Friday 2019-03-15

Basic Guide for Real Estate Agents by Sam Gian, ISBN 9789810838935, printed in 2009

This book is from the Institute of Estate Agents, and the first 35 pages are about making sure that you as an agent get paid. And perhaps because it was printed in 2009, before the Estate Agents Bill 2010, it emphasizes broking over agency -- which seems particularly suspect given the 2009 Yuen Chow Hin vs ERA Realty Network PTE LTD case (2009 2 SLR(R) 786).

The handbook includes an example Option to Purchase which contains an atrocious clause:

any reply received before the completion date herein from the Property Tax, Environmental Health, Public Works and Sewerage Department and Building Control Division shall NOT be deemed unsatisfactory less the same discloses that the Property is affected by any notice which has not been complied with and which is incapable of being complied with by the Vendor or which the Vendor is unable or unwilling to comply with.

This clause prevents the buyer from rescinding an offer when any local regulatory agency decides to add a sale-contingent restriction, or any new restriction. Since the Vendor may have previously tried to sell the property and found out about a future restriction, this clause invites deleterious behavior.

Sellers are not expected to reveal reasons for selling (e.g. defects).
All real estate sales via private treaty are governed by an overriding principle of caveat emptor -- which means 'buyers buy at their own risks'