The first thing any homebuyer in Singapore does is have a heart attack upon seeing the prices. For sellers, things aren’t that peachy either, given the fact that the property market has been in a slump ever since the cooling measures kicked in years ago. That’s why knowing where to get an accurate price estimate on a property you’re thinking of buying or selling is all the more important right now.
More and more Singaporeans are DIYing their own property transactions without the help of property agents, and new tools are coming up which make it even easier for buyers and sellers.
The new HDB Resale Portal makes DIY resale transactions much shorter and more convenient, while a plethora of property listing sites like PropertyGuru and STProperty enable buyers and sellers to connect with each other without the help, and cost, of an agent.
However, if you decide to just wing it without doing proper research, you run the risk of getting lowballed (if you’re a seller) or fleeced (if you’re a buyer) by unscrupulous individuals or agents.
Here are some tips, whether you’re buying or selling your property.
As a buyer
As a buyer, your biggest concern is whether a price being offered to you by an agent or seller is over-inflated. Many sellers expect buyers to negotiate, so they will price their properties higher than they’re actually willing to accept.
Committing to an over-inflated property can leave you with issues when you’re trying to find a loan after making your downpayment. That’s because some banks conduct property valuation before they will offer you a loan, and if they don’t agree with the purchase price you agreed to, may reduce the percentage of the cost they’re willing to lend you.
You should also beware of properties that are undervalued, or being sold for a much lower price than they should be worth. If the price seems too good to be true, there might be hidden issues which later come to light, such as damage or maintenance issues that will be costly to rectify.
As a seller
You’re the one who’s supposed to set the price, so you will need to make sure you are pricing your property in relation to market value. Price your property too high and finding buyers might be a challenge, unless you can justify the inflation. If you price it too low, you’re lowballing yourself and could lose a lot of money.
Get a somewhat accurate price estimate by using this data-driven online tool
This useful new online tool, UrbanZoom, could be just what you need to estimate the price of your property, whether you’re a buyer or seller.
You can key in the address of your property and they’ll generate an estimated range of what that exact property should be worth. The estimate is based on publicly available data taken from government websites like HDB and URA.
This means that the accuracy of UrbanZoom depends on the availability of information. Their price estimation of a HDB unit in a popular estate is probably more reliable than an older condo unit. To their credit, they do provide a “confidence level” rating and disclaimer if there’s not enough data to be conclusive.
If you’re wondering if prices are trending up or down, they also provide a chart showing fluctuation of the property value over the last five years.
The site is still in beta mode, so while they provide HDB and condominium price estimates (since that data is easier to obtain), they don’t have information on landed properties yet (and maybe never will). By the way, just in case it needs to be said, this is not a sponsored post and we have no links to UrbanZoom whatsoever.
Check past transaction prices using these government websites
If you don’t trust UrbanZoom’s price estimate, here are some other tools that can give you even more information.
- URA’s Private Residential Property Transactions e-service – This tool enables you to search any private property transactions within the past 3 years. You can search by project name or property type/postal district.
- HDB’s Resale Flat Prices e-service – This tool lets you check transacted prices for resale flat transactions within the past 2 years. You’ll be able to filter by flat type, HDB town or specific block.
Using a combination of UrbanZoom and the relevant government website for past transactions, you should have a pretty accurate idea of the price estimate of that property you’re buying or selling. That sure beats searching in confusion for similar units in your area on property listing sites.
Are you trying to buy or sell property right now? Share the biggest challenges you’re facing in the comments.