The Council of Estate Agencies prohibits conflicts of interest. An agent cannot represent two parties at once.
The seller’s agent is responsible for helping to sell the house, while the buyer’s agent should help the buyer find a house that suits his needs and preferences.
Seek advice from a good property consultant instead of an agent who can only give sales talks.
Some agents only highlight what is good about the unit no matter how undesirable the unit actually is, but we cannot blame them for that. This is because these agents do not represent you, but flat sellers instead. Their job is to sell the unit by convincing you that the unit is worth buying.
In Singapore’s real estate industry, the agent representing the buyer cannot represent the seller. Likewise, the agent representing the seller cannot represent the buyer. Under the Council for Estate Agencies’ (CEA) guidelines, property agents are obliged to avoid conflicts of interest. The agent who represents the seller and the agent who represents the buyer should receive payment from the seller and buyer respectively, or a co-broke fee. Most importantly, an agent cannot represent two parties at once.
An agent’s professionalism is demonstrated in his ability to help the person he is representing. If he represents the seller, then he is supposed to help the seller sell the house. If he represents the buyer, then his main job is to help the buyer secure a suitable house. This can be done by informing the buyer of the house’s merits and flaws which the buyer may not have noticed on his own. The agent may also help the buyer survey the prices of various flats and represent the buyer in negotiations with the seller and his agent. If the seller’s agent were to help you, the buyer, in any of these things, then it is probably out of goodwill.
Agents of sellers may give you a sales talk that overly emphasises the good points about the house he is helping to sell. Sometimes, the agent does this when he has limited information about the house and does not know what to tell you. When this happens, you should be careful not to fall into the sales trap. If you want good advice to help you make an informed decision, get yourself a good consultant, not a salesman.