Choosing the Right Agent

A guide to selecting the right agent to administer your property transaction
Choosing the right real estate agent to help you in your search for a home or to find a tenant for your property is not something you can take lightly. Making the wrong choice could end up in disappointment and even confusion. It is advisable to appoint a licensed and qualified real estate agent to avoid having to endure the hassle of delays and obstacles.

Qualification of real estate agents in Singapore
The government of Singapore has created a certification scheme for real estate agents called the Common Examination of House Agents (CEHA). This scheme provides agents with a basic level of training in relation to their professional conduct as well as the processes involved in renting, buying and selling a property. Another additional scheme introduced is the Certified Estate Agents (CEA) which lists all certified agents on the website When selecting an agent, it is absolutely important to select the best qualified agent to work with.

What is the role of an agent?
An agent is the person who represents you either as a seller, buyer or even a tenant to negotiate with the opposite party and he/she is also the person to advise and guide you regarding the processes to follow in order to ensure the transaction is executed efficiently without any hiccups.

  • Agents representing the seller/landlord

An agent who represents the seller/landlord is expected to advise you on the market price of your property by researching with a property valuation provider or other sources. The agent should prepare a professional marketing plan to sell or rent out your property and have access to internal agency systems that help market the property through other agents within the agency. The agent is also responsible to make arrangements to market your property through various channels and arranges negotiation meetings with potential buyer/tenant, organize viewings of your property and prepare the contracts/agreements on your behalf.

  • Agents representing the buyer/tenant

For an agent who represents the buyer/tenant, he is responsible for assessing your needs and to advise you by presenting you with options of properties that meet your criteria and suit your budget. This is done through his own resources including his access to internal agency systems and other agents within the agency. The agent is responsible for arranging property viewings, handle negotiations (with your consent) with the other party and draft out the contracts on your behalf.

Commission Fees
Commission fees vary depending on the transaction type. As an approximate guide, the current market rates of commissions are provided in the table below.

Commission charges (Estimates)


Borne by

 Purchase (P) or Rental (R)

Seller / Landlord

Buyer / Tenant

Private Apartment & Landed Property (P)

Minimum 2% of transaction value

1% of transaction value*

HDB Apartment (P)

Minimum 2% of transaction value

1% of transaction value

Private Apartment & Landed Property (R)

One(1) month’s rental amount for every 12-month contract

One(1) month’s rental amount for every 12-month contract**

HDB Apartment (R)

One(1) month’s rental amount for every 12-month contract

One(1) month’s rental amount for every 12-month contract

These figures are provided as a guide only (based on the past 2 years) and are not to be taken as fixed or final. You also need to be aware that sometimes the commission fees can be negotiated.

*      ONLY if agency is appointed as a Representative.
**   ONLY if monthly rental is LESS THAN $2,500


  1. Agencies CANNOT accept commission from both parties if the same agency is involved in the transaction.
  2. In the instance of Co-Broking, the Seller/Landlord and Buyer/Tenant’s agents will collect their commissions from their respected appointee.
  3. If there are two (2) agencies involved in a transaction with only ONE (1) of either party paying the commission, it should be split (ratio determined amongst the agencies) between the agencies.

Additional tips to note when selecting an agent
A good agent is one who is well versed with the property market and possesses up to date knowledge of the property types and region in order to be able to make good suggestions to suit the needs of the customer. Experience also plays an important part as an experienced agent is able to execute the transaction smoothly and without mistakes. Another factor to look at is the personality of the agent as you will be working closely with the particular person over a period of time and this will make your dealing with him more pleasant and comfortable. Ensure that the agent of your choice is a certified and qualified real estate agent who is knowledgeable in the most current procedures and laws.

It is advisable to engage a single agent to handle your transaction as multiple agents might cause confusion and lack of commitment. When only one agent is appointed to handle your property he will be more committed to expedite the process. Before you decide on which agent will best suit you, take the time to shop around.