I first met up with this client when he enquired about the valuation of his house back in April 2019. He intended to sell his flat as his wife and child had moved back to their home country while he remained in Singapore for work. The other room in his flat was rented out and he wanted to just rent a place closer to his workplace.
After running through the financial calculations with him, selling it at the market value then would be a negative sale for him and on top of that he was required to pay a hefty $16K in outstanding HDB HIP Costs as he is a Singapore PR. That added to his worries so I told him we can try at a higher price but it would require time to find the right buyer. His place required an update in decor with full renovations and it was a low floor unit facing the central refuse chute and the electrical substation.
I kept him updated on the viewings throughout and also requested for the cooperation of his tenant to allow potential buyers to view the master bedroom. In the end, we managed to get this unit sold at almost his desired price after more than 7 months of marketing. It certainly took a lot of time and effort but this was not the end of the story. The seller still had to cough up the HIP cost in lump sum despite not receiving a single cent in cold hard cash from the sale.
To summarise, all these issues could have been avoided if there was a reliable property agent to advise him during the buying process. Such issues could have been avoided or mitigated:
1) High entry price for an ageing flat
2) Did not negotiate hard enough to compensate for the low level of the unit and the less than satisfactory facing
3) Did not check when was the HIP billing
4) Did not take steps to avoid a negative sale