What happens in a lawyer meeting? what will my lawyer advise me about?
How do I give my instructions to my lawyer?

The Meeting with the lawyer

“Just follow Law.”

Ever wondered what your lawyers would go through with you when you meet them? That fruitful and exciting one-hour session to determine your property from dream-to-reality is officially coming true!By now, we are sure you’ve already been greeted by your Business Development Manager/ Conveyancing Manager, whom previously have advised you on the necessary documentation to bring and prepare, plus the payments to note of and who to pay to? (A good BDM would/should have given you all the information above). To know the details in-depth, please refer here.

PropertyWiki Tip: Bring a notebook to remember the essential details, there’s a lot to absorb during that one hour.

So your exciting journey begins on being at the front door of your law firm, where the receptionists will bring you to the meeting room to prepare you for the meeting room. I hope you’ve brought your lucky blue-inked pen to commemorate your property purchase!

Your lawyer walks over, greeting you and the name card exchange, proceeds to make a copy of your NRIC(s)/Passport(s) in order to make a copy to verify that you are indeed the ones in-person present to sign the documents, as per the ones named in the option to purchase/Sales & Purchase agreement.

  • For those married, the lawyer will be asking you for your marriage certificates
  • For those Siblings/parent-child, the lawyer will be asking you for your birth certificates

Now, the explanation for the entire journey and lawyering stuff:

For Sales & Purchase agreement

He will be going through with you on your sales & purchase agreement (The thick documents sent by developers). In summary, the crucial things that your lawyer will go through with you are as follows:

  1. The progressive payments.
  2. The last 15% and how it will be apportioned and paid to whom(developer’s account).
  3. Repudiation– 14 days to pay for each payment. Developers will serve all homeowners a 21-days’ notice if they fail to make the payment on time.
  4. Errors and omission– Developer will be liable to compensate you if there are >3% in error as what was promised to you for your unit after it is built and ready by Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) date.
  5. Defects Liability Period– You have exactly one (1) year from the date of TOP Notice (The day the developer serves the TOP Notice letter to your law firm).

PropertyWiki Tip: Note that this is different from Developer’s TOP date with BCA. So when they TOP, it does not mean your unit has TOP yet.

  1. Estimated TOP and CSC date– Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) Date is usually one year from the TOP date.
  2. Annexes, specs of the unit, car park lots, building material used, by-laws and restrictions.

Next, the necessary calculations needed for them to inform you

So based on your bank’s mortgage letter of offer and latest CPF Statements that showcases your OA, SA, and Medisave figures come into the limelight as your lawyer will touch on:

  1. Bank’s mortgage Letter of offer
  2. To note on the lock-in period. This is important when you choose to refinance in the future.
  3. The loan package so you will have a clear understanding once again, if your loans are SOR, SIBOR or fixed term. We are sure that you have already gone through this and be extremely clear back when you sign your mortgage loans.
  4. This provides clarity on the CPF allowed to be used for your monthly instalments.
  5. Any special conditions set by the bank – Needless to say, you’ll need to be clear on it.
  1. CPF – This is something that your lawyers will need your clear instructions as to how much CPF that can be used from the CPF Ordinary Account (OA), as well as whose account is to be used to apply for the drawdown (For more than one owner).
  2. Cash difference – To know what is this about, it’s basically from your Purchase Price, minus the mortgage loan entitled and the CPF amount to be used for the entire purchase of the property, what is the final shortfall? That cash difference shall then be advised by the lawyers to be used to issue into the developer’s account.
  3. Collection of Cheques – The lawyer will be collecting three (3) cheques (And will guide you on how to post-date the cheque accordingly if you need to prepare certain funds). This entails the following:
  4. 15% exercising Fee (Cash Difference portion apply if you do not have enough CPF).
  5. Stamp duties (To be paid in cash first, but if you have adequate CPF, you can opt for it to be paid using it later and be refunded later)
  6. Legal fees (For the lawyers’ services in representing you for the next couple of years until you acquire your unit at CSC.

That’s it?? Nope. Here are other documentation that needs your signature

  1. Warrant to act– This is to enable a formal contract that you agree for your law firm to represent you in all your legal matters pertaining to this property.
  2. Manner of holding– For more than one owner, your lawyer will be asking you if you wish to buy this property under a joint tenancy or Tenants-in-common.Joint Tenancy– Survival of the fittest. Whoever passes on, the property is automatically transferred to the other surviving spouse.Tenants-in-Common– It depends on the will set by each party, and whoever passes on, the property will be in accordance with the will that they set.
  3. ABSD declaration form – This form is for you to make an official declaration to your lawyers on the total number of properties owned in Singapore.
  4. CPF Letter of Authorisation and Declaration and checklist– This is to signify that your law firm will be acting on behalf of you, to be submitted to CPF Board to conduct the withdrawal process. The checklist is provided by CPF board to ensure that everyone makes a clear declaration before they approve the process.
  5. Mortgage documents and deed of assignment(of rental proceeds) & Spousal consent –
  6. Mortgage document + Spousal Consent (and Deed of Assignment, applicable for new launch properties) is used to make an official declaration to the bank, as well as used to protect them from certain liabilities. Please refer to the previous article here for clarity.
  7. AML form(if applicable)
  8. Anti-money laundering – This is to ensure that the appropriate KYC has been conducted and declared by you, to ensure the well-being of the law firm that you are purchasing the property through legit means via your hard work and dedication to acquire the remuneration and funding to make the appropriate purchase, and not via any unethical way.
  9. Any other miscellaneous documentation
  10. This is basically the law firm’s individual checklist to take note exactly of your instructions when to send the signed documents to the developers’ law firm (That will mark the official exercising date),
  11. When exactly to submit the cheques (and your funding MUST be ready in your bank for the deduction)

And we are done! Your one-hour journey to your property acquisition is finally completed! Congratulations! Now, all we need to do is wait for your property to be built and TOP so you can get your keys.