Private property Seller Guide

Things to consider

Before marketing your property, you should check the last transacted prices in your development. You may do so on the website of the URA for private apartments.

Do not focus on the very last transaction. Maybe the condition of the apartment was horrible so the last seller did not get a good price. Or on the contrary, maybe the seller had done some major improvements that allowed to fetch a high price. You should try to calculate a median price per square foot over the last 3 to 6 months.

Then, you should adjust the price of your property depending on the following criteria:

  • Renovations can bring added value to your property. 
  • Floor: high floors can usually be priced slightly higher; low floors, slightly lower.
  • Floor size: you need to provide the exact floor size.
  • Facing: buyers tend to look for North or East facing. South and West are usually less attractive.
  • Fixtures and Fittings (if any): Note that some potential buyers might not share your tastes, so they might not see your fixtures or fittings as a value-added feature.
  • Cleanliness: a clean house cannot be sold for more but it will definitely show its best possible angle. You will lose a lot of prospects if your show a dirty and messy place.

You can engage a property agent to sell your house or post it up on a local online portal like Carousel to market it yourself. 

Unlike HDB flats, there are no restrictions on who can buy your condo. So, be open to foreigners, permanent residents, and every nationality alike.

Note that if you’re selling your Executive Condominium (EC), Permanent Residents are only eligible to buy 5 years after your EC’s date of completion, while foreigners can do so only after 10 years.

Be patient with this part of the selling journey. Interested buyers might request to view your house for the second, third or even fourth time – it’s a house they’re buying, after all. 

Timeline

Click on any one of the icon to find out more.

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Is the sale price enough to repay

off the outstanding mortgage?

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You can check how much CPF you

have used by logging into your

CPF account with your Singpass.

Click on ‘My Request’ on the left

and click on ‘Property’.

Lawyer

• You will need to engage a lawyer

to receive the exercised OTP on

your behalf.

• The lawyer will also advise

you if your property is out of

the Seller Stamp Duty period

when they do a Title search.

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• How to ensure a smooth

transition to your next

property?

• How long does it take for

CPF to be refunded back into

your account and ready for

draw down again?

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What documents does your

lawyer need from you?

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What other information do

I need to know?

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• Seller should check if they

are already out of the Seller

Stamp Duty period, else

SSD will be payable

within 14 days once the

buyer exercise the OTP.

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• Buyer’s law firm will

deliver the exercised OTP to

seller’s law firm together

with the exercising fee

before 4pm on the deadline

to exercise.

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• Seller’s lawyer will serve a

redemption notice to CPF

and bank loan (if applicable).

• Seller needs to check on the

following before the serving

the notice.

• Mortgage loan is already

out of lock in period.

• There are no repricing

date or rate review date.

• This is to prevent any

penalties incurred due

to lock in or repricing date.

• Click here to find out more.

meeting-with-lawyer

• Seller will have to sign the

transfer document to allow

the transfer of ownership to

the buyer.

• In addition seller will also

have to pay the maintenance

fee and property tax for

the entire period first,

then seller law firm will

do the apportionment.

• The apportioned amount

will be returned back to the seller.

Calculator

• Completion account typically

work backwards.

• ie Sale price less off

outstanding mortgage, less

off outstanding CPF used

and less off initial 1% + 4%

paid to derive the sales proceeds.

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• The lawyer may adjust the

completion date earlier or

later if they found out there

are additional penalties arising

from the redemption notice.

• Do take note that the bank

may charge a $200 admin

fee to change the completion

date.

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• Under the law, buyers are

obligated to provide access

to the unit and also to the letter

box, so the minimum is one

set of keys.

• If there are any missing items

ie the access cards, the buyer

law firm will write to the seller

law firm to check with the client

on a goodwill basis.

• If the seller is not able to

locate the missing items, buyer

will then have to do the

replacement of keys/cards at

their own cost.

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• The buyer’s law firm attends

completion in the seller law

firm typically between 2-5pm

in the afternoon.

• Both sides law firm will check

the documents to ensure

everything is correct before

handing over the keys and

cashier’s order.

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CONGRATULATIONS!

• Sales proceeds collection

is typically after 530pm on

completion date.

• You may request for your

lawyer to bank in the sales

proceeds on your behalf.

