Top Property Agencies in Singapore

top property agencies in singapore

 

Ever thought of buying or selling a property in Singapore? You’ll agree: not all property agents have your best interest at heart. All they care about is selling your property really quick and pocket the commission.

At an average of up to 5% of the selling price, commissions are a tempting incentive for property owners to want to close deals even faster.

Which is why a majority of property agents in Singapore only have two worries:

  • Overvaluing your property so they can land your business
  • Undervaluing your property to make it sell faster

What’s a Property Agent?

A property or estate agent is the person or business that arranges the renting, selling and management of properties and buildings in Singapore. An agent that only focuses on renting properties is called a management agent or letting agent.

What’s the Property Market Like in Singapore?

The property market in Singapore is decelerating. In 2019, the residential property index only rose by 2.67%, a sharp plunge from the previous 7.86% (in 2018). With inflation adjustments, house prices increased by 1.86% the same year.

Property demand is on a sharp decline. Home sales, including new sales, resales, and sub-sales, fell by 13.5% year-over-year in 2019 from the previous 11.5% (in 2018).

Despite all this, residential construction continues to rise. In 2019 alone, 11, 345 uncompleted residential units were launched in Singapore.

Types of Properties in Singapore

There are three main types of properties in Singapore:

  • Private properties
  • Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats
  • Executive condominiums

Only Singaporean citizens or permanent residents can buy HDB flats, not foreigners. Singaporeans citizens and permanent residents are also allowed to purchase any form of private property in the country, including landed bungalows and ECs.

What Properties are Foreigners Allowed to Buy?

Foreigners are allowed to purchase private properties, including private apartments and ECs. However, they’ll first have to be approved by the government to proceed with any form of property purchase in the country.

They also can only purchase an EC that’s at least ten years old.

It bears repeating that HDBs cannot be sold to foreigners, as they’re only reserved for permanent residents and Singaporean citizens.

Age Restrictions on Property Sales and Purchase in Singapore

The age limit for purchasing a resale HDB flat is 21 years. The only other requirement is that you should be purchasing it as part of a family nucleus, which includes:

  • Parents and siblings
  • Spouse and children
  • Children under custody

To purchase a resale HDB, you must be above the legal age of 35 years if you’re divorced or unmarried, and above 21 years old if you’re orphaned and widowed.

The minimum age for purchasing a private property in Singapore is 21 years old. However, there are a few cases where purchases can be made under a trust for those below 21 years.

Are Singles Allowed to Buy HDB Flats in Singapore?

Of course, they are. But there are criteria to be met.

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It all depends on what scheme you are applying under. The other requirement is that you should be a Singaporean citizen, not a permanent resident (Single PR can’t buy HDB flats).

Lastly, you must be at least 35 years old to be eligible to buy the flats.

Who’s an Essential Occupier for an HDB Flat?

An essential occupier refers to any person that’s part of your family nucleus when applying for HDB flats. You will be required to list an essential occupier when applying for Sale of Balance and Built to Order flats in the country.  

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Another requirement is that the essential occupier you list is expected to occupy the HDB flats for at least 5 years continuously. If you fail to meet this particular criterion, the HDB is allowed to cancel your application and forfeit any deposit you’d have made.

Bear in mind that only Singaporean citizens or permanent residents are allowed to be listed as essential occupiers.

What’s the Cost of Buying a House in Singapore?

The actual cost of buying a house in Singapore will vary depending on so many factors, including proximity to amenities, the maturity of the property estate, conditions of the property, and so forth.

However, the average price of acquiring a property in Singapore is $874, 372 (approx. S$1.2 million).

Keep in mind that besides the cost, there additional expenses that play into the actual cost of becoming a homeowner in Singapore. Examples include stamp duties, legal fees, home insurance, maintenance fees, and more.

Securing a Bank Loan to Buy a Home in Singapore

You can borrow a loan to buy a home in Singapore. The amount to borrow will vary depending on who you’re getting the loan from, not the property you’re acquiring.

