Choosing a new restaurant to try (or even a hotel for your upcoming trip) is pretty simple. Just head over to Tripadvisor, and you’ll get access to thousands of ratings and reviews at your fingertips.
Choosing a property agent to work with, on the other hand, is not quite as straightforward. Obviously, you’ll ask your friends and families for recommendations. You might also do a Google search, and chance upon blog articles wherein people talk about their experiences with their own agents… but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a handy platform which collects and aggregates information and reviews.
Property agent transactions to be made public
Well, not until 2019, that is! According to the latest roadmap for the real estate industry, unveiled on February 8th 2018, homebuyers and sellers will soon be able to view the prices and locations of property deals closed by agents across Singapore.
This review initiative is slated to be implemented across two phases. By end 2018, we’ll have access to reviews regarding public housing transactions; by end 2019, private residential transactions will be published as well. With this new initiative, homebuyers will now be able to shop around for agents who are familiar with a particular area and type of property.
CEA will be collecting and publishing property agent ratings
That’s not all – the long-term goal is for the Council for Estate Agencies to work on collecting and publishing customer ratings of agents, in a bid to improve accountability and transparency. The exact timeline isn’t confirmed as of now, but a couple of years down the road, we could have our very own Tripadvisor for property agents in Singapore!
Improving other property transaction services
Apart from providing buyers and sellers with more data about property agents, the roadmap also focuses on using technology to make property transaction services more user-friendly. HDB has recently launched their new Resale Portal which streamlines the resale transaction process – but there’s more in store.
The aim is to tackle private resale and rental transactions next, and to work on making these more efficient. Leading the project is a workgroup spearheaded by the CEA, and one of the first things they’re looking at is minimizing the use of hardcopy documents (eg cheques and cashier’s orders), which will in turn cut back on processing time.
Digital contracts in the property sector
Last but not least, the CEA also mentioned that they were looking at developing standardised, digital contracts for sales or resale transactions by early 2020s. The rationale behind this? Firms are currently using their own versions of these contracts – and inefficiencies arise when other vendors (eg lawyers) need to verify the data. With a standard contract in place, says the CEA, vendors will be able to eliminate this unnecessary step, and spend time on higher-value work.
If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends How will the new HDB resale portal shape Singapore’s property scene? and Why property agents should embrace technology and use it to their advantage.
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