Comment: When do you really need a real estate agent?

My friend Elaine offers a recent experience. “My client was looking for an apartment with a view of the swimming pool. One apartment was on a lower floor; the other, on the top floor; the price increases by S $ 5,000 per floor.

“So I asked her, ‘Do you want to sit on your couch and have a view of the pool? Or just so you can see the pool when you step out onto the balcony and look down? “

“My client bought the house on the lower level and saved a considerable amount of money.

It’s an interesting prospect. But I would certainly be wary of agents who might act in their own best interests rather than mine.

READ: Commentary: A look at the affordability of the HDB flat after recent changes in housing policy

How to weed them? To get started, you can visit the Real Estate Board of Directors website for information on the agent of your choice. You can see what real estate deals they’ve made and if they match their claims.

Be frank. Let them know that you are considering speaking to buyers or sellers they have done work for.

If the agents you are considering balk or are unhappy, it may not be disqualifying, but it could tell you a lot about their character or attitude.

Since I started researching before writing this review, the buying / selling question has become intensely personal. My house, almost 36 years old, was put up for sale in block. This offer ended on October 22.

READ: Commentary: What happens when the block musical chairs stop?

So my last tip is this. First, ask around in your social or professional circles. You might find that someone you have known for a long time is now in the real estate business.

Shamelessly seek advice. To take notes. Read. There is a wealth of information online. It may not help you plan your own case, but you will come out of it better informed.

More importantly, if you find that you have to depend on a stranger to handle your sale or purchase, remember that if you are in a rush to sell, you are more likely to be scammed by an unscrupulous real estate agent.

Remember, it’s your money that’s at stake.

Irene Hoe has been a writer, editor, coach and journalist for many decades.

Penny D. Jackson