What are the challenges I faced in selling a 4rm flat that is just left with one bedroom?
I met this lady Annie in early 2020. She was referred to me through an old client of mine.
Annie is in her 60s and needed some thoughtful advice from an experienced realtor.
She needed to know why her 4-room flat in Sengkang was not able to be sold in the open market for the past 6 months.
She had engaged two realtors before me.
Unfortunately both agents couldn’t secure a buyer.
We arranged a meetup at her flat.
During our discussion and after assessing her property, I gave her an honest opinion as what are the obstacles are. I explained why her property is still on the market even after being marketed for quite a while.
1. her unit is situated on a low floor.
2. The unit originally comes with 3 bedrooms but she has converted into one bedroom.
3. One of the common room has been converted into a dining room and the other common bedroom has been converted into a walk in closet and join with the master bedroom.
4. The flat is nicely packed up and is cosy, neat and clean but renovation was 15 years old. So there are some wear & tear.
5. the pricing of the flat is a challenge to achieve with the above mentioned points.
Resolving the Challenges
I advised her what needs to be done but she was skeptical and reluctant to reduce her price at first.
Given the market situation (buyer’s market) and the pandemic, I advised her to reconsider her sale price.
Since she is no longer staying at the flat and has shifted to her new studio apartment – she listened to my advice and also consulted with her husband who is ill and undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the hospital.
Power of attorney was given to her from her husband as he can’t see to the paperwork and overseeing the sale of the flat.
Within 1 month of aggressive marketing, I had many viewing requests. All the potential buyers who came has been filtered and qualified.
We informed them that there is a shortage of 2 bedrooms to make sure their expectations are clear.
About 1.5 months later – I managed to secure a buyer for Annie. We negotiated and finally managed to come down to a price which both seller and buyer agreed.
I also guided the buyer – who is a PR and also a first time buyer as he needed full advice on how the process goes.
With Annie, I also ensured she was not lost with the online navigation to endorse HDB documents, payments etc.
This is important to ensure that there is no hiccups along the way.
Unfortunately, just about a week prior to HDB’s completion date – Annie’s husband passed on.
Annie was worried and helpless – at the same time she needed to make the necessary arrangement to attend to her late husband’s funeral.
Coping with a death of a loved one
She felt relieved when I took over and informed both HDB and the buyer. I also guided Annie what is the next step that needs to be done in terms of paperwork since the demise of her late husband.
Thanks to my past experience having handled many probate cases before – everything went smoothly and we managed to continue with HDB completion as scheduled without any delay.
Handed the house to the new owner.
Annie is now a good friend as well – I am happy the entire process went smoothly.
She thanked me for helping and guiding her – likewise I am also glad to be able to assist her in her difficult times.
Imagine being one of the few trusted people that Annie called in her time of need – I really appreciated her trust in me.
It is not always about making a living being a realtor but adding meaning to other people’s lives.
Joseph Tan has been in the real estate industry for the past 15 years. In 2018, he was awarded the Champion HDB Transactor by PropNex. His diverse experience in handling and solving various property issues has won him many happy clients and referrals. He shares his thoughts on the Singapore property market in long in-depth articles at https://www.propertyadvisors.sg.