Singapore abounds with experts in the property field. These professionals range from top ranking jobs like estate agents and lawyers to the very bottom but equally professional carpenters, who work together to produce a unique skyline for Singapore.
The different property experts in Singapore
The availability and variety of professionals in Singapore may be analogized to a 13 storey ‘condo’ building with carpenters occupying the first floor, other professionals the 3rd and 12th floors and the topmost level occupied by agents. There are approximately 13 professional classes in the Singapore real estate market.
The agent is the intermediary between sellers and buyers.
The licensing of agents is now vested in the Council of Estate Agents or CEA.
An estate agent is a person who assists people in selling or purchasing real estate.
A lawyer is a qualified legal practitioner who becomes a member of the bar upon graduating and acceptance. A lawyer must register with the Justice Ministry.
- Document and review purchases, leases, inspections and appraisals.
- Assist in resolving insurance titles and environmental issues.
- File and represent lawsuits in court in the event of a disagreement during real estate transactions.
- Assist lenders and borrowers in foreclosure proceedings.
There are no special requirements or licensing procedures but an aspiring broker must undergo a training course to qualify as an Accredited Mortgage Consultant.
All mortgage brokers must be registered members of the Mortgage and Finance Association.
All registered brokers must adhere to an industry Code of Practice which insists upon professionalism, ethical behavior and dedication to work in the interests of borrowers.
In Singapore, as in other countries, the architect is an important figure in the pre-construction phase of a real estate project because they:
- Provide expert advice on designs and drawings of buildings
- Offer suggestions on the most suitable contractors for the job
- Develop layout plans for real estate buildings
- Inspects and oversees the construction work
A banker must register and obtain a license to operate by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Bankers do not normally engage with individual clients when dealing in real estate, but prefer to negotiate with licensed firms or aggregators who negotiate with mortgage brokers and submit loans through aggregators.
Bankers provide funds to all parties engaged in the purchasing of real estate and also to estate developers and contractors.
The Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Evaluators represent the local land surveyors, evaluators, property managers, property consultants and real estate agents at the professional level.
- Conducts or supervises survey operations
- Makes calculations of the survey data
- Analyses the data and produces the final production map, plans or charts
- Offers recommendations for changes
- Acts as a consultant in advising his clients on the best choice of survey schedules, logistics, methods, instrumentation, costs and other aspects of the project
An inspector can obtain an operating license from the Ministry of Manpower.
- Carries out inspections on the structural, mechanical and electrical conditions of real estate
- Provides information to the estate agent or buyer on how to identify of the more apparent major flaws that may exist in any given home, building or structure.
- An inspection does not facilitate the detection of all flaws, problems or malfunctions that might exist in any given home.
The validation surveyor must be licensed by the Singapore Lands Authority.
The validation surveyor:
- Acts as the accountant for structural engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers and other expert consultants
- Helps clients obtain value for their money
- Evaluates or appraises interests of a specific nature in real estate at any point in time
- The evaluation is based on correct evidence from the market
In Singapore, the licensing authority for a contractor is the Singapore Lands Authority.
In real estate, a contractor:
- Is a person or company who has won a contract to engage in the building of a structure for a client
- Engages in the actual construction work
- Works with the surveyor and architect to construct and complete the project
A developer in Singapore has to be registered with the Singapore Lands Authority.
- Is a person or company that buys land in order to build a structure upon it
- Must develop a housing project with more than 4 units
- Needs to sources available real estate
- Negotiates funds for the execution of a project
All licenses connected with financial services are controlled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
A financial advisor tries to help clients use their monetary resources in the most efficient manner.
An accountant is a financial expert whose services are also essential in real estate transactions.
- Possesses the right knowledge when making business decisions about real estate
- Has the ability of assessing tax impacts, which is key to the success of a transaction
- Spends a fair portion of time studying, researching, thinking and applying systems, financial measures and tax planning for investors
A carpenter in Singapore is generally hired by the contractor and is usually licensed to carry out the actual construction work for a project. The carpenter:
Constructs under the advice and supervision of the architect and contractor
A property manager is a qualified expert who is employed by owners of the real estate.
Generally, the property manager:
- Looks after real estate investment on behalf of the owners
- Documents and evaluates potential tenants for occupying rentals
- Collect rents paid by occupiers of rental premises
- Negotiates contracts and rental terms on behalf of owners
- Arranges for proper maintenance work of the owner’s premises, such as cleaning, plumbing and electrical systems