This true case is written to
educate first-time realtors of Asia USA Realty.
Case study: Conning the British auditor that he had a
binding Letter of Intent.
"I will ask the Realtor to
sue me… The Letter of Intent was signed by me but another one
with amendments was given to me to sign… I have not given the
good faith deposit… The Realtor said I was bound to take up this
3+1 Costa Rhu apartment," said Mr Wayne.
Mr Wayne wanted a
waterfront Costa Rhu apartment at less than S$2,500 rental. In
his hometown in Britain, there was no waterfront living. His
colleague in the auditing firm was advertising that he had
rented a fantastic 4-bedroom with waterfront view (Livonia
Block, $3,300, 13th floor) from Asia USA Realty and
he wanted a value for money waterfront unit too.
The 3+1 unit on the 4th
floor (Ancilla Block, $2,500 almost fully furnished, sourced
from another realty firm) had a bit of sea view under the
Benjamin Sheares bridge while the 2+1 on 13th floor
(Charonia Block, $2,250 partially furnished from Asia USA Realty
had a panoramic view of the Bay from the master bedroom although
the living room faced the roof of the Oliva Block.
Somehow, he had signed the
Letter of Intent promptly for the 3+1 and now had 2nd thoughts but the Realtor insisted that he
had a binding agreement. Being British and a gentleman, he
wanted to reject the offer amicably but regardless of the Law of
Contract, the Realtor refused to let go.
Under the Law of Contract,
the agreement is binding if there are a few conditions which
include the following:
- An offer by the
Landlord. ("Yes", in this case).
- An acceptance by the
Tenant. ("Yes", in this case).
- A consideration.
(Usually a good faith deposit or even $1. None in this case).
- An offer from the
Landlord. (Yes, as an amended Letter of Intent was faxed to
- Acceptance by the
Tenant. (No, he did not sign this new offer).
- Consideration (No, as
he did not want the 3+1 unit).
The Realtor was taking the
British prospective Tenant as ignorant of the Law of Contract in
trying to close the case. Nowadays, if the Tenant had
wanted your unit, he would keep in touch with you. In this case.
Know the Law of Contract and try to "sell the unit" based on
benefits of it being fully furnished. However, it is futile as
the British wants a similar unit as his colleague and the 2+1
was almost equivalent in having a panoramic waterfront views
from the master bedroom and a bit of waterfront view if you go
outside to the balcony and look to the right. There are at least
3 reasons why he would take the 2+1, viz.:
- His girlfriend would
appreciate his choice of this 2+1, high floor rather than a
unit under the expressway bridge.
- $2,250 would be
considered cheaper than what his colleague had rented, being
$1,050 cheaper, on the same 13th floor but with 2
- Value for money.
Certainly, his clients and colleagues would respect him for
making a good choice as he advises on property investment
portfolio and would look stupid if he had rented a more
expensive condo. Such is the pressure on an auditor dealing
with investment properties!
As prospective Tenants
have a wide choice of rental properties and a wider choice of
realtors, it will be best to work professionally. That includes
honesty as you may lose one case but get referrals from the
expatriate who had declined your case.
Professionals are not so easily duped and you will be better off
spending your time getting a new prospect rather than hanging
Do spend time farming for more Owners of quality rental
properties if you can't retain or get Tenants. More
tenants are being serviced by bigger firms or relocation
companies in 2001 as multinationals downsize and
outsource their expatriate relocation tasks.
Outsourcing saves them money and more control.
Some human resource departments of the big multinational
companies do get presents or money for outsourcing. It is very
unlikely that the small realtors will ever get the business of
such companies. Focusing on owners and have an updated knowledge
of the good properties with high rental value available may make
a difference between survival and hunger.
I foresee the internet wiping out many realtors by 2005 as the
owners deal directly with the prospective tenants. It may
be better to be an employee.