• Joshua Loo

Uncomfortable Truths to Sell Your House Fast in Singapore

Updated: Jun 4, 2021

Uncomfortable Truths to Sell Your House Fast in Singapore FB

Why Every House Is Marketable

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. This without a doubt applies to homes that are placed on sale. I believe that every home is marketable. What was it that made you purchase your property in the first place? Surely your choice in properties is not too unique that you might have difficulty finding a buyer?

You may have seen the recent news in which a Tiong Bahru HDB flat is being sold for S$1.1 million. Even with a short lease of 51 years left, young families were the ones that are mainly viewing the place. This places a serious handicap on young buyers as they are only allowed to take a prorated housing loan and CPF use.

This means that more cash will be needed up front!


Asking for Cash Over Valuation (COV) is normal and even expected from all my clients. However, you must be able to reason with the intended buyer on why this should be so.

Place yourselves in the shoes of the buyer for a second. Apartments are plenty in Singapore. A leasehold, squarish 3 Bedroom unit with an approximate 980 sqft is not considered a unique investment opportunity!

That being said, how do you set yourself apart in a high supply market?

If your intended buyer is a real estate investor, the house must be in livable condition and not dilapidated. It by no means is required to be an architectural showpiece.

However, it must be able to draw a strong rental income. On top of the existing rent, ask your agent to provide a good track record of asking rental and transaction volume.

If your intended buyer intends to be an occupier of the unit, promoting nearby amenities is a must. This sets you apart from other developments, but not units that are marketed within your development.

Focus on the facing direction, the state of repairs, usable space, and anything else that is unique about your property.

Also, absorbing the full cost of your interior renovations into the sale of your home is not realistic, here are my reasons why.

Buyers’ Ideas

Other than your house not being in a dilapidated state, buyers do not care about how much you have previously spent on your home renovations. Mentioning this is also a big nono, as they will interpret it as you are passing on the costs to them!

What buyers want is to understand the true interior renovation potential of a property. Having a nicely renovated place helps them to visualize this. However, 90% of the time, they will hire a renovation contractor to remodel it.

By absorbing the full cost of your renovation into the property you are asking them to spend on an interior concept that they are not going to utilize!

Similar to showflats for New Launch projects, your property will be used for the same reasons if not priced correctly!

Keep Things Tidy

It pretty much goes without saying that you will need to keep your house tidy if you have interested buyers looking to view the property. I am not saying to keep it without a single speck of dust, but for it to be in livable condition.

Not keeping your house tidy will impress on your buyer that you are not bothered enough to keep the place tidy for them and hence, not a serious seller.

Hiring A Real Estate Salesperson

Have you ever traveled alone in a foreign country and felt lost because you do not know how to speak their native tongue? That is how it feels when you are trying to sell your property without a real estate salesperson.

You are probably able to make your way around by googling, but how much time is wasted from just stumbling from place to place? Even worst, you might even bump into unsavory characters!

A travel guide is a good analogy for a real estate salesperson. This is still the tried and tested method which works best for everyone.

There are some outliers to this. Some sellers might prefer to keep their transaction as private as possible, as they might be someone of influence and the property is of sizeable value (i.e., think an eight-figure sum!) This also applies to commercial properties, where any change to the landlord might spook the current business operator, so the sale will have to be a low profile.

Who Plays the Bigger Role? The House or The Agent?

Speaking as a real estate salesperson, our ability to market a property plays only a small, albeit crucial contribution to the sale of your home.

Reposting, boosting, or spotlighting listings in PropertyGuru helps in providing more exposure for your property, but do you remember when you were first looking for your home in the open market and the lengths that you will go to secure the right one?

Agents will often promote themselves as being district focused but more often, is this the result of sheer convenience for their daily routine or an actual marketing strategy that they have?

Finding the Right Agent

In my opinion, a good agent is someone who is well versed in the steps to getting your homes sold, and any particular pitfalls that are anticipated.

Remember, the star of the show is always your property, and the right agent amplifies these strengths to the prospective buyer.

My Personal Experience