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Procedure to Buy/Sell
Who Can Buy Private Property?
All Singapore citizens and companies can freely buy any type of private residential property.
However, there are HDB and CPF restrictions that may affect you when you buy a private property.
For flats bought directly from HDB (including flats bought from the open market with CPF Housing Grant) a) The flats lessees must satisfy the required occupation period for the flat before acquiring the private property
b) The flat lessees must continue to stay in the HDB flat after acquiring the private property unless having met the required occupation period allowing them to rent out the HDB flat.
For flats bought from the open market without CPF Housing Grant
You still need to satisfy the required occupation period for the flat before acquiring the private property.
Foreigners or foreign companies can buy certain types of residential property according to the Residential Property Act.
The Buying / Selling Process:
1) Select an agent(Optional), but recommended.
A professional agent will not only help you to find the right property, but also ensure you get the right price, ensure all small details are covered prior to purchase, guide you through the process and make recommendations on financing and legal representation.
2) Find your property and agree on a price
When reaching a preliminary agreement to buy, ensure that all important points have been discussed and agreed, including any repairs or changes prior to purchase, what stays and what goes, any special requirements from both sides and the anticipated transaction completion date.
3) Sign an Option to Purchase
For Private Property - The seller through their lawyer or agent will grant you an Option To Purchase sale contract for the property.
At this point you are required to pay a non-refundable option fee (normally 1% of purchase price).
The option period is usually 14 days.
For HDB Property - the HDB standard Option to Purchase has replaced the Sale & Purchase Agreement as the form of contract to be used in resale flat transactions.
Buyers and sellers should not enter into any other forms of agreement or supplemental agreements.
Like private property, you are required to pay a non-refundable option fee (not more than SGD$1,000) when the Option To Purchase is granted to you.
The option period is 21 days.
4) Appoint a Lawyer
You now need to appoint a lawyer to make legal enquiries on the status of the seller, the title of the property and the terms of the sale.
5) Arranging Financing
Compare interest rates and special terms when choosing your finance scheme.
You can apply for withdrawal of CPF savings by completing an application together with a valuation report prepared by a licensed valuer who is on the CPF panel of valuers.
6) Exercise the Option / HDB 1st Appointment
For Private Property - If all is well you now sign the Option To Purchase sale contract as a form of exercising the option, and pay 5% of the purchase price (less the option fee). You also need to pay stamp duty within 14 days of the contract.
For HDB Property - After getting HDB's Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter or the bank's Letter Of Offer (LO), you are to exercise the Option To Purchse and pay not more than SGD$5,000 (less the option fee).
The buyer and seller must then register the transaction with HDB.
Registration allows HDB to check the eligibility of the transaction and arrange for a 1st Appointment -- usually about 6 weeks after the registration.
7) Legal Inspection & Completion
Your lawyer will carry out an investigation of title deeds and send requisitions to various government departments. The seller's lawyer will also prepare the completion statement and send documents for stamping to effect completion.
Settle Payment and Handover / HDB 2nd Appointment
For Private Property - You now settle the outstanding balance of the purchase price. This might be 8 to 12 weeks after exercising the option. The seller's lawyer will then handover the keys and title deed of conveyance, and you become the owner of your new home.
For HDB Property - Completion takes place at the 2nd Appointment, usually about a 8 weeks after the 1st Appointment. The insurance and mortgage is arranged and stamp duty, legal fees and agent fees are paid. The sale is completed and arrangements are made for moving into your new home.
Entire Process Time: Usually between 10 to 14 weeks
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