There are a lot people who think it’s much easier to hire an agent as they feel agents “take care of everything”. Its true Agents will surely take care of your requirements but such services don’t come free. Remember there is no free lunch (at least in Singapore)!. Typical agency fee will range between 15 days – 30 days rent which will depend upon you contract tenure.
So how can you find a place without agency fee?
Here are few ways to avoid such fees:
1. Work with Owner employed Agents: Firstly, it is not impossible to find agents, who don’t demand commission, but they are very rare, but if you find the one, you are lucky! Yes when you work with agents who are employed by the landlord to market his property then you don’t have to worry about agency fee. In this case the agency fee is paid by the owner.
1.(a) Classified Websites: This is one of the best ways of searching rental rooms without having to approach any property agent. You will find many landlords who themselves want to avoid taking agent’s help, and thus posting their property ad on classified sites. Such websites are the perfect places for occupants to search for rental room and meet directly with house owners. Mostly in Singapore you can find a room on rent without agent fee, however if you looking for whole unit, then you will have to take agents help. Few examples are www.propertyguru.com, www.stproperty.com, www.gumtree.com.sg & www.easyroommate.sg.
2. Home Stay Companies: There are few companies that have come up with the idea of directly renting room from them . Such companies usually have a database of properties that are non-owner occupied, and that are owned or leased by themselves, thus avoiding agent fee. One such example is http://adobha.com/.
3. Local Newspaper: There are few pages in local newspapers that cater to local rental accommodation listed by private landlords. There are many landlords who resort to good traditional ways for getting their ads displayed. Check out the Straight Times newspaper on Saturday & Sunday for a large collection of available rooms.
4. Ask your colleagues: Word of mouth is one such marketing technique that will never fade. Ask your HR colleague who got you to Singapore, he should be having lots of contacts which you can leverage during your search.
5. Be proactive & Post an Ad: f You have an option to just look at the ads posted on classified site or you can post an adv on the sites telling others that you are looking for a room. The chances of you finding an room using this approach is very high because lot of owners dont want to post ads and keep getting calls from unqualified leads, so in such situations they just look for “wanted rooms” ads and call you. Do note, only ads that give more details will attract calls. So just don’t post an ad stating you need a room, anywhere in Singapore. Be specific, more specific you are more calls you get.