Those looking to buy an HDB flat can apply for the HDB concessionary loan. The maximum LTV (Loan to Value) ratio for an HDB home loan is 90%. You can use your CPF savings or cash to finance the remaining 10% down payment.

If you don’t qualify for the HDB loan, you can apply for a private bank loan. Most bank loans have an LTV ratio of 75%. The 25% is then split into a 5% compulsory cash component and a 20% that you can pay using either cash or your CPF savings.

What’s HDB Concessionary Loan?

HDB has a housing loan that it offers at a concessionary interest rate to those looking to acquire a flat in Singapore. This loan doesn’t apply to ECs.

There are eligibility conditions for this loan that you might want to read on before you can proceed with the application prices. They include age, income, family members, and so much more. The loan is also subject to an LTV limit and your TDSR (Total Debt Servicing Ratio). 

Private Property Owners and HDB Flats

Are private property owners in Singapore allowed to buy HDB flats?

Of course, yes.

However, they’ll be required to dispose or sell off their private properties (both local and overseas ones) within six months of buying an HDB flat.

How Many Properties Can You Own in Singapore?

You can own as many private properties as you wish. There’s no limit to what number of private properties a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident is allowed to own.

However, HDB owners that wish to purchase a private property are only allowed to do so after occupying their HDB flats for at least five years. To put it quite differently, if you plan to own an HBD flat and a private property at the same time, you might want to start by purchasing an HBD flat first and then wait for five years to purchase a private property.

How to Choose a Property Agent in Singapore

Research on the Price

Here’s how you do your homework on the price:

  • Observe the latest auction and the sales results within your region
  • Hire an independent valuer to help you determine how much your home is worth
  • Visit the properties being sold around your region. Inquire about their prices to find out if your property agent is undervaluing or overvaluing your property.
  • Stay attentive to how your agents respond to these questions:

 “Why are you selling it?”

“Is the property negotiable?”

“Has the property been on the market for long?”

These are simple questions, but tricky enough to reveal some hidden information.

Research on the Property Agencies

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a property agent:

  • Make sure they’re licensed to operate in your state
  • Evidence of successful projects they’ve handled before
  • Accurate assessment of the market value based on the research you’d have done
  • Willingness to provide you with proper advice on how to make your property more valuable and easier to sell.
  • You don’t have to stick with any agency or go with the first agency that pops up after your research.
  • An agency that makes regular updates or is committed to providing you with regular reports

Beware of Inflated Valuations

You don’t choose an agency because they promise you the highest selling price. Agencies inflate prices because they’re desperate to win you over. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim of their skims.

Inflated valuation is a common deceptive conduct that’s deeply ingrained into the industry.

How Much do Property Agencies Charge?

Property agencies charge a commission. This commission can range from 2% to 5%. This doesn’t include to the cost of advertising, which can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on where you plan to place the ads and the rates involved.

Here are a few ways that agencies structure their fees:

  • Some agencies charge a commission of up to 5%, which also covers the cost of advertising. Mind you: this is on the higher side.
  • Some agencies have a “no sale, no fee” policy, where you only pay after your property sales, and not otherwise.
  • Some agencies charge advertising costs, whether or not your property sells.
  • Some agencies have a flat rate. They’ll get you a good process, make you a quick sale, but they aren’t cheap.
  • With some agencies, you have the option of sharing the advertising and promotion cost with them for a lower commission.
  • For an expensive property, an agency may charge you a scale of commissions. For example, an agency may quote a 3% commission on the first $1M and 5% or even more after that. This works to your advantage, as it gives the agency an incentive to fetch a higher price.

