Is Your Property Agent Any Good?

By Thomas Chew / | October 11, 2018 2:40 PM SGT
We have all heard horror stories of property agents (such as the story of the agent who embezzled $830k from his overly trusting client), each with varying degrees of awfulness. We have also heard of good experiences with property agents, whether it be from our relatives or friends, who have had smooth transactions because of these agents.
In the agent world, there is definitely the good, the bad and the ugly. The question is, which does your property agent belong to? How do you know if a property agent is up to mark? Here are 4 things to do in order to ensure you have engaged a quality agent:
1. Check to see if the agent is registered
All property agents are required to be registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), a statutory board that acts as a regulatory body for property agents. You can therefore easily check if your agent is licensed, which will save you from a lot of pain and trouble. To do so, simply access the Public Register on CEA’s portal and search for your agent by name, registration number or mobile number. You can also check if the real estate agency is licensed on the Register.
The Register will reveal if the property agent had been disciplined by CEA within the last 3 years, and if the agent had been conferred any awards by CEA due to outstanding performance. This check will also help you decide if you want to retain the agent; most will avoid agents who have a bad discipline record, and retain agents who are award winning.
Needless to say, responding to dodgy advertisements (essentially short typed-out sentences on blank pieces of paper) will not be wise. These ads commonly do not display the agent’s registration number. If you encounter any unlicensed property agents, you can report them to CEA, where they will likely face a fine and a stern warning.
2. Know your agent’s duties to you
It is important to know and understand what a property agent is responsible for. Firstly, the property agent must safeguard and prioritise...