Be a well-informed house buyer in Malaysia & Petaling Jaya.

So we’ve been shopping for a home. Yeah, we figure after 4.5 years, it’s about time to go to the next level..but we need to get a house first. A place with ample space for our cars, for Charlie to run around a bit and a functional kitchen. We’ve been living in this tiny apartment for so long and I’ve particularly gotten really sick of it. Doesn’t even have enough space for a damn washing machine.

Long story cut short, we found this double storey terrace house near where we’re living right now and instantly fell in love with it. Told the agent we’re taking it. Told her we’re going to get the house valued by the bank and then come back with our offer price. Which we promptly did. Bank came back with the price that is about RM40K lower than what owner has listed. So after about a week of negotiations, we got the price down to our ideal…which is about 16K more than the bank’s actual valuation. We didn’t mind paying the extra, it’s a business after all and we really wanted the house.

So we got to arranging for our mortgage and after nearly 2 weeks, nothing has happened yet. Apparently, the owner has refused to handover the title to the bank for processing. Why?

Apparently, a different property agent has told him that she could sell his house for RM20K more thank his initial listed price!!! And to our horror, this greedy asshole of a house owner believes that his un-renovated, 15 year old, dirty house is worth RM60K more than what the banks have valued. So he refuses to sell it to us. Okay, so he’s greedy and stupid. What can we do? We can do nothing. Except for looking at different houses, which will be his loss eventually. Good luck selling your house dumbass.

What I’m really angry about is how what these agents appear to be doing, they are essentially spoiling the market for both buyers and sellers.

By seemingly jacking up house prices in order to make more money when there are ample buyers out there who would willingly part with their money for a reasonable above average market price. I am extremely pissed off by this and to whichever property agent that is reading this and is trying to pull a fast one, FUCK YOU.

Anyway, we eventually found out that the agents who in my opinion have been speculating with the market is these bunch of agents from this agency called J A Valley Properties. Their names are Judy Chong, Steven Chong and their daughter, Jesse Lee. If you’re looking to buy properties in Petaling Jaya, beware. It seems their modus operandi is to find out the owners of the properties, contact them and then promise to sell their properties at a much inflated price. Then they’ll get their colleagues from the same agency to do the same and before you know it, the owner is totally convinced that they have underpriced their properties. Mind you from what I’ve heard, these people don’t even physically value the properties or see pictures before conveniently stating the price. And who get screwed? Uninformed owners (and of course, greedy ones) and sincere property buyers like you and I.

I’ve actually contacted them way before this to view some houses they have listed on But we eventually decided to stay away from them because I found that they tend to offer their properties around RM50K more than the market value or other property agents. They seem really damn shifty as well and keep shoving down your throats properties that are way beyond our budgets. Like wtf, stop wasting my time. Very persistent and annoying as well and doesn’t understand the meaning of “It’s beyond my budget”.

Here are a couple of house buying tips:

1. Drive around the neighbourhood you want and just browse for houses row by row, street by street. From our experience, calling agents up are frustrating. Of course, that said, there are professional & good ones out there, we’ve met a few. So good luck.

2. Always have the banks value the property before making a price offer. With the bank’s valuation, you have a solid benchmark for making an offer.

3. Check out Judy Chong, Steven Chong Lee and their daughter (whose name I can’t remember Jesse Lee) of J A Valley and learn what kind of property agents you should watch out for from them.

4. Research, research and research. Don’t ever be an un-informed buyer.

So, yeah we’re still looking albeit frustratingly. I hope we’ll find our dream home soon cause I’m itching to decorate.

p/s: Just because of a few rotten eggs does not mean that J A Valley Properties is an unreliable agency.

37 thoughts on “Be a well-informed house buyer in Malaysia & Petaling Jaya.”

  1. Aren’t you at all concerned they might sue you for defamation or misrepresentation or some legal term i cant think of right now?

  2. You can sue the seller for not selling you the house at the agreed price. The contract is in effect once the price is settled and your offer has been accepted and this acceptance has been communicated to you.

    You can, if you want ask for specific performance ie make them sell you the house or compensation.

    See a lawyer.

  3. I’ve bad experiences here in Penang as well. One of the agents even insulted me personally, when one deal did not go through and almost refused to hand me back the fees I paid.

    Another property investor at my apartment is buying up all the units available and selling it at a much higher price. Imagine: bought at 150k, and offering selling at 180k.