Fees — Your Rights and Expectation

  • Never pay an upfront fee – only pay after your property sells.
  • All fees, including the cost of the advertisement, must be set out clearly in the agency’s agreement.
  • Fees and commissions are negotiable. The agency may not make this so obvious from the get-go, but there’s no harm in pushing for a lower commission. After all, you go nothing to lose.
  • Any fees you’re asked to pay must cover a particular service. If the agency is charging you a top dollar, then they should be able to provide you with a comprehensive marketing plan.

Types of Property Agreements

Not all property agreements are the same. Broadly, they’re classified into three:

General Authority or Open Listing

An open listing agreement allows you to list your property with more than one agency. Also note that your commission will only be paid to the agency that manages to sell the property. Your property gets a wide market coverage, but you won’t be able to achieve the best price with this option.

Exclusive Authority

The agency only gets paid after the property sales. Once you get into this agreement, you’ll still have to pay the agency even if a different agent sells the property. In other words, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be locked into such a contract. If you have to, then only give it a month to try it out and see if it’s really working.

Sole Agency

Works a lot like an exclusive agreement, only that the agency will not be entitled to the agreed commission should the property be sold by you or another agent. This contract does not lock you in any way.

If in Doubt, Consult Your Lawyer

Don’t be quick to get into any contract that you’re not sure of. Some agencies have a cooling-off period for agreements, while others have a limitation on how a particular agreement or contract can run (especially for the sole or exclusive agreements).

Keep in mind that you do not have to agree with any contract that an agency presents to you – if anything, you’re encouraged to consult your lawyer and see if there are changes to be made.

Property Auction Vs. Private Sale: Which One Should You Choose?

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Some agencies may suggest an auction. The competition and high emotions among buyers may lead to a higher price compared to a private sale.

Other agencies will suggest a private sale and try to talk you out of the auction.

You have to weigh between the options by looking at their pros and cons. Find out which of the two options favours you the most.

The Pros of Selling Your Property at an Auction

Competitive bidding: there’s no limit to price. This could work for unusual properties or those that are extremely desirable and hard to price.

A Definite Sale: Assuming buyers reach the reserve price, it’s a definite sale for the property.

Quick: A set date will nudge potential buyers to act quickly.

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Chance to renegotiate: If a sale fails to go through, auctioneers can follow up suitable buyers, and renegotiate.

Advantages of Selling Your Property through Private Sale

  • You have time to consider a buyer’s offer and think everything through.
  • Buyers make their offers blindly, clueless of what other buyers are prepared to pay. You can even quote different prices to different buyers.
  • No auctioneering fees.

Property Ownership for a Foreigner in Singapore

Unlike many Asian countries, Singapore tries to make it easy for foreigners to buy condos in the country. As a foreigner, you can easily purchase a condo in your actual name through a freehold title, which grants you the same property rights as Singaporean citizens.

The only major difference between a Singaporean property owner and foreign owner is the property tax they pay.

Property developers, on the other hand, are allowed to choose whether they want to sell their properties on a leasehold or freehold basis.

How Much Does a Condo Cost in Singapore?

Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive places to buy a property, ranked fourth (next to Hong Kong, Paris, and London). So, if you’re planning to buy a property here, then you should be prepared to part away with a considerable amount.

On average, the price of a condo is about S$875, 000. However, if you’re looking to buy a bigger unit in one of the prime locations in the country, then you should be prepared to spend not less than $1 million.

For instance, a two-bedroom Condo in Central might cost you a ballpark of S$1.6 million. 

Singapore Neighbourhood

Singapore might be one of the world’s smallest nations, but is surely has plenty of options to choose from when looking for a property to buy. It also boasts unique neighbourhood that make it a prime spot for business. 

However, one of the things to consider while buying a property in Singapore is proximity to public transport. The reason being Singapore is one of the most expensive and inefficient places in the world to own a car. As a result, a big chunk of the population relies on the extensive MRT network for commuting.

For this, you want to make sure your newly acquired property is located close to an MRT station. This may also elevate your property’s value.

