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 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 side and the anticipated schedule.
3) Sign an Option to Purchase
For Private Property – This is obtained from the seller through their lawyer or agent. 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 – Since 15 April 2003, 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.
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
For Private Property – If all is well you now sign the sale contract, 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 – The purchaser and the seller of HDB properties are required to attend the First Appointment verify the validity and the eligibility of the deal and fix the completion date.
7) Legal Inspection & Completion
The lawyer you hired would carry out scrutiny of the title deeds and send requisitions to relevant departments of the government. Similarly, the lawyer of the seller would also make the completion statement and have it stamped.
8) Settle Payment and Handover / HDB 2nd appt
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 month 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