Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said over one in 10 Singaporeans managed the sale of their own HDB flats.
He stated this while addressing feedback over his recent blog post about operations of the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). The CEA was founded last year with the aim of raising the industry’s professionalism.
Some readers suggested that agents should be prohibited from handling resale HDB transactions, while others called for an end to people selling their own flats.
Others expressed the need for protection of consumers against agents, and vice versa.
In response, Mr Khaw wrote, “My bias will be towards the consumers, but to do so in a fair manner. I don't think it is appropriate to prohibit agents from handling HDB resale transactions. Neither is it necessary to mandate that all resale HDB transactions should be via agents.”
He noted that the HDB does not require owners to hire agents to complete transactions. Rather, it facilitates transactions with a checklist found on the HDB website.
For owners who engage agents, the amount of commission may be decided on by the salesperson and the owner, said Mr Khaw.
However, he maintained that, “CEA does encourage the use of the Estate Agency Agreement form to put on record the amount of commission agreed by both parties from the start. This will avoid future disputes.”