Property Taxes and Fees

Singapore may be a tax-friendly state, but their property taxes for foreigners are quite high. In fact, the recent cooling measures only managed to raise property taxes.

There are two forms of property taxes – the ABSD (additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty) that you pay upon purchasing a property and the annual property taxes.

Also, as expected, the amount paid by foreigners in property taxes will be higher compared to the amount paid by Singaporean citizens and PRs.

Overall, as a foreigner, you should be prepared to pay up to 15% of your total property value as ABSD. Remember: this amount is to be paid after you purchase a property. So, it’s important that you factor this cost in the decision that you make.

Property Agency

SLP International

About

Thinking of buying or leasing a property in Singapore? Look no further than SLP International. Whether it’s a commercial, retail, or residential space, you know you can sure count on this agency.

It goes without saying that they’re one of the leading real estate agencies in Singapore, boasting a team of highly professional and trained real estate agents who understand the world of real estate to the bone. They’re here to guide you all through the process.

Services

·      International sales

·      Project development

·      Marketing consultancy

·      Property management

Contacts

 

Address: 2 Bukit Merah Central, #03-01, Singapore 159835

Tel: (65) 6866 7366

Website: https://www.oneslp.com/

Email: [email protected]

Review

“Singapore’s growing real estate agency”


Property Agency

Property Review SG

About

Property Review was created to educate those looking to buy or lease a property in Singapore. They have one of the most resourceful platforms to obtain information on property sales and leasing. What the company does is survey and provide unbiased reviews on available properties in the country, together with investment ideas and popular places to buy properties.

Contacts

 

Address:

Tel: (65) 6100 8806

Website: https://www.propertyreview.sg/

Email:

Review

“Very clear illustration of project proper, good write up!”


Property Agency

Coventry and Seah

About

Coventry & Seah is one of the most recognised property agencies dealing with both commercial and residential clients. The agency was started about 15 years ago, and has served hundreds of clients in helping them achieve their property dream.

They have a range of properties distributed all across Singapore. It’s an agency you want to consult if you’re looking for a property that’s outside the CBD.

What’s more: the agency offers to stand by you all though the process. They’ll fix your legal documents and help you find the right home. Their team of professional property consultants will see to it that you’re well guided and that everything else is well-taken off.

Contacts

 

Address: 4 Pan Valley, Singapore 597628

Tel: (65) 6465 0426

Website: http://csproperty.com.sg/

Email: [email protected]

Review

 

“Hi Carole found us our perfect apartment – almost knew what we wanted before we did and then found it, and as importantly helped us seamlessly through the paperwork up to a smooth moving in day.”


Property Agency

Era Realty Network

About

If you’re looking for a more professional agency with a proven track record, then Era reality might be what you’re looking for.

They’re everything you’d want in a property agency. Starting with the fact that they also have office in Japan, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, and Korea.

Moreover, their services stretch far beyond the buying and selling of properties to project marketing, real estate research, and property auctioning, to name a few.  

Key Services

·      Residential Leasing

·      Project Marketing

·      Property Management

·      Auction

·      Valuation

Contacts

 

Address: 229 Mountbatten Road, #03-01 Mountbatten Square, Singapore 398007

Tel: (65) 6226 2000

Website: http://www.era.com.sg/

Review

 

“Thank you, ERA Singapore, for providing an excellent business platform throughout my 8 years of journey. It has certainly been the most challenging and memorable journey in my career.”


Property Agency

Jack Sheo

About

 Jack Sheo has been around since 2010. During this time, they have managed to help both local and foreign client secure their dream homes. Their services can be broadly classified into three: property purchase, property sales, as well as Rental and Tenancy properties. Their experience and expertise make them one of the most reliable and trusted agencies to contact for property advisory.

Key Services

·      Wealth Planning

·      Sale and Purchase

·      Rental and Tenancy

Contacts

 

Address: 480 Lorong, 6 Toa Payoh, #10-01, Singapore 310480

Tel: (65) 9337 8483

Website: https://www.jacksheo.com/

Email: [email protected]

Review

“My company has been working with Jack for more than 5 years. Here he supported on hiring 7 units. Due to high great experience and network he always got us the unit that we wanted!”


