Dishonest Singapore Property Agent Cheats Novice Property Buyers

Today we watched in horror another Dishonest singapore property agent attempts to cheat hdb property buyer. He asked for deposit of $1000 as money for option to purchase but gives the home buyer only an empty option to purchase form that is unsigned.

This is a time to be extremely careful especially for novice property investors, dishonest property agents in Singapore are out on the loose again. A hot property Market has the same effect as changi prison not locking it’s gates. Yes, criminals running amok.

During a hot property market dishonest Singapore property agents run amok. They find many preys as people are generally guided by fear and greed.

Agents spin stories about prices going up now if you don’t buy.  Fear that the Property market will run away with hefty price rises! This cuts short the thinking process, things are not thought through in detail.

Greed, in that they want to get in quickly as the market is rising, they can buy and sell at a higher price.

Source: Channel 8 news – 12 Sep 2009


Recently around late august, a novice Singapore property investor Miss Yuen came to us to get a Singapore home loan for her studio apartment. She (the property buyer, Miss Yuen) recounted her interesting encounter with a Dishonest Singapore property Agent.

She was looking for a 2 bedroom property around 890 sq feet in Clementi. A very professional groomed and pleasant looking Singapore property agent brought her to see the studio. Miss Yuen was very keen with the property, but she had a budget of $580k. The asking price was $650k. The price is quite steep for such a small unit which also happens to be 99 years lease hold too.

Property agent assured investor that UOB can match home loan valuation.  The Property agent assured Miss Yuen that banks can match $650k.

She ask us to check the valuation, we came back with a valuation of $550k and the highest valuation we got was $550k.

We told miss Yuen our customer that no matter how we push UOB wouldn’t move the valuation more than $560k.

Miss Yuen started to doubt Mortgage Consultant’s ability to get the best and highest valuation. She said the Property agent promised her to get bank loan for her to match $650k. Miss Yuen was very tempted to just go ahead to place the 1% deposit for the option
to purchase.

Miss Yuen was very busy but she still gave us a chance to respond by calling us to verify.

We told her to ask the agent to give the name of the banker who promised $650k valuation so that we can verify the information.

So miss yuen asked the property agent for the name and the contact of the banker. The property agent gave the name and number of the banker without hesitation.

She looked so real and genuine. Miss Yuen called us and she said, “I’ll have to go with the agent’s home loan suggestions, her banker can match the valuation.”

We told Miss Yuen, “Why don’t you let us check with the UOB banker to verify the information? And if possible ask the UOB banker to put the valuation confirmation in writing.”

She gave us the number of the UOB banker to call, we called the banker and he told us the valuation was $540k, but that was 3 weeks ago. We asked the UOB banker, “Didn’t you tell the Property Agent that it was $650k for that particular condominium unit?”

The UOB banker said, “Nope, I never said that. She asked me to match $650k but I told her, sorry, NO WAY! The valuers said NO. I only told her it was $540K.”, “But the property agent claimed you said, $650k valuation is matched!”

UOB Banker: “Sorry, I did not say that, I said it can match $540k, that is the maximum. I told her no way to match $650k property valuation very clearly.”

We told Miss Yuen that the Valuation cannot match $650k.  After this encounter, we asked Miss Yuen to check with the the Singapore property agent how she had known the valuation was $650k?

Miss Yuen, “How did you know that the valuation was $650k? UOB says cannot match valuation.”

Dishonest Property agent: “Did I ever say UOB can match? Sorry I must have made a mistake, it was my colleague who told me.”

Could the Property Agent have made an Honest mistake?

How could she not know the valuation of the property she is marketing?

By now, Miss yuen was fuming. She questioned the property agent and wanted her to explain.

Before the property buyer Miss Yuen could finish, the agent quickly hung up the phone.

Miss Yuen tried to call the property agent back many times, the property agent refused to pick up the call.

Property Agents are Armed with Bank’s application forms at Launches or show rooms.

These days, some property agents are armed with the bank’s application forms at the launches. They will try to ask you to sign up and apply for a loan. Sometimes, that bank is the only bank that can match an over-priced property, that means if you buy, you are forced with 1 package. In the worst case, for some re-sale properties, the prices being asked cannot be matched, that means you will have to pay a CASH-OVER-VALUATION (COV) like in HDB case.

In case you did not budget for this, you will have to lose your 1% deposit and let your Option to purchase lapse after 14 days.

If the property is $600k, you will lose $6,000 just like that.

Property agents don’t care, they will still get 50% of the forfeited deposit, plus they can market the property again. If their commission is 1%, selling the property 2 times gives them 1.5% of commission. This is a good deal.

For Some dishonest property agents out there, they CHURN the buyers. This is because listings are hard to get, so they don’t care, but these agents of course are sure they don’t want you to see as we often unveil their lies and show the customers what is behind that handsome or beautiful and professional face.

Novice Singapore property investor must be extra careful. Some Dishonest Singapore property agents look very honest and professional. And it is sometimes the more experienced property agents that are more dangerous and cunning, CEHA only does so much to certify them for knowledge, but CEHA cannot guarantee their integrity especially when the agents are engaged in conflicts of interests (both selling and buying).

Source : SerialEntrepreneur – 12 Sep 2009


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