How to sell Tembusu Grand that has a perceived disadvantage such as being West-facing or close to a rubbish chute

Here’s the problem: You’re a homeowner and you want to sell your Tembusu Grand home by consulting an agent and listing it online.

One caveat is that the house features a unique feature that many potential buyers might not be able to immediately embrace. It is also direct East- or West-facing. This means that it can get hotter in the mornings and evenings. Tembusu Grand complex has lush green spaces that include a garden, a park, and a landscaped terrace.

We wanted to share some tips and tricks that homeowners can use to turn what is often viewed as a disadvantage into a benefit.

1) East or West-facing flat

A particular room, such as the master bedroom or living room, that faces East sun-facing would be considered a “sunroom”. If a particular room (e.g., the master bedroom or the living room) faces East, homeowners might say that they usually are not home when the East sun is at its strongest. They would also have gone to work. Their prospective sellers may not see sun-facing aspects as a problem if they view their work routines in the same way.

West-facing flats are often the most difficult. Because after a long day at work, it is possible to return home feeling warmer than usual.

A homeowner whose kitchen faces West would be open to home buyers looking for someone who doesn’t cook or stays in the kitchen. She was actually able to use the sun to grow her plants and dry her clothes because she was a home-grown gardener. She found a homebuyer with similar interests and thoughts to hers.

A homeowner installed retractable blinds and UV sheets to block the sunlight. These added features can be accepted by a buyer as part of the sale price to counter perceived inconvenience.

Often, apartments facing East or West have other advantages that outweigh this perceived disadvantage. A homeowner had a stunning view from their West-facing high-floor unit. Prospective buyers will quickly realize that the stunning view often outweighs minor inconveniences such as the morning or evening sun.

Some buyers don’t care if an apartment is directly East- or West-facing.

Modern flats have reinforced steel bars in their concrete walls that help distribute heat throughout the day.

BCA has even a term called ETTV, or Envelope Thermal Transmittance Val – which measures heat loss (or conduction through) different types of windows and walls in a building.

These values help engineers and architects comply with various thermal performance standards for buildings. As broad-based construction technologies increase heat dissipation within national ecosustainable standards, it may not be an issue to return home to an apartment facing East or West in the near future.

2) Unit with taboo numbers or corridor-facing unit (no privacy).

A common corridor or apartment with taboo numbers (like 13 and 4) is another disadvantage. Low-floor units may be considered harder to sell by some, as well as those that face the expressway or train tracks. It’s generally harder to sell to buyers who are extremely particular about good Feng Shui.

One HDB flat seller lived on the 4th floor facing the LRT track and the common corridor. At first, he believed he couldn’t sell his flat as it was on the fourth floor. Some Chinese buyers think the word 4 is a death sentence.

He thought it could also be due to a loss in privacy from the LRT track and common corridor. This is despite the fact that the unit is within walking distance to the LRT station, and has just completed its Minimum Occupation Period.

Corner units are more desirable than those facing the main road or train track. However, buyers have been able to find buyers for units that face the common corridor or low-floor units that face the main road or train track. It all depends on how well-designed and what other positives it has.
The homeowner quickly realized the reason. His HDB project had just completed its MOP. Other flats on the block, with higher floors, also entered the resale marketplace. Prospective buyers will naturally prefer corner units or higher floors.

The homeowner closed the deal at the price he wanted after waiting for a while, many viewings, and no offers. With the assistance of his agent, he sold the house to a non-superstitious purchaser. He shouldn’t have worried that he wouldn’t find a buyer. It was all about finding the right buyer at just the right moment.

LTA’s railway noise barrier programme includes privacy screens on train tracks that double as noise barriers. 27km of rail tracks were or will be fitted with noise barriers between 2018 and 2023. A group of NUS students conducted a study that found improved property values after noise barriers were installed.

LTA states that these barriers will reduce railway noise levels by between 5 and 10 decibels.

3) Unit is facing or next to the garbage chute

The third disadvantage is the proximity or face of the garbage chute.

Newer flats now have a centralised garbage chute, rather than one in each home. This reduces pest infestation, especially after intensive fumigation, and lowers maintenance costs for often choked chutes. It is possible that residents will be happier with centralised chutes.

Some buyers may desire a centralised rubbish chute. Seniors may prefer a private rubbish chute, as they don’t want to have to go out to the curb every now and again to dispose of their rubbish. They can be found in older flats. There are advices from Town Councils on how to keep the chute door closed to stop pests and bad odours.

Dual waste chutes are available for general and recyclable waste. (Image source: NEA)
There are units that face the chute or closer to blocks with the chute centralised. What can you do if you are one of these homeowners?

Some claim that they don’t leave their front doors open so noises from neighbours dumping rubbish aren’t as loud. Some people find it easier to dispose of rubbish if they live closer to the chute. Residents living further away from the chute tend accumulate more rubbish, which can affect the smell of their homes.

Actually, pests crawling out from the chute during fumigation rounds won’t be as concerning if you live on a higher level than someone who lives on a lower floor.

The majority of centralised chutes are also close to the main lift lobby. This is a convenience trade-off for some homeowners.

Although we have only given a few examples, it is evident that these “commonly perceived shortcomings” might be considered “advantages or non-issues” by some potential buyers.

These buyers and their agents would overlook any perceived disadvantages or misconceptions about the units in favor of its far more positive advantages. These benefits could include the stunning design, unblocked views, attractive pricing, and potential for neighbourhood revitalizion. Others may enjoy the proximity of their neighbours (having friendly and good neighbours), or they might be looking for a permanent home that offers these extra conveniences. A few people wouldn’t want to sell the same unit in future so they don’t worry about it.

Although there may be some perceived drawbacks, the apartment’s positive aspects could make it an attractive home for potential buyers.

Keep in mind that no two buyers will see the apartment the exact same way. One buyer may be looking for conveniences, while another might be looking to sell. Each buyer may have a different way of living that might suit the features and personality of the house they are selling. It is important to understand what buyers want and to market your home to their advantage at the right time.

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