Property Agency

PropNex Realty

About

Looking for an agency that will guarantee you’re a peace of mind? Well, look no further than PropNex, one of the largest real estate agencies with more than 20 years of incredible success. 

You can trust the agency for the best real estate decisions. Choose a property agency with the skills, tools, experience, and the best exposure for the property that you wish to sell. You want an agency that will ensure your real estate transactions are both straightforward and hassle-free.

Key Services

·      Real Estate Consultancy

·      Training

·      Propety Management

·      Real Estate Brokerage

Contacts

 

Address: 480 Lorong, 6 Toa Payoh, HDB HUB East Wing, #10-01, Singapore 310480

Tel: (65) 6820 8000

Website: http://www.propnex.com/

Email:

Review

“Great agents. Those I’ve had the pleasure to deal with are non-pushy and very professional.”


Property Agency

Savills Singapore

About

Savills is a London-based, internationally known property agency that’s been around for more than 160 years. This makes it one of the oldest and one of the most established property agency, with offices all over the world – including Asia Pacific regions such as Singapore and Malaysia. They offer an extensive coverage of services, including residential and commercial properties, hotel, valuation, advisory, and so forth.

Key Services

·      Buying and Selling

·      Property Management

·      Leasing and Renting

·      Investment

·      Occupier Services

Contacts

 

Address: 30 Cecil Street, #20-03, Prudential Tower, Singapore 049712

Tel: (65) 6836 6888

Website: https://www.savills.com.sg/


Property Agency

Maximise Real Estate

About

Maximise offers an easy way to find properties for sale or rent out in Singapore. They also double as your property advisors. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned one, the agency is poised to help you make a more informed property decision.

Contacts

 

Address: 3 Bishan PI, Singapore 579838

Tel: (65) 6931 3919

Website: https://maximise.sg/

Email: [email protected]

Review

“They have a team of knowledgeable agents who went above and beyond to make sure we had all the support we needed. Highly recommended for first time home buyer/seller, or even seasoned investors.”


Property Agency

Huttons Asia

About

Huttons Asia’s first foray into the property business was in 2002. At the time of writing this, they have grown into this gigantic 3,000 strong salespersons property powerhouse. They’re experts in buying, renting, and selling of both residential and commercial properties. Other than that, they also offer financial management and planning.

Key Services

·      Resale or Rental

·      Commercial and Retail

Contacts

 

Address: 3 Bishan Place, #05-01, CPF Bishan Building, Singapore 579838

Tel: (65) 6253 0030

Website: https://www.huttonsgroup.com/

Email: [email protected]

Review

“One of the best agents I have ever seen-Lim YK, he is very professional, patience and understanding when I purchased my flat with him. He deserves a 5 star!!! Thanks, Hutton’s, for having such a good staff!”


Property Agency

OrangeTee

About

OrangeTee operates as an agent search platform, the only one of its kind. They’re all about connecting property sellers and buyers with the right agent, based on ratings and reviews. Buyers can also search for properties that they’re interested in, and be advised and directed accordingly.

The agency consists of a highly qualified team of property professionals dealing in corporate real estate.

Key Services

·      Investments and Advisory

·      Corporate Leasing

·      Valuation

·      Research

Contacts

 

Address: 430 Lorong 6Toa Payoh, #01-01, OrangeTee Building, Singapore 319402

Tel: (65) 6471 8888

Website: http://www.orangetee.com/

Review

“I would like to commend Ms Betty Ow for her excellent service, professionalism in helping me sell, and buy my desired HDB flat.”


