A rising GDP, a stable economy, and a lucrative return-on-capital investment.
The Lion City is indeed a real-estate investor’s paradise. So it comes as no surprise that Singapore still remains as the property investor’s mecca in Asia in spite of 2022 being reported as a seller’s market.
Even today, property enthusiasts from around the world flock to Singapore looking for an investment opportunity.
Are you one of them? Congratulations! You’ve made the right decision.
If done rightly with the help of a commercial real estate agent in Singapore, you could end up with a lucrative piece of investment in one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
The catch is here ‘If’ and you don’t want to base one of the biggest investment decisions of your life on an ‘if’.
We’re saying this because as is the case with most foreign laws, things might take a different route for you than a normal Singaporean citizen so you might want to save yourself some precious time and hire a commercial real estate agent with expertise in helping foreigners buy and invest property in Singapore instead of hammering your head around a complex set of expat property laws.
Still not convinced? We give you eight reasons a foreign buyer can benefit from a experienced commercial property agent in Singapore.
Picking the Right Piece of Property
The sheer number of property classifications in Singapore can overwhelm anyone. Acquisition laws vary according to the area you’re looking for and the kind of property you are looking at.
Do you prefer an office space in a building with a grade A status in the Central Business District? Could a commercial historical shophouse with unique architectural features suit your investment interests?
There are so many options that it might take several weeks for you just to narrow down on your perfect investment choice. Moreover, if you’re looking to rake in rental income from the property, it is especially prudent that you take several factors such as locality and building classification into consideration.
A commercial real estate agent will serve exactly what you want on the table.
Providing Precious Insider Information
It’s no surprise that commercial real estate agents who have been around for a while now have all the local tips and tricks. They know about the property cycles. They’re abreast with the nation’s changing real estate policies.
Let’s say you cannot take your eyes off a property. An experienced real estate agent will ask you to wait because he knows the prices will be coming down soon.
Or you’ve landed in a shiny grade A office space and are looking around. A commercial real estate agent will know about the right kind of questions to ask the seller. These will be especially helpful to look through any loopholes that the seller might be trying to pass by you. Which brings us to…
Showing Properties Around
Property inspection is a vital part of any real estate deal. If you’re a foreign buyer, there are high chances that you might not be able to attend all inspections in-person. A reliable commercial property agent is the best person to carry it out on your behalf.
When purchasing a new commercial property from a developer, many defects are discovered during the handover inspection.
This is one good reason for foreign buyers to hire an experienced commercial property agent. Such agents can not only report these defects to the developer and get it repaired, they can also coordinate with your interior designer to carry out basic renovations such as installing new ceiling board or new light fixtures, getting your newly purchased property ready for rental.
In specific cases such as acquiring a resale property, no one but an experienced commercial property agent will tell you that once you’ve put down the one percent option fee on a private property, you cannot request repairs from the seller for any existing conditions on the same.
No matter what kind of property you’re buying, you will need someone to narrow down to the properties you’ll be visiting. Because let’s face it, you have limited time on your hands and too many properties to explore.
Offering Genuine Advice
Property investment can be a tricky business because you’re putting in a lot of money and looking to reap substantial benefits from it in the long run. Needless to say, you’ll be putting in some serious thought to seal some major financial decisions at this time.
A commercial real estate agent who has been with you through everything will offer you genuine advice. Coming from an experienced party, such precious advice could prove to be invaluable.
For instance, real estate agents can advise buyers on what banks to seek loans from, which plans to choose from, eligibility for certain tax deductions, and so on and so forth.
A Singaporean property advisors can also provide you with advice regarding extra taxes that might be incurred when purchasing commercial properties containing residential components.
Moreover, property acquisition involves a lot of arduous yet critical legal paperwork and real estate agents can walk you through the entire legal process of acquiring a property, step-by-step.
Negotiating Property Prices
Whenever it comes to financial advice, your real estate agent in Singapore has all of the transaction data at their fingertips. He or she can make use of this knowledge to your advantage so that you can position yourself for a winning bid when pursuing a property.
