Buying a Resale HDB – Part 3: Engaging a Property Agent

Australian expatriate and award-winning blogger, who wrote about his experience of living as a foreigner in a HDB in Woodlands here, Peter Breitkreutz, takes us through his own experience of buying a HDB flat as a Singapore Permanent Resident. Last time, he looked at financing your purchase, here he talks about engaging a property agent to source your new property for you.

(Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board)

Step 3: Engaging a Property Agent Finding a property agent who you feel comfortable with may be easier said than done. The introduction of the new regulations has undoubtedly helped reduce the number of ‘part-time’ agents from the market, but you will find many that are unresponsive, or not ‘attuned’ to your requirements. Sites such as Singapore are a good starting place, they are packed full of agents and contacts, and especially as they can help you find agents that specialise in certain districts. Alternately, you could contact some of the bigger companies and engage one of their people.

I strongly recommend that you engage more than just one agent. We worked with about four or five, so as to keep the options open and increase the viewing and selection of apartments available. The property agent gets paid only if they make a sale and will charge you 1% of the sale price (+7% GST) as their fee. Note that the seller will generally have to pay their own property agent 2% (+7% GST) as their fee).

As an aside – we were extremely fortunate in that one of the agents that we engaged (and the one that found us our ‘dream’ apartment which fitted our specifications), was a ‘friend of a friend’. Throughout the entire process he went out of his way to go above and beyond what we expected in terms of service. I think this kind of agent is a rare breed indeed and, judging from what I’ve heard from others, may be difficult to find!

Once you’ve found the agent(s) who both have properties that match your criteria and you feel comfortable using, lets look at selecting and optioning to purchase a property.

Read more of this series:

Part 1: Budget and Specifications
Part 2: Financing
Part 4: Purchasing
Part 5: HDB, Legal and Taking Possession

Read more from this author…   Peter Breitkreutz is an Australian living and working in Singapore. To read more about him, check out his award-winning blog at

Find a HDB for you… For the most authoritative and comprehensive listing of HDB properties for sale or rent, go to