She saves $10,000 by selling flat on app

She saves $10,000 by selling flat on app

With the help of a local app, she found a buyer for her family's HDB flat within three weeks.

The housewife, who wants to be known as Madam Chan, 60, will also save about $10,000 on the agent's fee when the sale is completed.

The buyer has agreed to pay $680,000 for her family's four-room flat in Toa Payoh, and Madam Chan will shell out a fixed fee of $2,888 to the agent, instead of a percentage that could have come up to $13,600.

To sell the flat, Madam Chan had used the services of real estate app Ohmyhome, which allows sellers, buyers, landlords and renters of HDB flats to connect directly without the need for agents, if they want to.

Madam Chan opted for a premium agent service offered by Ohmyhome, which provides the regular services of a real estate agent - from arranging viewings, to handling negotiations and documents - at a fraction of the usual cost.

She had come across the app in an earlier report in The New Paper.

Madam Chan told TNP: "Initially, I was apprehensive because I (couldn't believe) I could get such a cheap agent fee. But when I met my agent, he was very sincere and very knowledgeable on the matter."

With the help of the agent, Mr David Ng, 46, Madam Chan and her buyer have since signed an agreement, submitted the resale application, and are waiting for their first appointment with the Housing Board.

MORE CASUAL

Yesterday, Ohmyhome officially launched a new service, Open House, where sellers and landlords can key in their preferred open house date and time.

The app will notify other users, and prospective buyers and tenants can then request to attend it.

Ohmyhome's chief executive officer Rhonda Wong, 31, said: "With an open house, owners will need to clean up only once to welcome a group of viewers, feel more relaxed and casual as compared to a one-to-one viewing."

Since first launched in beta mode in May this year, the app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, and has been recording 20 to 30 transactions a month.It has about 1,700 listings now, said Ms Wong.

She said that the app's growth has picked up recently, noting that total downloads grew from 10,000 before August to the current 50,000.

Only 10 per cent of the transactions have involved real estate agents.

Ohmyhome is still far from breaking even, and derives its revenue mainly from the premium agent service and another service which helps handle meet-ups, documents and HDB appointments.

Said Ms Wong: "We may be bleeding right now, but we hope that as more people conduct their transactions with us, we can then explore more areas to capitalise on offerings such as mortgage, moving and other services."

Executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, Mr Nicholas Mak, thinks that only a small percentage of home buyers will switch to apps that offer a means to solely connect buyers and sellers.

But the agent service may be a plus for Ohmyhome.

Mr Mak said: "Most people would prefer an experienced person to handle the resale paperwork.

"Someone needs to make appointments, wait for the buyers, and show the buyers around the flat. Applications (alone) cannot do that."


This article was first published on November 17, 2016.
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