newstream

Voices

PropertyGuru, agents must put buyers first instead of squabbling

PropertyGuru, agents must put buyers first instead of squabbling

The needs of buyers seem to have taken a back seat amid the squabble between PropertyGuru and property agents (“Some real estate agents unhappy about PropertyGuru’s impending price hike”; Aug 3, Channel NewsAsia).

Incidents of fake or misleading listings on property portals or in the newspapers have been reported.

These include listing an attractive unit at a low price to as a bait to interest buyers. But upon enquiry, agents tell them the unit is sold and offer alternatives that are less desirable or more expensive.

Another trick is to list the lower per square foot price of a larger unit and later tell callers the price for a smaller unit advertised is higher. There are too many tricks for me to include here.

As PropertyGuru, the market leader, gains commercially from listings on its platform, it should exercise diligence to weed out questionable listings.

Culpable agents should not fool themselves into believing that their tricks work. Such tricks only frustrate potential buyers and delay their search for the units they eventually buy.

It would be a win-win for PropertyGuru and agents if both parties conduct themselves with integrity and put consumers first as they resolve their differences.