so much? – Read more (Hdb depreciation curve)

What is one of the most common reason for property negative sales? – Read more (Cpf accrued interest)

Financial calculation for selling a Hdb flat? – Read more (Hdb resale calculator)

Buying EC before selling your HDB? – Read more (Upgrade to EC before selling your HDB)

Should you sell your EC after 5 years? – Read more (Selling EC)

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Entityx

    I think its fair to pay comm to an agent, especially in today’s market where the agents have to work harder. However based on past experience we do tend to get some agents that give me the feeling that they just want to close the deal at a lower price which can be quite sian at times.

    1. Rick Huang

      Hi Entityx,

      Thanks for your comment, yes you are right. More often than not, we tend to hear about the bad experiences of clients too. But ultimately, I guess regardless of the trade we are in, there will always be a minority group that is not motivated to act in the clients’ interest. At the same time, there is also another group of us that welcome comments, and feedback as factors to push us towards continuous improvements and towards a win-win situation for everyone.

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