This was one of the most memorable units I’ve ever marketed.
As a single level 4273sqft freehold, penthouse at Seafront on Meyer along Meyer Road (District 15), it was to me, reminiscent of a floating bungalow with not just an impressive living space, but also spectacular views of the sea and Singapore cityscape.
The penthouse units in Seafront on Meyer are rarely available.
When they were launched way back in 2007, these ultra lush abodes were being sold at about $9m to slightly over $10 million ($2100psf – $2344psf).
There were a total of six units above 4000sqft at The Seafront on Meyer, of which only four were penthouses.
I was very lucky to be introduced to the owner in mid 2019. He shared how this has been a great family home when they were based in Singapore.
It was so dear that they did not think of selling it or even putting it up for lease when they relocated a few years earlier.
But when it was quite clear that they were never coming back, they decided to engage me to market it for sale.
However, he was taken aback that prices transacted for these mega units were “dismal”, a huge drop for the price he paid.
- In 2013, a penthouse in Blk 59 was sold for $8.16m
- In 2016, we saw another penthouse in Blk 59 exchanged hands at an $7.6m
- In 2019, a non-penthouse but equally big unit at Blk 59 was transacted at $7.8m
Due to the above transactions, the indicative bank valuation we received for our unit was in the $7.5m – $8m range.
My client was not ready to sell at a huge loss.
So we decided to go all out with marketing but remain firm on the price.
Our target was $9m.
This meant that it was easily $1m to 1.5m more than the indicative valuation – which meant that prospective buyers will need to cough out the excess in full cash.
Not many were willing to do so.
Here were some challenges I faced:
Challenge #1: Fake Buyers
As such, we try to be selective and do the necessary qualification before facilitating viewings. Even so, I’ve gotten buyers who were just there to “take a look” (in their own words).
I also had to handle tenants who pretended to be buyers to secure a viewing… who insisted I check with the owner if he would be willing to consider renting the unit to them!
Many of these groups of people were so sure we can’t get this sold at our asking price.
Challenge #2: The Price & Lower Valuation
Then there are buyers who fell in love with the unit (like me!).
They can see themselves living here, and a handful actually viewed more than once.
But when they realised the difference between our expected price and the indicative valuation, a lot either gave up or gave us a very low offer which we had to respectfully decline.
Some were quite upset and said we were not negotiating in good faith and others accused us of being unrealistic.
Strangely, I always knew that it was just a matter of finding the right buyer.
My client was in no hurry, and would rather hold on than to sell the unit below our target price.
Challenge #3: Covid-19
Marketing continued throughout this period even though we could not conduct any physical viewing.
Having a virtual tour or video of the unit meant prospective buyers were still able to “view” the unit. But we did not manage to get the right buyer.
It was also during this period that the owner realised that he had misplaced the title deed.
This meant that we could not sell without resolving this issue.
Covid has made it harder for travelling to take place, so all this had to be done and coordinated before any sale could be completed.
So we took a short break to get this sorted out, before we resumed with viewings.
What Kept Me Going?
Interest remained strong throughout, but we were not getting the right offer.
I continued my duties to facilitate viewings with zest.
Being familiar with this area plus my understanding of the strength of the Meyer address – I kept myself going.
I have a strong belief in the value of the penthouse and the price it can command.
This house has plenty of intangible value that the average buyer would discount.
Some intangible and tangibles:
- great panoramic views that can’t be found elsewhere
- the fact that this unit was even available for sale
- a prestige address
- a freehold development that will hold its value for a long time to come
Plus, it also helped that the owner trusted me and had patience in the process. I am truly humbled by his support in me.
I continued to keep him posted on the progress and interest in the property.
After close to two long years, we finally found a buyer who was ready to commit.
And it was a joy to have a wonderful family call this home after our long journey.
Imagine what it took to get a buyer to fork out a cool $1M above valuation.
The unit was valued only at $8M – no thanks to past transactions where sellers who seemed willing to take lower prices.
I had to really “fight” to get the asking price the owner wanted.
From my understanding, it also seemed that the buyer also took a long time in his home search.
So good things do come to those who wait!
However, it did not come easy.
Both buyer and seller were based overseas, which meant legal documents had to be couriered to two different counties (with different time zones).
International courier which used to take 1-2 days now took more than a week, so we had to insist on a longer option and completion period to mitigate this.
Some fellow agents have ridiculed me for taking such a long time to get this sold. And I must admit that I did feel beaten at times.
But hard work does pay off, and at the end of the day, it is about meeting each client’s needs.
This was a great property and with a lot of patience and time, I’m glad that we got a record price that many deemed impossible.
Selling a property that has various intangible values like this penthouse was indeed a challenge.
But unlike assets in a stock market which are traded in a cold and clinical manner, a property like this invites emotional feelings that can be both intangible and invisible.
And so the swaying of hearts is just as key as hard-headed negotiation.
I understand this process well that all buyers go through – and as an agent, I do my best to bridge both of them together.
Have questions on selling of your own property? There is no better time than now.
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