Selling Tenancy

How to Sell Tenanted Properties for high price even if your Tenant makes it difficult to view

17 Jun 2009

Greetings! I’m Lester from DTZ!

I’m a Real Estate Professional specialising in selling properties with Tenancy in prime districts (D9,D10,D11,D15,D16,D1-4)

The Start of the Problem

As you know, after property prices peak in Jul 2007, the property market have been so quiet that it was almost impossible to find a genuire buyer that’s willing to pay you a decent price. As such, many owners turned to take refudge in rental market to wait out for better days, causing an oversupply that also tanked rental prices. Since then both sales prices and rental prices declined drastically as buyers and tenants shrink in numbers. Among those of you lucky ones who managed to rent out find yourself stuck with a very low rental amount. This low rental yield now makes your property looks unattractive.

The Problem

There’s only 2 general groups of buyers in the market. The self-stayers and the investors. The self-stayers essentially look for properties to move-in to, maybe cause they just sold their home or are getting married or whatever reason. This group will not, and can not, consider tenanted properties like yours (unless your tenancy is ending in 3mth’s time with no option to extend). That leaves you with only 1 other group left, the investors. Unfortunately, the investors totally disappeared during a down-turn as they expect prices will continue to fall. That is why, it is almost impossible to sell Tenanted units in a downturn as it does not appeal to the only both groups of buyers in the market.

When market falls near perceived bottom, investors will start to enter slowing. Investors (including short term investors known as speculators) looks potential returns on their investment, examing these factors:

  • Capital Appreciation – the profit they can make when property prices increased. To maximum profit, they will keep to keep the cost low, which is why they tends to buy fire-sale units on low offers. If your unit is already tenanted, you might choose give these investors a miss, as your rental is keeping you safe.
  • Rental Income – These are usually the investors who look more for steady income. Instead of putting their cash in fixed deposit or CPF earning miserable interest, they rather invest in property that generally offers better yields. To them, the rental return, or rental yield is very important. A good rental yield is 3% to 4%. Yield of 5% or higher is exceptional while anything below 2.5% is generally unattractive. (See below on how to calculate)

To get buyers to even make an offer to your unit, they usually need to see the unit. But tenanted units usually presents more more challenge to sell. Although in most Tenancy Agreement, there’s usually a clause that states that the Tenant has to allow viewing, it also states that “prior appointment” be made. This means the Tenant MUST allow you to conduct viewing, but only at their convenience. A Tenant can make viewing difficult by simply refusing your timing and suggest alternative timing to discourage viewing. Some argue that if your buyer is serious, they will come anytime.

From my experience, a buyer who can come anytime are usually buyers with more time for price research and less likely to offer a good price. Serious buyers who don’t have time are the real precious one as they likely succumb to our price pressure due to the lack of price research and pay us a premium for the property. So therefore, to get good price, it is very important to show properties to buyers at his time if he has no time.

A recent case in point is a property I just sold yesterday. This Indonesian buyer travels down to Singapore yesterday with the sole purpose of buying Tenanted property. He has difficulty securing viewing as many of the tenanted units was not available for viewing yesterday. In fact, there was one viewing he arrived at the door step only to be told by the Agent that the Tenant is not home, he was very upset. When he called me to view the Tenanted unit I was marketing, I immediately obliged to his time. In the end, yesterday by the time he arrive at my unit at 4.30pm, he has only managed to see 3 properties and he is now determined not go home empty handed. After viewing it for 15mins, immediately he launched into an offer follow negotiation. As I am the appointed Exclusive Agent for this unit, I am obligated to the owner to help him secure the highest price possible. I fought hard against his offer, and keep pointing out reasons why he should pay my owner’s asking price, and within 20mins he succumb. At 4.30pm he came, 5pm we proceed to the bank, and 6pm we close the deal at exactly the owner’s price, and 7pm he returns back to Indonesia. That’s how fast this deal is done. All because I was the only agent who can show him the unit in that project. The owner was very shocked I got him this price within just 2 weeks of appointing me, which is $200k above bank valuation in a recession today.


The Solution to Selling Tenanted Unit


Yes, me. I consistently excelled in selling tenanted properties, especially those whose tenants makes viewing difficult.The key to my success is to mimised disturbance to your tenant. But how to show as many people as possible but yet maintain minimsed disturbance to your tenant?

Let me offer you my services, and share you my marketing plan!

  • Preparation – This is the crucial step which involves taking Virtual Tour photos and establishing relationship with your tenant. I can’t reveal more on this step as it’s my trade secrets.
  • Conduct 1st Online Viewing for ALL prospects- All prospects should not be denied opportunity to view. But to minimise disturbance to your tenant, I will first divert them to my online viewing portal to weed out unsuitable buyers. Unlike mere pictures that does not tell much, my online viewing portal offers viewing 360deg Virtual Tour as if they are actually inside the unit. This is because they can interactively control the view-point, by looking left right, or even up down to see the floor and ceiling. Here’s how it looks like (be sure to use your mouse and click within this picture drag around to rotate around):
    [iframe width="420" height="320" src=""]

    For more examples of such online viewing I conduct, check them out by clicking:

    The Coast @ Sentosa

    The Edge on Cairnhill

    Cavenagh Court

    Thomson 800

    The Esta

    Novena Suites (Password Protected, if you want to maintain privacy, for restricted 1-time access only)

  • Arrange “2nd” Viewing only for Serious Buyers - From the online viewings, buyers could already decide if your property’s deco, renovation, condition, and views of the unit is suitable for them without the need to step into the actual unit. But after viewing online (which is considered 1st viewing), the buyers still want to see the actual unit, this usually means they are serious, and more likely worth the time for actual viewing.To minimise disturbance to tenant, I will usually consolidate all these serious buyers together within the same time slot. By having all serious buyers together in the same viewing creates intense competition, resulting in better pricing for the owner.
  • Agressive Negotiation – This is the most important step and it what’s make the difference in high price. <Trade-Secret Here>


Call Me Now at

(+65) 9188-9088

for a non-obligation discussion.

Take advantage of current improved sentiment to cash-out now…



Lester Tan,

Senior Sales Director,



PS: BTW, if you think I’m aggressive in marketing myself here, you are right. Becoz I too will be aggressively marketing your property or find you your ideal home. :)


How to Calculate Rental Yield

Rental Yield is expressed as, in percentage, the total annualised rental income generated with respect to the property price. The generalised formula looks like this:

Rental Yield = (Monthly Rental x 12mths) / Property Price * 100

For example, assuming you are trying to sell your property with a rental of $4500/mth for $1.8m, the rental yield is calulated as follow:

Rental Yield = ($4500 x 12) / 1800000 * 100 = 3%

That’s not bad for a 3% yield, that’s not bad if bank loan interest is 2.5%. But the moment bank interest rate increased to 3.5% (which it definitely will when market recovers), your yield will not attract them. Similarly, if you trying to sell at $2.2m, your effective yield of 2.45% cap it unattractive. This because, as property prices rise from $1.8m to $2.2m, the rental market will usually follow, so a buyer would rather buy a vacant unit at $2.2m and rent at higher new rates than to buy over yours which has such a low locked-in rate. This explains why you always gets lower offer than your vacant neighbour in a recovering market.

If prefer to email me… click here…