Is the price too much or are you negotiating in uncharted waters? Real estate negotiating is a different ball game and real estate agents are its long-term players. These guys will tell you when it is exactly right to seal the deal now or look further for better prospects.
There Is No Fee On You as a Buyer
Are you already biting your nails at the commercial property prices in Singapore? That is perhaps the reason you are contemplating cutting your expenditure in the area of the property agent. Let me assure you that you do not have to pay an agency fee in this case.
In light of the many rules foreign buyers must know when acquiring property in Singapore, it is fair to say that foreign investors would need a commercial real estate agent with extensive knowledge to guide them through the entire process. The best part is that there are no commissions for buyers of commercial properties in Singapore.
So you get someone to show you around, provide you with the professional advice, negotiate, and prepare your precious documentation work, at zero cost to you!
Letting Out Your Investment Property
For foreign buyers, capital gains and wealth preservation are often driving factors in their decision to purchase Singaporean property. During the wait for capital gains on your investment properties, you will also have to find tenants to fill vacated properties for rental income.
Similar to buying a property in Singapore, letting out your commercial property can be a tricky ball game. There are a number of rules that govern commercial property leases in Singapore, and failure to comply can lead to an unwelcome dispute with your tenant.
Commercial properties come in over 30 use classes. Your tenant may need planning permission depending on the type of property you own and the tenant’s business use. A tenant may need planning permission if he or she wishes to establish a commercial school in your office space.
Worried already? Don’t be. A commercial real estate leasing agent in Singapore comes to your rescue here.
A commercial real estate agent in Singapore will not only fetches you potential tenants but will also do the needful on your behalf.
Assuring that the tenant is qualified to operate in your commercial space, as well as verifying the tenant’s business activities with the local planning department, all this can be quite time-consuming and tedious.
All of it is best left to your commercial real estate agents who has the expertise and knowledge while you rake in the capital gains.
Managing Tenant Complaints
Like most business transactions, the benefits of leasing a piece of property you own comes with its own set of risks. An ideal tenant exists in heaven, the same place from where a real estate agent has been sent down to your rescue.
We’ve lost count of the number of times landlords complained of continuous late payments from the tenant. Refusing to pay for damaged property after contract termination are common problems faced by property owners across Singapore.
Usually, such breaches require you to look up the agreed-upon terms and conditions in the contract and approach the law. But should you knock the court’s doors yet? Is there anything you can do before taking legal action? And what are some feasible tenant complaints you can manage on your end? Your real estate agent knows the best.
After all, they’ve been doing this for quite some time now. A commercial real estate agent in Singapore helps you plan the best course of action to resolve tenant complaints in the easiest and the least time consuming way possible.
With a property agent in Singapore by your side, tenant complaints cease to be boorish nightmares.
Bonus Tip: “I’m all up to hand over my buying responsibilities to a real estate agent in Singapore. But how do I distinguish a fraudster from a genuine person that can offer me all the above services?”
The Singaporean Government has your back even here.
All legit Singapore property agents are registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). This is a nationally accredited body and you can verify your agent’s practicing license with them.
This should be a reason enough for you to seek help from a real estate agent for your property buying needs in Singapore. After all, if everything goes right, you will be looking at a precious investment in one of the most prosperous nations of the world in the years to come.
At Owee commercial Real Estate, we are one of the few Singapore estate agencies offering exceptional real estate services that are personalized and customized to meet the diverse needs of international high net-worth individuals. We provide international HNWI a one-stop service for property investment and acquiring Singapore commercial real estate. Check out our Commercial Real Estate Acquisition service now!
Nic is the Executive Director and Key Executive Officer (KEO) of Owee Commercial Real Estate Pte Ltd. Nic starts his real estate career in 1995. He focuses in providing real estate services specifically to international high net-worth individuals and corporate clients. His expertise includes commercial properties finding, property investment planning & acquisition, managing buy to let property and tenant representation for office space.