REFER to Monday’s report, ‘Surge in complaints from home buyers’.
Much has been said about a need for a regulatory body for estate agents to protect buyers and sellers from rogue agents, and understandably so.
However, when Ms Xie Ruzhen states that she felt she had been duped into signing an agreement requiring her to pay her agent a 1 per cent commission when the industry’s standard commission guideline for the seller’s agent is a 2 per cent commission (particularly for HDB), something has gone amiss.
How was she duped into signing a contract that allowed her to shortchange her agent of his commission by half? She also said she had intended to pay only a 0.5 per cent commission after having recently forked out a 2 per cent commission to the agent for his service in selling her previous flat.
Does she feel that since she had already paid him a fair commission previously, she now had the right to pay him less?
As an agent who plays by the rules and am always open and honest with my clients, like many of my fellow agents, I am appalled by the actions of less ethical counterparts who have given our industry a bad name. However, this does not give parties like Ms Xie the right to undermine our worth and the services we provide. My advice to home sellers and buyers is, if you do not think your agent is worth his commission, then he is not the agent for you.
The market rate is 1 to 2 per cent commission, so if you cannot even bring yourself to pay your agent the minimum 1 per cent, then find another agent you feel is worth his commission. After all, there is no shortage of agents.
Medalina Barber (Ms)
Source: Straits Times, 25 Sep 2009