Written By: Maelyn Lagman
A growing family begins to lose hope in selling their home for more than a year, and a single mother remains doubtful about selling hers at the height of the Circuit Breaker. What happened next proves the power of a tech-powered real estate sales force, supported by a dynamic team of multi-skilled professionals.
A dream that became a stressor
Faizal and Salena Farrok were expecting a fourth addition to their growing family when they decided to sell their current home. As happy as they were with their place, the reality of a newborn entering their world made them realise that their children would need more space as they grew up; They started dreaming of buying a bigger home and grew excited at the prospect of seeing it come true.
But what was once a happy idea of selling their home and buying a bigger one became a time-sensitive stressor that weighed heavily on their future. “We soon realised that it would take longer than expected,” the couple said. “Our dream couldn’t happen until we sold our existing home.”
Selling a property before purchasing a new one is a common property practice in Singapore as sellers wait to receive their cash proceeds before moving forward in their property journey.
Buying a second, subsidised HDB flat after selling your current one
If you’re buying an HDB flat after selling your current one, you can use up to 50% of the cash proceeds from your home sale to finance the next one. You may retain up to $20,000 in your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) and use the rest of the available CPF OA balance to buy your next subsidised, HDB flat.
Buying a condo after selling your HDB flat
But if you’re buying a condo after selling your current HDB flat, you can use your cash proceeds for the initial 5% down payment. You can also use the CPF monies available in your account for the remaining 20% down payment, buyer’s stamp duty, and other costs and fees.
Doomed for failure?
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Faizal and Salena embarked on an unbearably stressful selling journey. They engaged the services of “famous” and “not so famous” freelance agents for more than a year, emerging from the whole ordeal more emotionally drained than hopeful of making a sale.
They said, “We felt like nobody wanted to buy our house and, considering there weren’t many transactions in our area, thought there was no demand for our unit. Over time, we were swallowed by disappointment.”
The COVID-19 outbreak and the Circuit Breaker did nothing to help their situation. “At that stage,” they said, “we’d tried to sell our house for 14 months and knew we were doomed.
Trying to sell for one year with freelance agents, sold within six weeks with Ohmyhome
After fourteen months of unsuccessfully selling their HDB flat, Faizal and Salena were ready to give up—then they met Jason, an Ohmyhome Super property agent.
“Jason and the whole Ohmyhome team were helpful, knowledgeable of current prices, and confident of getting us a buyer within their three-month exclusivity period,” the couple said. “You can only imagine how refreshing it was for us.”
Though Faizal and Salena wondered if Jason and the Ohmyhome team were too good to be true, they managed to sell the couple’s home within six weeks. And when the offer came, Faizal and Salena almost couldn’t believe it. The long-awaited end to an unbelievably long journey had finally come.
A sceptical beginning to what would become a fruitful encounter
Goh Qi Qing had a slightly similar experience. Though she engaged Super Agent David’s help right from the start, she had to weather the unexpectedness of the Circuit Breaker and her doubts about him.
When she first met David, she was “hesitant about him at first”. She said, “It was my first time hearing that an agent received a salary from the agency. So I immediately had doubts about whether he could give me professional real estate advice.”
Ohmyhome Super Agents are salaried employees of the estate agency and PropTech company, giving them space to focus on what they’re good at: Closing deals.
In contrast with other freelance agents in the industry, Ohmyhome agents have a guaranteed list of rendered services, thus elevating the level of transparency they have with clients. After experiencing this first-hand, Qi Qing’s worries quickly dissolved. “He was very honest and didn’t give me the usual sales talk you can expect from other agents,” she said about David. “He made no false promises.”
During the Circuit Breaker, she thought it was impossible to sell her home
Then the months-long Circuit Breaker rolled in. The elevated set of safe-distancing measures implemented by the multi-ministry taskforce in Singapore disallowed physical home viewings, feeding Qi Qing’s doubts of selling her home at the height of the pandemic—though not for long.
The advancement of technology in today’s era meant that PropTech leaders like Ohmyhome–already at the fore of real estate innovation—could pivot in the face of the unique crisis and immediately develop new ways of catering to property transactors.
Since its inception in 2016, Ohmyhome has cultivated a dynamic relationship with technology and real estate salespersons. It empowers its Super Agents, like David, with tools to create video home tours and maintain a direct line of communication with potential buyers.
David’s access to Ohmyhome’s database and its highly-skilled tech team, made the impossible possible: he found Qi Qing a serious buyer.
“I was honestly stunned that a serious offer came through,” Qi Qing said, “as everything was so uncertain at the time.” After the five to six physical home viewings David had conducted for her, the Circuit Breaker period began—social distancing measures were tightened and physical viewings were disallowed by the government. With the help of her Super Agent David and the Ohmyhome team, they were able to support their online marketing strategy with a video tour of her unit, which finally attracted the right buyer.
Satisfied with the quick turn-around, despite the ongoing pandemic crisis, Qi Qing also remarked on David’s price negotiation skills, saying: “Representing me as a seller David was able to negotiate the buyer’s offer as close to my asking price as possible, so I was pleased with that.”
Qi Qing was so satisfied with David’s professionalism and agent service that she continued to engage him for her buying process, after selling her home.
The power of Ohmyhome
In under four years, Ohmyhome found the sweet spot in a property transactor’s journey, simplifying and shortening the selling process for them. Its AI-powered tech sifts through more than 175,000 transactors. It instantaneously matches sellers with buyers, and landlords with tenants, using their posted requirements (property type, budget, location) as data points to bridge the gap. As a result, Ohmyhome Super Agents receive a base pool of potential buyers they can present in their initial consultation with sellers.
Faizal said: “Today many freelance agents are advertising on social media with limited budgets to get buyers, and here is a company that has invested so much in technology to attract buyers, who are happy to view homes that meet their requirements and buy it when they love it, which is precisely what I experienced.”
Ohmyhome aims to reach the undervalued market of sellers and buyers in Singapore who are often left out of the picture when it comes to real estate transactions. By developing a free and easy-to-use mobile app, sellers, buyers, even landlords and tenants, have a shared space to connect and achieve their property goals.
Let our Super Agents help you with your selling journey
Call us at +65 6886 9009 to book an appointment today.