• Do note that it takes about

3 weeks for the CPF refunds

to go back into your

CPF account.

• Once in, it takes another

7 clear working days to disburse

out (if you are purchasing

another property.)

Steps and procedures

So, you or your property agent found a buyer!

Grant them the Option to Purchase in exchange for a 1% Option Fee.

The Option to Purchase will also contain terms on the sale and purchase of your condo such as the address and unit number, the selling price, etc.

This will be valid for 14 days, during which you must stop advertising your property or accepting offers from any other interested buyers.

If the buyer doesn’t proceed with the transaction within 14 days, (do request a written proof in black and white) you get to keep the Option Fee and may start advertising your property once again. 

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another.

The conveyance lawyer will conduct a title search to confirm that you, as a seller, have the good root of title. Meaning to say, that your title to the property is not defective due to issues such as a mortgage.

If the contract requires the balance of the deposit to be held as stakeholder monies, the vendor's solicitors will act as the stakeholder and place the monies in the Conveyancing Account until completion. As a stakeholder, the vendor's solicitors will be an independent party who will safeguard the monies until completion of the purchase. The monies will not be released to the vendor without the consent of the purchaser and this provides some form of security for the purchaser in the event the vendor becomes bankrupt or the sale is rescinded prior to completion.

 

If the vendor had taken out a mortgage or used his CPF monies to purchase the property, the property will be mortgaged to a bank and charged to CPF Board. A notice of redemption must be sent to the mortgagee and/or chargee to inform them that the property has been sold and the loan and/or charge will be redeemed on the completion date.

 

The vendor's solicitors will receive the title deeds from the discharging bank or CPF Board after the redemption noticed is served. They will forward the title deeds to the purchaser's solicitors on the usual solicitor's undertaking that the title deeds will be returned to vendor's solicitors upon demand without any claim or lien at any time or if the contract falls through for whatever reason.

 

The draft Total Discharge of Mortgage and Discharge of CPF Charge are prepared by the vendor's solicitors and sent to the solicitors acting for the bank and CPF Board for their approval. After approval, solicitors acting for the bank and CPF Board will send the engrossment to their clients for execution. The draft Instrument of Transfer will be approved by the vendor's solicitors and the vendor will execute it thereafter. The vendor's solicitors will then inform the purchaser's solicitors that their client is 'ready, able and willing to complete the sale'.

 

The vendor's solicitors will prepare a completion account to the purchaser's solicitors which includes the mode of payment of the sale proceeds. An account will also be prepared for the vendor client to show the proceeds the vendor should be expecting. The bill for the Vendors solicitors' legal costs will also be prepared at this stage and deducted from the sale proceeds, if agreed by the Vendor.

Upon the buyer’s exercise of the Option to Purchase, the 4% Exercise Fee is usually held by the seller’s lawyer pending completion of the sale.

From hereon, Your lawyer will serve the redemption notice to your bank and CPF (if you used both of them).

They will send back a redemption statement showing how much us outstanding as of now.

Your lawyer will ask for payment proof to show that all MCST charges and Property tax has been paid. (apportionment of the fees from the buyer will be calculated and compiled into the completion account).

Your lawyer will then arrange to meet you to sign the transfer document.

You will be required to handover all keys, access cards, car transponder latest by 12pm on the completion date.

Sales proceeds will be available for your collection on the completion date at 6pm on the completion date.

Post Completion

If the unit is tenanted : The consent of the tenant must have been sought earlier to transfer the security posit to the new owner.


There will not be any keys given to the purchaser on completion if the property is sold with tenancy but the tenancy agreement held by the vendor should be forwarded to the purchaser for safekeeping.

 

The Chief Assessor, IRAS must also be notified of the change in ownership of the property.

 

The vendor's solicitors send out notices to the Management Corporation, IRAS and tenant (if the property was sold with tenancy) to inform them of the change of ownership.

 

The purchaser's solicitors have to ensure that the Instrument of Transfer, the Mortgage and/or CPF documents are duly registered after completion. Registration is normally undertaken by the mortgagee's solicitors unless otherwise agreed. The other solicitors would have to be notified of the lodgment particulars and numbers allocated to each instrument.

 

After final registration of the documents, the title deeds will be returned by the Registry and forwarded to the Purchaser's mortgagee or CPF Board for safe-keeping.