Singapore: Amidst current Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore property developers and real estate agents turn to adopting virtual tour technology by showcasing the virtual showflat to prospective buyers where buyers can view the virtual tour at the comfort of their home anytime.
While realtor has adopt this technology for a while, its is during this crisis now that these tools is more widely use now due to government implementation of the Circuit Breaker measures to close all the showflat to reduce physical interaction.
Buyers although unable to touch and feel current showflat furnishing etc, they can still view this virtual tour and make this purchase if they want to through electronic payment of booking fee to developer project account.
CEA has advised all estate agencies and salesperson has to cease viewing to reduce physical interaction and to adopt technology wherever possible.
Some developers and estate agencies has parter up to do virtual tour on their showflat during this lockdown period so that buyers can view online at the comfort of their home, anytime, anywhere. Some of these virtual tours can be seen at Tedge, Rezi 24, Marina One Residences etc.
ERA has equipped their agents with app that can showcase 3D flor plan, drone interactive and advanced google map to showcase the location. The app also provides all the information regarding a project include floor plan, pricing, available units, specification etc. Agents though unable to view showflat with their buyers, but they can definitely communicate more information via email and Whatsapp. Some even host meeting with prospective buyers using Zoom Video conferencing.
On the other hand, it might be challenging for local buyers to commit to few millions property through virtual tour as they are used to viewing showflat, touching finishes, enjoying the aircon with a drink prior selection of their units. Some on the other hand would rather wait till this circuit breaker to end prior viewing, though there may be some good buy lying on the market now.
URA has pre-approve amendment to the Sales and Purchase agreement (S&P) to allows electronic payment other than the traditional cheques or cashier orders. Some of the electronic payment mode include General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO), Fast and Secure Transfer (FAST) or MAS Electronic Payment System (MEPS).
Developer can provide the purchaser with PDI in softcopy if they can verify buyers identity and obtain a written acknowledgement of the PDI before they accept the booking fee. Option To Purchase (OTP) and SNP under current law however still need wet ink signatures with physical document.
To reduce social distancing, realtor can use courier service to assist with the signature and get buyer to issue cheque for the courier service to pick it up and return back the signed version thereafter to the developer.
Different developers however, may adopt different processes as there are still different parties involved like the representative issuing the OTP and conveyancing lawyers who may or may not be operating during this period as law as conveyancing doesn’t fall under “essential services” although those transactions that were closed prior 7th April will still have to proceed with the conveyacing.