Finding a home for Mr. K

Hey all, it’s Jeff here, every real estate transaction has a different story, in this series, I will be sharing some of the memorable transactions I handled and hopefully it will help you in yours.

In this post, we will recall my work with Mr. K, and how I helped him purchase a luxury apartment at $1.5m under valuation.

How it started

Mr. K was referred to me by a friend/client who was working under him. As he is my friend’s direct superior, I had to make sure I find a great deal for him with my friend’s career on the line.

We always start with coffee

We started over a cup of coffee, Mr. K is a man in his fifties, a family man with 2 kids, he originally came to Singapore as a Permanent Resident and decided to apply for Citizenship after living here for a decade. My first impression of him is that he is a person with considerable seniority in his field and he values that respect. He is likely a serious person who doesn’t take kindly to jokes or mistakes.

Why did I state my first impression of him? It’s actually very important but we will get to that later. He explained that the reason he reached out to me through my friend is because he is getting nowhere with his current agent.

That’s right, he has been actively looking at properties with an agent from his native country. So I know I’m starting with a disadvantage, this other agent is a family friend and speaks his language. However, they have viewed over 20 properties and there was nothing that caught his eye.

The problem

Mr. K is a busy man, so each fruitless viewing is only going to add to his frustration. His brief to me was … brief, he wanted a nice home he can live in, with a budget of $5mil to $7mil, he is open to look at landed houses or apartments alike. Pretty wide net.

Mr. K is a busy man

The first thing I had to know was what properties he has viewed before and it became obvious once he shared them with me where his agent went wrong. Most of the apartments he viewed were in Newton, Paterson and Holland Village.

These are locations that are popular with expats – a young and vibrant demographic. This is a man who you bow to when you see him at work, not the one you clink glasses with after work. He can’t be seen fumbling for his keys when he’s home after a night of drinking, or in his trunks lounging by the pool. It has to be all about privacy and exclusivity with him.

Getting to work

Firstly, we have to determine whether he prefers to live in a landed house or an apartment, most people don’t have a clear preferance, so we have to view both to get a feel.

In our first viewing, I brought him to a landed house in Coronation Road, I could tell by his body language that a landed house isn’t for him. So I narrowed my search to high end apartments, and followed up with 2 different apartments in Nassim Road, which is like one of the most prestigious address you can have in Singapore.

One of the apartment was balinese style, and the other had a modern theme to it. He mentioned that he like the balinese theme, but I didn’t see the spark in his eyes (This is where experience comes into play #brag).

Stock image of a modern theme apartment

In the second apartment though, I saw that spark, but the size of the apartment wasn’t big enough. So now we have 2 new parameters to add on to exclusivity – Modern theme and large space.

Zooming in

Now that the hard part of finding out what the client really likes is done, we move on to the next step: Finding the right unit. I spent hours on the map, zooming in and out over the area around Orchard road and identified a development at Claymore road. This road is very near Orchard, yet tucked behind the 1st layer of buildings, so the road is less congested. The developments on this road tend to have larger sized apartments so the price ranges are naturally higher, this forms a barrier to entry for the mass market. Perfect.

There were a few units available for sale, and one of it was asking for market price. Here’s a pro-tip: Luxury products almost always ask for above-market price, so when a listing asks for market price…… Negotiation techniques trade secrets so I shall not elaborate here.

Concluding the deal

After some intense negotiations, we eventually concluded the purchase at 1.5m below market valuation. Aside from the terrific price, Mr. K had bought an apartment that he genuinely likes, I could tell by the deep breath he took while taking in the view from the balcony. His first agent brought him on a merry-go-round for the most part of a year with no results. I solved his problem in 4 viewings. It might seem like luck to most, but that’s the difference between engaging an agent who specialises in serving buyers and ones you find from facebook sponsored posts.

Deal closed!

To understand more about my thought process and how I can aid you in your property search, get in touch with me via the form below or directly at +65 91716373

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