What to Look Out for Over Virtual Property Viewing During Circuit Breaker?

On April 3, 2020, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared that everyone in the country must remain at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. He likened the situation to a circuit breaker, a device that safely blocks the current flow in an electric circuit.

The order was supposed to last until May 4. Still, the Prime Minister had to extend the community circuit breaker until June 1 due to the continuous transmission of the globally dreaded virus.

This necessary measure already affected a lot of businesses, including the property investment sector. According to reports, the percentage of HDB flat resale transactions dropped significantly in April. Since the strict protocols that shut down most activities in the city-state will soon be over, some of the affected businesses may resume.

But the number of property agents conducting virtual viewing continues to be on the rise to adapt to the “new normal” and follow the safe distancing recommendations of the government. 

A quiet Merlion Park during the circuit breaker in 2020. | Source: Facebook

You may still need to find a new property while the government slowly eases Singapore reopening. Here are some ways to help you look for a new place to stay during the circuit breaker period.

Tip #1: Ask your agent for thorough virtual property viewings

Whether you are planning to buy or rent a new residential unit, virtual house tours could serve as your alternative to the actual house tour that you usually do before the circuit breaker took effect.

This is especially useful if you are looking at new condominium developments right now when many developers’ show galleries remain close at the moment of publishing. A video walkthrough property tour, or 3D property tour of the show gallery unit coupled with floor-plans has led many buyers to purchase units even during the circuit breaker period. 

There are mainly 3 types of virtual property tours that exist in Singapore: the video walkthrough property tour, 3D virtual property tour and also lastly, livestream property tours. As mentioned previously, for new condominium launches, as the actual unit is still being built, video walkthrough property tours and 3D virtual property tours of the show gallery are useful for buyers to visualise what they are purchasing.

However, what about resale property? Most of the residential resale property is being lived in by either the seller or tenants. It will be advantageous to ask for a livestream video property tour to see the actual unit so that you can see the actual nooks and crannies of the unit. You can ask to include a detailed look at all the rooms and spaces within the house.

It would be best if the agent will conduct a livestream session to showcase the unit and allow you to ask questions along the way such as specific improvements or renovations that have been done previously to the unit. Livestream or video calls are also more convenient since you can see the unit’s actual condition without any video manipulations done. It will allow you to check if there are cracks in the walls or chipped floorings even if you are not physically present during the house tour. 

Tip #2: Look for an agent who is trustworthy and knowledgeable

During this period when safe distancing is a must, you need to work with a property agent you can trust. You need to build a good working relationship with your agent, so he or she can lead you to the right property that suits your specifications during virtual viewing.

In the time of this circuit breaker, property agents must always keep their communication lines open, especially since face-to-face interactions are on hold.

Tip #3: Make sure that the transaction complies with the circuit breaker guidelines

Even after the Singaporean government eases the rules of the circuit breaker in the country, you still need to practice safety measures while transacting with property agents during these times. You must also follow the rules before you decide to move into your chosen unit. 

Law firms will still be open for conveyancing (meaning to act to close the transaction) and to facilitate “wet ink” signature. The same goes for HDB transactions, sellers and buyers that have transacted before the circuit breaker will still be allowed to complete the transaction at HDB hub as HDB do require “wet ink” signature to complete the transaction but the agent will not be allowed to accompany their clients during the completion process. 

Other delivery methods that used to be done face to face will now be done through couriers. The payment of deposit can still be done but via cheque deposit or bank transfer as banks are essential services that remain operational during this time. 

Movers that have obtained Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) approval will still be able to help you move. They will have to adhere to stricter sector-specific guidelines released by the respective agencies. Also, fear not because emergency household services such as plumbers, locksmiths and electricians are considered essential services are still operational during the circuit breaker period and also the various phases of the gradual reopening of businesses in Singapore.

