Property launch brochures and picturesNew guidelines for marketing property, specifically targeted at showflats and mock-ups, have been proposed by the authorities, but have not been implemented, since March last year.

Now, a year down the road, it seems that the proposals haven’t quite sunk in yet. Showflats still have flaws in their presentation that can leave buyers confused, or even misled, about the size and layout of the unit they are buying, according to a recent Straits TImes check on six showflats.

Examples of such flaws include demarcation of any removed walls, partitions or doors, having the proper floor area and floor-to-ceiling measurements, and disclosure of exterior spaces.

While the authorities, especially the Urban Redevelopment Authority, will be the ones wrangling with industry players and key stakeholders about how the rules should be implemented and worded, we believe that it shouldn’t just be left in the hands of such giants. After all, at the end of the day, whose money is it, that will be tied up in a 25-to-30-year loan?

So what can a layman like you or me do to influence the industry? Well, we are a ways away from becoming a savvy property market, but here are things we can demand, as potential customers.

Firstly, external spaces, such as utility ledges, balconies and even personal enclosed spaces should be fully declared and specified in any floor area quotation. As we explored in our previous post about balconies, these areas are essentially “free” space, and not counted in the plot ratio calculations. Savvy consumers would not pay full price for these areas, but developers tend to gloss over the finer details to squeeze as much as possible out of this area.

Secondly, make sure you, as a customer, always ask for an accurate representation of the unit for sale. A concerted push for such information can apply pressure for developers to be more transparent in their marketing.

Thirdly, always research and compare multiple properties in an area to get a feel of the value for that area, as well as to see how different developers operate and market their properties.

These suggestions might seem straightforward and standard procedure, but as in many things, the first step is education and awareness.

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  2 Responses to “Towards a More Savvy Property Market”

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