I refer to "Dealing with the agent from hell....." (July 23).
As a property agent, I would like to respond to the comments and advice by Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) on "Case 1" - A prospective buyer of a 5-Room HDB resale flat who called an agent for a viewing and made an offer, but said he did not wish to appoint the agent for the purchase. However, the agent insisted that the buyer sign a commission agreement with his agency.
SAEA says the agent cannot insist that the buyer use his services ; neither can he refrain from selling to a buyer who refuses his services. SAEA further advises the buyer to bypass the agent by writing directly to the seller and to meet the seller personally to make the offer.
* Is SAEA making the comment and advice as a real estate organisation or as a consumers' organisation ?
* Does SAEA know that it is a legitimate and accepted industry practice for agents to serve buyers for HDB resale flat transactions and to levy commission thereof ?
* SAEA says that the agent cannot refrain from selling to a buyer who refuses his services. Is SAEA suggesting that the agent must broker the deal for the buyer for free ? (Since the buyer refuses the agent's services, it is obvious that the buyer is unwilling to pay commission.)
While the agent cannot insist that the buyer use his services; surely the buyer cannot insist that the agent broker the deal for him?
* Does SAEA think that it is ethical for the buyer who after viewing the property through the agent, bypass the agent to approach the seller directly ? Is this any different from buyers who after viewing properties through agents, bypass them to approach sellers directly to close the deal under the pretext that they do not wish to transact through the sellers' agents ?
Source: Today Online, 28 July 2009