Have a breezy process as you look for your new home

Finding a new property can be tricky during this time when circuit breakers are necessary to avoid the spread of the deadly virus. But if you know how to use virtual viewing to your advantage, you will be able to find a new residential unit that could serve as your home for a long time. Remember to enjoy the process, and let your agent take on the stress and help you find the place that could fit your needs.

Contact Us

Whatsapp message or call KC from Home Quarters for a complimentary virtual viewing and begin finding your new home today: +65 8809 2889! Or drop us an email, commenting on our YouTube or contacting us through our Facebook and Instagram pages! He is extremely knowledgeable about everything to help you find your new home today. Watch KC, your friendly neighbourhood agent here in action:

That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!

3 Tips To Selling Your Housing Unit In Record Time!

Tips To Sell Off Your Unit Quickly

#1 Appraise the demand for the unit before selling your housing unit

So, you want to sell your housing unit quickly. Firstly, we have to assess the demand for the unit that is being sold. We can approximate the demand of a unit through its past transactions.

If the unit is a HDB flat, we start by looking at the “resale flat price”. We check how many units and price of each unit are being sold in the last 6-month and 12-month period in the HDB town or even down to the street level.

3 Tips To Selling Your Housing Unit In Record Time!_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

HDB Resale Flat Price Source: HDB

For private residential units, we look at Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s Private Residential Property Transactions where you can search by the appropriate project name. Primarily, this is used for condominiums and apartments. We can also search by property type and postal district. This is used for landed properties or cluster housing.

3 Tips To Selling Your Housing Unit In Record Time!_Home Quarters SG_KC Ng Keng Chong

Private Residential Property Transactions Source:URA

Next, we also look at the resale data. We see how many units of the particular type of house that you are selling. That will give you a gauge if there are buyers interested to buy the unit that you are selling.

If there are multiple transactions in the condominium or HDB estate, it is a good indication that there would be strong demand for the unit that you are selling. However, it could also mean that there are not many units available for sale in the area. To check if this is true, we move on to our second tip.

#2 Evaluate your competition

Check if there are many of your neighbours that are putting up their unit for sale. If there are, and your research also shows low demand of the unit from past transactions, it would mean that the actual demand for your particular type of unit is low.

So, where and how do we check if your neighbours are selling their unit? Generally, you can do this by going to popular multiple listing portals and select filters based on your unit type, your area or your condominium. Of course, do keep in mind that there might be a few repeated advertisements of the same unit.

If there are many similar units that are up for sale, we will classify the level of competition as “high”. Buyers have more choices if they are looking in the area, and in order to stand out, you need to have a unique selling point that can entice the buyer to choose your unit over the rest. In order to perform better than the competition and sell the unit, marketing is key.

#3 A Strong Marketing Matrix For Your Unit

At Home Quarters, we emphasize on customized marketing strategies that will showcase your unit to the right audience. In this aspect, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

We would position the unique selling point of the unit and re-package the advantages to the potential buyers in the area. In this way, we can reach buyers that are looking for the unit perfect for their needs. For example, if the family-friendly unit is close to good schools, and are looking for a unit in the East, we would be activating our precise digital audience targeting methods.

It is not about just producing an amazing video, but the ability to promote this particular video featuring your unit, to the correct audience that will get the house sold! Of course, there are other factors that will affect how fast a unit get sold. This includes price, lease tenure, and layout. We would work out these details on a case by case basis.

Contact Us

If you have questions or if you are thinking about properly showcasing your house for sale, whatsapp message or call KC from Home Quarters and begin finding your new home today: +65 8809 2889! Or drop us an email, commenting on our YouTube or contacting us through our Facebook and Instagram pages!

If you would like to schedule a virtual viewing, that is also possible – you can read all about what you need to look out for during a property virtual viewing here before COVID-19 end.

Reach out to us any way you like and we love to help you out and answer any questions you have to sell your house so that you can move on to the next big thing in life.

That’s it for this article! Stay safe everybody, and remember, call Home Quarters and start packing!