Principles to build by
Published in NST-PROP
A Buyer Watch Article by National House Buyers
The housing industry has come a long way, maturing
over the years and offering buyers more than just four walls and a
roof. Today's houses come infused with a generous dose of lifestyle
considerations that cater to an increasing sophisticated market.
Despite the advances that have been made, house
buyers still stand a good chance of being confronted with setbacks.
Part of this is due to the present system of delivery, which creates
a lucrative business environment that developers have become
Pending the build-then-sell method becoming a
reality, the National House Buyers Association believes that
developers still have a responsibility to buyers. The following are
tenets a good developer should adhere to.
Ensuring good quality
It goes without saying that buyers expect the
product to be of a good quality and acceptable standards.
Developers should not resort to cutting costs by
under specifying, using inferior materials and engaging unskilled
Houses should be delivered within the time
stipulated in the Sale and Purchase Agreement within 24 months for
landed properties and 36 months for the stratified variety. If, for
whatever reason there is delay, compensation should be paid
immediately to buyers.
Developers should not attempt to shortchange
buyers of what is due to them.
Providing amenities, facilities and
Developers that provide adequate amenities and
facilities such as playgrounds, schools, markets, community halls
and police stations are not only fulfilling the obligations imposed
by local authorities, but also their social responsibilities to
Prompt application for CFs and strata titles
It is the duty and responsibility of the
developers to apply and obtain the Certificates of Fitness for
Occupation (CF) and strata titles. Developers should not
deliberately neglect applying for a project's CF and each unit's
strata titles, which are buyers' final proof of ownership.
Sound management of stratified and gated
It is not uncommon to hear of feuding between
owners and developers or their managing agents over
management/maintenance and/or service charges in the context of
stratified projects. Developers undertaking such projects must adopt
proper accounting standards and be transparent in their dealings
with owners. Pending the issuance of strata titles, developers
should invite owners/residents to participate in the management of
Encouraging community living
Developers should encourage the formation of
residents' associations. This practice is not new in the industry.
Some developers have even gone to the extent of making monetary
contributions to ensure that such associations are established.
Others provide the facilities for residents to meet.
Honesty's the best policy
Developers should adopt a policy of disclosure and
divulge all information that is in the interest of their buyers
instead of adopting the attitude which puts he entire onus of
obtaining information on buyers. No doubt buyers are expected to do
their homework but unfortunately, there is no learning curve to
speak of when purchasing a property since few make more than one
acquisition in their lifetime. Developers with social conscience
should not take advantage of this situation.
Good communication practices
The lines of communication between buyers and
developers should always be open. This isn't only to the benefit of
buyers but also developers for the following reasons:
- Buyers can be informed of ongoing and future
- It complements a developer's move to be more
transparent and accountable in its management of stratified
- It allows a developer to resolve whatever
problems it may have with its buyers directly rather than than
through the media, which may be potentially detrimental to a
developer's image and reputation.
Winning over buyers' confidence
Developers that have earned buyers' confidence
enjoy benefits and advantages that extend beyond quick take-up of
their offerings. These developers have established their own brand
names, with loyal purchasers actively promoting their products by
word of mouth.
A good developer is motivated by innovation. It
does its research and development to further improve and add value
to its products for the benefit of buyers.