Property Agency

Mindlink Groups

About

Mindlink started from a humble beginning, as a small real-estate agency operating in a 150 sq. ft space. Founded in 2011, the agency has experienced dramatic growth over the years to become one of the most recognised, full-fledged property agencies in the country specialised in a range of extensive property services, including property investment and consultation. Every single one of their staff members is professionally trained and equipped with comprehensive real-estate knowledge.

Key Services

·      Property Consultation

·      Leasing Property

·      Property Concierge

·      Property Investment

·      Property Management

Contacts

 

Address: Blk 116 Lorong 2, Toa Payoh, #01-162, Singapore 310116

Tel: (65) 6835 9991

Website: http://www.mindlink.com.sg/

Email: [email protected]


Property Agency

Abacus Property Management

About

Abacus is an ISO-certified property agency whose portfolio’s value is on the upwards of S$10 billion, having facilitated the buying and selling of more than 50, 000 units and over 10 million square feet of commercial, residential, and government properties, including SMU and sport SG.

Key Services

·      Property Management

·      Mechanical and Electrical Services

·      Asset Management

·      Corporate Tenancy Management

·      Public Training

Contacts

 

Address: 1 Scotts Road, #22-11, Singapore 228208

Tel: (65) 6511 1811

Website: https://www.abacuspty.sg/

Email: [email protected]

Review

“On behalf of the committee members, I’d like to express my appreciation to Abacus Group for their excellent work in managing our property in 38 Woodlands drive.”


Property Agency

Property Lim Brothers

About

Property Lim uses a wide selection of digital tools to sell real estate properties. They’re one of the most technologically advanced property agencies in the country. Their main marketing platform is social media – and thanks to their team of social media marketers, you can be sure your property will reach your target buyers across the various social media platforms.

Key Services

·      Creative Marketing

·      New Project Reviews

·      Buyer Experience

·      Seller Experience

·      Client Experiences

Contacts

 

Address: 62 Ubi Road 1, #01-33, Oxley Bizhub, Singapore 408734

Tel: (65) 9067 6710

Website: https://www.propertylimbrothers.com/

Email: [email protected]

Review

“We were looking for a flat in Tampines area and liked a unit at Tampines Ctrl 7. We contacted Adrian Lim from overseas as we work there, everything like viewing and liking of the unit was done through photos and videos Adrian has been very helpful with the process and guided us on every step to purchasing the flat. His colleague Ms Carrie was also very helpful in making all the necessary paper work go through smoothly with HDB. We would recommend PLB for their outstanding services rendered, good luck and keep up the good work.”


Property Agency

Inter-State Realty

About

 Inter-State is a fully integrated property agency specialised in property sales and development. They’re also involved in the management and leasing of real-estate properties. They go beyond helping their clients sell and properties, to helping them find the perfect homes for their families and the perfect spot for their business. 

Key Services

·      Tenant Management

·      Buy, Sell, Rent Property

·      Property Management

Contacts

 

Address: 18 Sing Ming Lane, #08-11, Singapore 573960

Tel: (65) 6455 1638

Website: http://www.isr.sg/

Email: [email protected]


Property Agency

Navis Living Group

About

You’ll be impressed by the level of professionalism exuded by the agents assigned to you. Their approach, skills and attitude towards the buying and selling of properties in Singapore stands second to none. Even better, they have a phone app that help them in scheduling, marketing, messaging, and more.

Contacts

 

Address: 430 Lor 6 Toa Payoh #08-01, Singapore 319402

Tel: (65) 9856 6653

Website: https://www.navislivinggroup.com/

Review

“I have been with Navis for 9 years & I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. There is always hard work & yet many many moments of fun & laughter. Navis has given me a platform to strengthen my sales, my leadership roles & many more experience which enable me to train the younger generations of Navis. I am certainly proud to be one of them!”

 


FAQs

What are the types of property agent in Singapore

– Private properties
– Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats
– Executive condominiums

What is the age require on owning property in Singapore

The age limit for purchasing a resale HDB flat is 21 years.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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June 01, 2020

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