  4. It is a huge commitment and I agree that driving around where you like to stay is often the best way to go. I bought mine that way too. :D

  5. Hi,

    I have faced the same thing. Their names are actually Judy Chong, Steven Lee & Jesse Lee. They are actually family members. The actual culprits are the daughter Jesse Lee and mother Judy Chong. I understand they have been TERMINATED from JA Valley as other agents in JA Valley complained about them as they have cheated lots of cases from other decent agents in the company. The daughter will pretend want to co-broke with an agent that have the listing of houses for sale and bring their ‘customer’ to see the house under the listing of the innocent agent. Then the mother will go back to that house later and pretend don’t know each other and directly contact the owner and pretend she has buyer that can offer her higher price and asked to be the agent of the house. Then, the mother and daughter will co-broke with each other and leave the innocent agent with nothing but all the hussles of doing all the work. Due to their evil plan, one of the victims happened to be ME! Luckily, there are other nice agents in JA Valley helped me and finally I got the HOUSE after all the dramas the other agent have to went through to help me get the house. If you still have not found your house, I can recommend you these nice agents that helped me and my other friends a lot like Grey Lim, HS Foo, Alex Fong and Bee Lin from JA Valley. If you need the contact number, please email me personally or give me your email address. Please do not disclose my personal data as I do not want to be under the spotlight. By the way, I don’t think it is fair to condemn the company as other agents in that company were victims too to their evil plan. Anyway, I even know the new company that they have parked themselves to now. Good luck to that new company.

  6. Is that even legal? Maybe should check with a lawyer? I cannot remember any property law I did like, 3 years ago when I was confused about my life, la la la la.

  7. Hi Kim,

    I am looking for a house as well. This blog is really informative. I will take the extra precaution to prevent rip-offs.

    p/s – We need to meet up. I am back in KL for good =)

  8. Hello,
    Looks like I’m not the only person fall into their traps. What the other commentator said was right they are family, husband, wife and daughter work as a team. It’s Steven Lee not Chong. They used many tactics and skills to influence you and make you believe what they said, at first they pretend like very nice agents, trying to help you but once you know them more then you’ll see true colors. My husbands told me they have been sacked by J A VALLEY PROPERTIES few months ago. Now they are in Full Homes Realty, so to all potential buyers and sellers, BEWARE!

  9. jazz: i guess so but it’s i guess we don’t want to do anything drastic and spoil our house hunting experience further. karma will bite back.

    vampirem: what an unscrupulous asshole i hope he can’t sell a single unit.

    ky: yeah that’s why must find the perfect one..

    bee: thanks :)

    st: we can start by killing their business.

    suanie: intellectually challenged i think.

    Property Owner-Another Victim: wow thanks for all the new info and enlightening us about the agency, we really thought the whole agency was like that already. good riddance to such unethical people. glad you got your house and even if we’re able to get the same house, we’re kinda wary about dealing with irresponsible and spineless owner like that. so i think we’re gonna stick to looking slowly. thanks for your offer of help regardless :)

    mell: i dunno, but it sure smells of fraud to me.

    cheesie: thanks gorgeous.

    sy: YAY you’re back! which area are you looking at babe? if near where u and i are staying pls do stay away from the names in the post. must meet up!!! same msia number??

    joanne: were you a buyer or a seller? thanks for speaking out otherwise it would look like i were just making stories up.

  10. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing, and I’d a another issue related to agent. I’d call up this agent to make an appointment for 2 days later (as suggested by this agent). This agent said will return call to confirm on viewing time. Unfortunately, this agent did not call nor sms me about the status, which prompted me to call and to no avail.

    After about a week, I still didnt get any news from this agent. This time, I tried to call via another phone, and my call was answered immediately, and I am not sure why this agent is so afraid to answer my call and hung up after hearing my voice. FYI, I’d not met up with this agent, nor given any offer that is ridiculously low or anything bad things as far as I’m concerned. Right immediately after that phone call, I use my original number, and I never get any answered call.

    I got so pissed that I called up this fella’s agency, and within 5 minutes, I got a RUDE SMS from this agent. I’d maintained my anger and replied this fella politely saying I will visit the office to lodge an official complain. This agent even dare me more to visit. This time, I lost my cool and did some searches in the internet, got all of this agent’s colleagues email, including the boss, email and stated everything that happened.

    I’d kept all the SMSes as evidence in case he try to be funny.

  11. Hi Kim.
    You did not tell what kinda research so I thought I would add this up, if one has already spotted an area or taman, then one of the research is flip through newspaper classified section and compare the prices. I am sure you guys did this.
    Do call up the property agent which advertise in the papers and make yourself to
    1. go visit the houses, apartment, condos in the same area
    2. compare the condition,
    3. get to know the price per square feet,
    4. any renovation done,
    5. how long the renovation has been done (the older the ‘value’ of renovation will be lesser
    6. expected rental yield (even thou you buying for own occupation), but good to know the rental yield. you may check the historical rental cost from the time the house newly built til now.
    7. when you compare the house condition, look newer=higher price for sure so you can judge roughly how much is the common price.
    8. facilities available (if you are new to the area, in your case, you maybe very familiar with the area already)
    9. location of the house must not be in flood prone area, nearby sewerage, dump site, used as kindergarden/surau/temple/church, facing T-junction.
    (the above negative factor will affect the market value of the property, and most of the bank will not likely to take up this kinda property)

    last but not least: Owner background research. Some sincere buyer like you guys got trap end up buying a house from a bankruptcy owner. Get to meet the owner (agent has no reason to say no) or spend a lil bit more money like RM30 to do a landsearch on the property via a lawyer if you have 80% confirm. If one bought house from a bankruptcy, the bank will not likely and will take time to drawdown the loan. It may take years.

