Engaging a property agent for sale and purchase transactions

Unsure of what to note when working with your property agent for sale and purchase transactions and how much commission to pay? Here are some useful tips.


Customer's Identification Details

Are property agents allowed to collect my NRIC or other identification details e.g., take photos or make photocopies of my ID)?

The Infocomm Media Development Authority has set up the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC). The PDPC's Advisory Guidelines on the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) for NRIC and other National Identification Numbers state that an organisation may collect, use, or disclose a person’s NRIC number with notification and consent, when it is necessary to accurately establish or verify the identity of the individual to a high degree of fidelity.

This applies to property transactions as the inability to accurately identify an individual to a high degree of fidelity may pose a risk of significant impact or harm to an individual and/or organisation.

As such, property agencies and agents can request to collect the NRIC, FIN, or passport numbers of their clients, specifically for the purposes of facilitating property transactions. Property agents can take photos and make photocopies of the documents when necessary. The information collected should not be used for other purposes or shared with other parties not involved in the property transaction.

Commission Rate

How much commission should I be paying?

There are no fixed commission rates nor prescribed guidelines on commission amounts. We leave it to market forces to drive competitive pricing for commission payable in the industry. This incentivises property agents to price their services competitively.
You should discuss and agree on the commission amount and terms with your property agent based on the scope of work you require before starting work.

Do check if there is GST payable on the commission. You can document the agreed commission amount in the Prescribed Estate Agency Agreement. When the transaction is completed, honour and pay the agreed commission to the property agency, not to the property agent.

Do take note that property agents cannot collect commission from more than one party in the same transaction. If your property agent collects a commission from you, he cannot collect a commission or a co-broking fee from the other party or from the other party’s property agent. Even if your property agent has helped the other party with paperwork, he should not receive any fee from the other party.

Customer's Particulars Form

What is it and why should I provide my property agent with my personal details?

Investing in real estate is one of the ways criminals legitimise their illegally obtained money. By identifying the parties involved in the property transaction, especially the beneficial owner, the authorities can effectively combat these illicit activities.

Property agents play an important role in Singapore’s anti-money laundering efforts. When facilitating any property transaction, they are required to carry out various measures to mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing. This includes conducting Customer Due Diligence checks, which involves filling out the Customer’s Particulars Form with relevant information obtained from their clients.

It is important that you cooperate with your property agent and provide them with the required information to complete the Customer's Particulars Form, which can be found in Annex D1 of the Guide on Estate Agents (Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism) Regulations 2021 (PDF, 1.03MB).

Sale and Purchase Agreement

What is this Agreement and where can I find it?

The Option to Purchase (OTP) and Agreement for the Sale and Purchase (S&P agreement) documents contain general applicable clauses that govern the obligations of sellers and buyers for the sale and purchase of private residential properties. You can find the templates for these two documents on CEA’s website.

These templates are just a guide, and you can amend the templates or negotiate the terms contained in the documents with your property agent to suit your needs and/or requirements.

The templates were drafted by the Digitalised Property Transactions Workgroup (DPTWG) - a workgroup comprising industry representative from across the real estate value chain and all key government agencies with touchpoints in the property transaction process. The DPTWG gathered input from other regulatory agencies and industry practitioners who are experienced in the residential property transaction process, to ensure that the templates provide a common standard that is fair to all parties in the transaction. 

For additional tips on engaging a property agent, visit www.cea.gov.sg/4steps