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Is It Better To Have An Exclusive Agent To Sell Your Property?

Driven by low interest rates, Singapore’s property prices have been on the uptrend, rising continuously for the past consecutive quarters. HDB resale market also saw a rise in prices with a 5% increase in 2020, the steepest growth since 2012.

So you may thinking, is this the right time to cash out on your investment, or perhaps to the opportune time to right-size.

In any case, if you are seriously considering selling your property, you may be thinking – should I appoint an exclusive property agent or should I have several agents marketing my property? In today’s article, we will look at the pros and cons of an exclusive agent versus several agents.

According to the Council for Estate Agencies The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), there are two types of agreements –an exclusive agreement and a non-exlusive agreement. CEA is a statutory board of the Ministry of National Development (MND). It was established on 22 October 2010 to regulate and develop the real estate agency industry in Singapore.

An exclusive agreement is when you appoint only one property agent. This agreement is valid for a period of 3 months.

For non-exclusive agreements, you can appoint a few property agents to help you in your transaction. So, depending on your needs and preferences, you can select the option that suits you best.

Roles of the Agent

Both exclusive agent and non-exclusive agents perform the same role for you. They will advertise your property for sale in the various media and platforms, arrange and conduct viewings, negotiate on your behalf and do all the paperwork required.

The only difference between the two is that for an exclusive agent, you only have to deal with one party instead of multiple parties for non-exclusive.

(1) Exclusive Agreement

For exclusive agreement, the appointed agent will be fully responsible for the process of selling your property.

It is more convenient as having one point of contact means lesser hassle for owners.

Exclusive agents usually provide a higher level of service as he is the only one taking care of your property needs (there is no competition for the commission). When your property is sold, he will be the one that is entitled to the commision, so rest assured that he will be doing his utmost to sell your property quickly and efficiently.

Certain exclusive agents will also spare no expense in ensuring that your property is marketed well.

For example, some may even provide additional services such as virtual tours and property valuations, though this is dependent on the value of your property, which in turn, is tied to the commission that he will be paid when the property is transacted.

So the higher the value of your property, the higher the level of service will be.

Because your property is marketed by one agent, you will not see duplicate listings in the property portals. Duplicate listings tend to give the impression that the property has been in the market for a long time and difficult to transact.

Exclusive agents tend to also provide analysis and data on transactions in your neighbourhood. Data like recently transactions, latest sold prices and rental rates can help you price your property more accurately.

With exclusive agents, it is easier to plan your time for viewings as you only have to schedule with one agent instead of multiple viewings with multiple agents.

One important to take note is that during the exclusive validity period of 3 months, you must pay commission to the exclusive agent, even if your property is transacted through other means; i.e if you sold the property yourself.

In addition, for up to three months after the exclusive validity period, if your property is sold to a buyer that was introduced by the exclusive agent, you would also have to the commission to the agent.

(2) Non-Exclusive Agreement

If you have a non-exclusive agreement, you can have several agents marketing your property.

The idea here is to cast the net wider. But is it really more effective?

Think about it, when you have many agents marketing your property, they all will be putting out the same listings in all the property platforms. This may confuse potential buyers especially when some agents list it at a lower price to attract potential buyers to call them. This may lead to confusion regarding the actual selling price.

Not all agents will put in the same effort for a non-exclusive listing, so you may find listings of various standard for your property, which is not a good thing.

Many non-exclusive agents do not put priority to your listing as they may have other clients who are on exclusive agreemnts and they need to put more attention to those.

Also, with non-exclusive agents, you may end up having multiple unneccesary viewings as most agents do not know if you already have a firm offer.

As they may have other priority clients, non-exclusive agents may not attend to your requirements immediately and they probably would not provide data analysis as well. The common thinking here is why should I do something that may end up benefitting other agents.

Commission wise, for non-exclusive agreements, you only need to pay commission to the agent that close the deal for you. If you managed to find the buyer yourself, you do not need to pay any commission to the agents.

Make Your Decision

Now that you have a better understanding of both exclusive and non-exclusive agreements, you should go with the one that best suit your needs and requirements.

If you are selling a property for the first time home, it would be better to use an exclusive agreement as the agent can guide you through the process which can be quite complicated if you are selling a HDB flat. You only need to liase with one party and you are in control of your time and situation.

One More Thing has recently launched their own FSBO service, where homeowners can list their properties for sale.

Users are given the option to (1) list their properties for 30-day by themselves at no cost, (2) avail of a Flat Fee Package, or (3) engage Mogul's Property Concierge to handle all the work involved in the resale process.

To learn more about this service, click here.


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