    Never never rush for a deal. Shopping for buying a house may take a longer time than you guys expect. The process is kind of fun too ‘cos you may end up be an expert of the area. =)

    Thank you for sharing about the said property agency. Will keep an eye on them.

    Can I exchange email with you?

  12. Just wondering if you get your earnest payment or downpayment with penalty from the buyer?
    Thanks for highlighting these unscrupulous agents and the tips.

  13. We took like forever to find a home that is reasonably priced and suit our needs. That also future MIL don’t agree – feng shui and stuff but as long as we like it and love it, I don’t care mannnn!

    But yeah, looking at SO many houses in the past few months seriously, some people just want to charge super crazy prices when it’s not even renovated!

    Thanks for letting everyone know about them. This is a disgrace!

  14. The agent is not entirely to be blamed. First of all, you could have done a bit more homework on your intended property purchase. Like what is the real value or recent market transacted value of the property. Say if the property is RM500k and the owner is asking for RM550k, find out if the extra valuation is justifiable. You cannot buy something without doing any homework especially if it involved a large sum of money.

    Normally I would bring a cheque book or if the property is reasonably hot, cash so that I can seal the deal immediately. Always ask the vendor or the agent to bring along a copy of the title just in case you like the property and would allow your lawyer do a proper land search. Remember to stay clear of dodgy deals when the house is way below valuation. I have bought many “cheap” properties as I knew the owners and the reason why they need to sell immediately. Make sure your agent acknowledge receipt of your deposit and that the agent is aware that there is a penalty equivalent to the amount you have given should the vendor pulled out. My standard option letter to the agent/vendor includes specific performance where the owner cannot pull out upon acceptance of my earnest deposit. Ask any good lawyer to prepare one for you.

    I have been played out by vendors so many times in the beginning that instead of whinging, I learned the law and change all agreements to favour me. Alternatively, get to know someone who buys a lot of properties to assist you.

  15. Me too… I engage an agent, sign the booking copy. The tenant paid the agent in cash, so the agent give me the money minus commission. After he get his commission, he DELAY in the tenancy agreement for more than 2 weeks! till now I still haven’t see my tenancy agreement yet. When I call, he is busy showing another client the house or getting another deal close. He is not interested in closing the deal after getting commission. wat a fucker!

  16. I have had an experience with Judy Chong & family too. Real shifty bunch of ppl. They advertise many properties in iproperty but when you call them to view the house, they will show you some other house which you’re not interested in and will try to push it down your throat. Their prices are also quite high compared to the other houses in the same area.

  17. Wow this posting since 2009 and now Judy is still making money as agent
    How unfair?
    BTW I just engage them, i notice the husband’s finger were cut off…donno for what reasons.
    If you had met him, you will be a ble to sense that he is like a conman…try to con you to buy property…
    The use internet as their medium to draw customer to call them
    most of the house listed were sold

    so beware…

    1. I believe there are many more testimonials not being told. I’m one of the beneficiary.

      I’ve just bought an apartment with the daughter, she helped me to bargain the price with the owner to the price that I can afford to pay. I’m not a good negotiator so I believe there are reasons why we need negotiators out there, though they are all making good money.

      I even have 100% loan from the bank as that is my first house as a middle income earner. (Fyi, the market price is much higher than the agreed selling price.) The banker did a lousy job instead but I decided not to blame her. I even gave her the commission though I’m a little reluctant. Indeed, it was this agent who helps me throughout the process of getting this property and gave me lots of help and support.

      By the way, the after sales service is good, thus far. I’m yet to get my house key but I believe it would be soon :) Overall, I’m quite satisfied with the service.

      I do not know about the case above. It could be a truth, but it is already a past. We should look forward and give our dear friend a chance to make a living. Everyone deserves a chance to become a better person in life. At least from my case, I can see that she is a decent someone who takes her professionalism seriously and gave me the supports I need.

      Good luck to everyone out there getting a property :)

      Hmm..perhaps the government should take necessary measurements to restrict the requirement to become a property agent to reduce stiff competitions. Striving to survive is a human’s instinct, so we couldn’t blame them. Of course you can if you NEVER make any mistakes throughout your entire life. Make all of them a degree holder, isn’t it a good idea? :)

  18. Can someone tell me pls is it safe to pay an earnest money to the agent company whom I have not even met. Isnt it safer to pay through my lawyer. Im buying a condo at the very moment n the agent has asked me to pay the
    earnest money urgently. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The agent
    company is the same as mentioned by the writer, thank you.

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