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How to DIY?

Guide on buying/selling your property without an agent

This is a guide on when you should DIY, and when a property agent will make more sense.

I am providing this guide because when I was looking to upgrade from my HDB, I had many viewings together with my property agent, but without success. Then I decided to DIY, and I found my dream home at a right price.

Equipped with the knowledge and experience, I now understand the industry much better.

It is entirely up to you to choose your property journey:

  1. DIY without an agent, but need to pick up some knowledge
  2. Use an agent for their knowledge, plus value-add in terms of wealth planning

In this guide, I hope to help you understand better whichever route you take based on certain scenario.

You know the resale to buy (DIY)

If you’re certain of where and what to buy, you can search for properties yourself using portals such as In fact, that is the same portal that agent will use to shortlist for you.

You can contact the seller agent’s directly, and they will be happy to set up viewing for you (extra happy as they don’t have to co-broke, since you don’t have an agent).

You know the new launch to buy (Use Agent)

However, if you’re buying a new launch project, you should always use an agent.

This is because it doesn’t affect your purchase price – you don’t pay commission to the agent (they get commission directly from developer). In addition, an agent can help you compare to other launches and provide guidance on unit selection.

As such, always engage an agent before going to the showflat.

Property Wealth Planning (Use Agent)

A property agent shouldn’t be just a middleman helping home buyer with searching, arranging viewings, chauffeuring, and relaying prices to offer.

A good property agent should be able to do wealth planning for home buyer, by utilizing property as an investment effectively. Properties are great investment assets, especially for Singapore. It is true even if you set out to buy one for own-stay, as it is likely you will move house someday.

It is vital to plan well in relation to your life eg. family planning, needs for primary schools. Or you might be planning for retirement, and a rental income would be good to support your lifestyle.

Understanding your affordability and your overall investments, a good property wealth planner will be able to give you advise that can change your life.

Selling your own house (DIY)

You can be your own salesperson, bringing buyers to view and pitch them yourself. Who else knows the house and the surrounding amenities better than you?

The only issue with DIY selling is the lack of platforms to do that. Only Oh-My-Home provides a platform for non-agents to post. But most buyers/agents still use propertyguru, you might not have enough eyeballs. If marketing is a problem, then an agent is still needed.

Renting (DIY)

For renting, it has the same issue being that you cannot post on propertyguru. But another avenue is posting on Carousell for DIY landlords. That has worked for me without using agent.


We have discussed the scenarios where you might want to DIY.

In almost all cases, you can DIY. For new launches, it doesn’t harm to engage an agent, so no reason not to find a capable one to take you to the showflat.

Every agent is different. One might be a hard seller who makes you FOMO all the time, while another might be genuinely trying to make right for your biggest purchase.

A good thing is that property agents only earn a commission when there is a successful transaction. As such, it doesn’t cost a cent to talk to them. Talk to a few, and choose wisely who you want to work with.