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  • Aaron Lin Property


Our answers to another common question buyers have: How do you identify a good property unit when browsing property listings on platforms like PropertyGuru or

We will be sharing the 3 steps and considerations to help you zoom in on potential listings that are worth your time and efforts, to help you in you property purchase!


Instead of just looking through every listing on the property platforms like you are shopping on an online store, it is important to understand what goes on behind these advertisements you are seeing and learn of the shortcuts to getting what you want. Not every agent is able to put out a good and proper property advertisement, and the inconsistency in ads might be a hurdle buyers find hard to get over.

Is it Real?

The very first consideration for a buyer is to understand if the property listing is real or fake. Yes, you read right, there are property listings that are 'fake' as in there might not be a property unit available for what is listed or the property listed might have already been sold and is no longer available.

For an agent like Aaron, it's easy to sieve through such fake listings. By messaging the agent in charge and successfully getting a viewing, one would know that the listing is real. Otherwise, if there is no responses or a reply stating that the unit is sold, the listing is obviously then fake.

However, it is not as easy for a direct buyer. Any buyer that calls an agent that posted a fake listing would then be told that the unit is not available, either on hold or perhaps already sold. Then the follow up would be to ask if the agent can show you another alternative unit. Basically, this is just a lead gathering exercise. By having these fake ads up, the agents can collect contact details of buyers and bring them to other units for viewing.

Thus, this screening of fake listings is also a benefit of engaging an agent to do a property search for you.


Next, for real listings, you would then look at the price. More important than the numbers on the price tag, is the words that accompany the price. There could be descriptions like 'starting from', 'negotiable', and so on.

Especially when the term negotiable comes up, it's hard to ascertain how much is the price negotiable up to. For his clients, this is when Aaron comes in to find out how much the leeway of negotiation is and it's hardly or never up to the 6 digits. For example, a HDB unit asking for 420k might usually be negotiable for up to 5k.

Terms like 'view to offer' are also misleading and considered 'clueless'. What does the term 'view to offer' even mean in terms of the price expectations. The reason for buyers to determine asking prices is important, as it would help to narrow the scope and only look at units that are worth the buyer's time and effort to consider. It also helps to screen out sellers that are not serious.

Again, for this step in the process, it's easier for agents to communicate with each other. There is a tendency for seller agents to avoid disclosing the reserve price of sellers and how much the negotiable amount actually is. The main reason is lowballing buyers. After being told of the lowest price, buyers would still insist on making an offer 10k less than told to them. This behavior by direct buyers is what causes this phenomenon.


A key part of the purchase is about determining which shortlisted advertisements are then at the market price or the 'correct price'. To compare the asking price to the 'correct price' requires buyers to already know what the 'correct price' of the unit or area is. This is determined by a mix of factors including previous transacted prices and more.

When comparing listings and finding that there are no listings at a 'correct' range of prices, it means sellers are just calling for a selling price that they like and essentially that there is no serious seller for either that project or that area. This is not uncommon in today's market as there are more people looking for houses and less people looking to sell.

Obviously too, if an area of project is really good, there would be less listings available and vice versa. By understanding that it's mostly about demand and supply, buyers can better evaluate and gauge the listings to find what they are looking for.

Another point to note, is that seller agents rarely if ever put up higher prices than what an owner wants. The inflation of advertisement prices would eventually just come back to kill the agent when he/she is unable to close the transaction and ends up being replaced. Always remember that while the agent is there to act in the best interests of the client/seller, the agent also wants to close the transaction.


Learn how to identify good properties through looking at listings, read all the telltale signs ini advertisements and more, as told by Aaron in the video below!

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