Singaporeans have the passion for property investment, either overseas or local only. But in terms of acquiring property overseas, a certain level of risks are always involved, nothing it takes but those misplaced trust in unscrupulous development agency, and you’ll end up throwing your hard earned money. 

How do you protect yourself and refraining from doing transactions with fraudulent property agents? Easy peasy!  Be informed about these red flags, we will discuss down!

Absence of  written advisory message

The CEA or Council of Estate Agencies reiterated that development agents are compelled to render all investors a signed message advisory. The advisory should tell investors to control own diligence and it must draw attention to the reality that risks are always part and parcel of foreign development consumers.

This is for legality aspect,  all property agencies need to double check that their property agents spared a signed advisory. If in case the property agency failed to hand in the said advisory, then it simply implies that they are not the most credible agency or simply preying on the investors. Whatever, kick and pass!


This happens to many businesses – but when you buy a set of spa accessories and it turns to be fake, possibly out by some hundred dollars the maximum. On the other side, if you force to compel yourself into a written contract to buy some foreign property, the losses would likely be doubled.

As a Standard Operating Procedure, a real estate agent must explain to the investor that they must secure a lawyer to discuss the conditions and terms of purchase contracts before the signing the document. However, some  real estate agencies have solicitors around during their flawless open houses. These solicitors explain the whole details of the contract to the investors followed by invitation to raise clarifications or more queries if needed.

In case a property agency forces you to sign a purchase contract right there and then, this is a vivid indication that some fishy stuff you need to investigate or simply walk away!

No transparency in terms of payments

Here is a statement you’ll forever hate to listen, ” Just pay the down payment and from there we can discuss the succeeding payment in the coming days.”

You need to evaluate what you are getting in, property agents and it is compulsory for the CEA to explain clearly the mode of payment to investors like you.  Running in same never, your property agent should inform you the following:

. Any limits set on loans for the real property.

. Check if loans are set for some restrictions.

Who receives payments and the process of endorsing to the developers. 

Be reminded, if the property agent is legal, they never mind hardcore questions.

Extra costs vague and not explained well

It is just like purchasing property in local, there are a lot of hidden costs and that does not exempt you! You are bound for extra fees when purchasing the foreign property. These include utility bills, insurance, maintenance fees, levies and many more.

Your property agent should discuss thoroughly with you, list down all the optional and mandatory payments to keep you on track and inform. Additionally, they are obliged to provide you with possible other significant information examples, if you are buying a property in the areas where natural calamities are inevitable, they should be educating you about its corresponding insurance cost, expect it to be costly.  If the property agent ignores this or simply forget this significant process, that’s a big red flag.

As the old school says, ” Honesty is the best policy.” but some property agent doesn’t adhere to it but more on the side where they can pull huge.

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