* This article is about our Team at PLB facilitated a sale for an Overseas Buyer
Hunting for a home in itself poses challenges, and is certainly way trickier if buyers are currently overseas. How may our team here come up with creative ways to help our buyers make this difficult journey a seamless one?
The First Contact
Buyer Jenny (not real name) first contacted Emma via her Instagram account when she saw a unit that Emma featured at the development that she has been looking at for her new purchase as well.
Jenny had a struggle though; she has been living away from Singapore for years now but she is finally relocating back with her family of four including two young children. Whilst familiar with certain parts of Singapore that she has grown up in, she is unsure how the purchase process and timeline would be, as well as which projects might be suitable as she is also considering primary schools for her children. Being physically located in another country also formed an obstacle for Jenny in terms of viewing developments and its amenities.
Consultations and Next Steps
After Jenny first contacted Emma on 1 May, the team quickly arranged to meet via Zoom on 5 May for a first consultation session where they spoke at length to understand more about Jenny’s timeline, finances and preferences, as well as alternative accommodation before the completion of her purchase.
With the above in mind, Emma and Eunice quickly got the bankers to contact Jenny and her husband for an In-Principle Approval for their loan amounts. As Jenny understood the timeline better, they also went back to discuss further on the alternative accommodation arrangements. Once Emma and Eunice are able to secure confirmation on the above, all parties now have a clear goal in terms of expected timeline of completion, as well as the size and quantum of projects they can confidently zoom in to. As Jenny and her husband would be overseas until end of June, Emma and Eunice proposed to bring them to viewings virtually, i.e., logging them in via Zoom at the viewings, so that they do not actually have to wait until they are back before they can commence the viewings. Again, this was keeping in mind their accommodation needs while back in Singapore.
Given Jenny’s familiarity with some parts of Singapore and with schools in mind, Emma and Eunice also checked in to see which projects they may be interested in. As Jenny and her husband are busy professionals, Emma and Eunice provided Jenny with a comprehensive list of currently available projects as well as listing details which may fit Jenny’s criteria.
Jenny and her husband can then select at a glance at the listings and determine which they are interested to view. Soon, they arrived at a list of approximately 7-8 projects including condominiums and cluster homes across Bukit Timah, River Valley and Orchard areawith
Prior to each project’s viewings, Emma and Eunice would provide Jenny with a macro-level look at the development, including the project information, site plan, floor plan, facing, past transactions and current asking’s analysis. This is to ensure that Jenny and her husband head into each development armed with information they would need to make a more informed assessment.
Emma and Eunice would then meet Jenny and her husband virtually via Zoom and show them the units and amenities, much like any other viewings done physically!
And after each viewing, Emma and Eunice would gather the clients’ feedback on the unit/development that they have viewed, compiling and listing down their preferences, any questions and thoughts.
Along the way, as Emma and Eunice had a better sense of the clients’ preferences, they also selected a few more projects for Jenny to explore, including some outside of the initial scope, just to let Jenny have a feel and look at other developments for consideration.
As Jenny was considering cluster homes which is a rather niche product, Emma and Eunice anticipated that Jenny and her husband might have questions on, and proactively provided a detailed analysis, including on the performance of cluster homes in general as well as leasehold concerns.
The first and foremost objective is to understand the current comparative landscape in the region, specifically they would compare with the bigger developments – 4 bedder resale condominiums, 4 bedder new launches, pure landed, cluster homes. This comparison also tells us in 5, 8 or 10 years time, the options that their future buyers may have.
Emma and Eunice summarised on a few things:
- Remaining lease remains relatively healthy
- Location with popular schools will still anchor aspiring parents in years to come
- Price quantum remains an attractive option for families looking for space but priced-out for pure landed
- Liveability point-of-view: space and maintenance of the home, as well as distance to schools and amenities.
- Future exit: leasehold landed homes in themselves are a niche market, and cluster homes are usually laggard in terms of sales volume and performance. This means that it may be difficult to time an exit especially if the market is not in the sellers’ favour, as compared with a more conventional product that has a wider pool of ready audience, such as a 3 or 4-bedder condominium.
Buyers Returned Home
Jenny and her family arrived in Singapore at the end of June and very quickly joined up with Emma and Eunice to physically view their shortlisted ones. Jenny and her husband then discovered that the space in cluster homes would work best for their family, which is when Emma and Eunice then closed in on three projects – The Greenwood, Greenwood Mews and Hillcrest Villa.
While they are all cluster projects, each unit and development have their own specificities. Which is when Emma and Eunice compiled a Summary table, not just on facts of the units, but also consideration of liveability, commute, and helping Jenny and her husband picture how life would be like on a day-to-day basis should they purchase into it.
The table gave Jenny and her husband a clear and concise look at their options and allowed them to quickly make a decision. Jenny and her family have since firmed up their purchase at Greenwood Mews and are now looking forward to moving into their new home.
By harnessing the use of technology, expertise and a bit of creativity, Emma and Eunice were able to assist the home buyers through their entire journey. The buyers were glad that they had clear guidance right from the start, from planning their financials and timeline, and securing a unit that suits their family’s needs.