Even though Singaporeans are generally risk-averse, most of us don’t have a gigantic wad of extra cash lying around.
Particularly if you’ve got most of your money tied up in investments or your financial obligations, you don’t want to be caught unaware with a large bill.
So it helps to know the exact costs of selling property in Singapore – and when exactly you need to fork out that cash.
This way, you can plan when to liquidate those assets at rates that are favorable to you.
In this guide, we’ll detail all the costs of selling your HDB or private property. We’ll also give you a rough timeline of when you’ll be expected to settle those bills so you can make arrangements accordingly.
Here’s a quick overview of all the costs you’ll need to cover when you sell your property:
|Type of Expense||HDB||Private Property||When to Pay Up|
|Administrative Fees||$40 – 80||Upon submission of the Resale Application|
|Property valuation from licensed valuer||$200-$400 (but banks will also provide an indicative valuation)||When setting the price for your property|
|Miscellaneous marketing fees (e.g. newspaper ads)||Optional||Optional||When listing your property|
|Home staging||From $1,000 onwards depending on the size and type of property||From $1,000 onwards depending on the size and type of property||When listing your property / conducting home viewings|
|Professional photography||From $300 onwards depending on the size of your property||From $300 onwards depending on the size of your property||When listing your property|
|Legal fees (conveyancing, caveat, etc.)||$288 – $2,300 (Using HDB’s solicitors is the cheapest route)||$2,500||HDB: After HDB accepts your Resale Application
Private Property: Deducted from cash proceeds, or close to the sale completion date
|Agent commissions + GST||1 – 2% of purchase price + GST||2 – 5% of purchase price + GST||Depends on your agent, but typically at the close of the sale|
|Service & Conservancy Charges||Dependent on the flat type||Before you attend the HDB Resale Completion Appointment|
|Upgrading costs||If applicable||HDB sends a yearly statement of account for upgrading costs around February. Outstanding upgrading costs will have to be cleared with cash proceeds or CPF.|
|Resale levy||If applicable (click here to find out if you need to pay the resale levy)||Deducted directly from sale proceeds, or paid upon purchasing your second flat|
|Reimbursement to new owners for extension of stay||If applicable. Includes reimbursement to the new owner for Service & Conservancy Charges, property tax, and the $20 application fee.||Upon submission of the Resale Application|
|Bank loan penalty for early termination||If applicable||If applicable||At the close of the sale|
|Bank legal fees||If applicable||If applicable||At the close of the sale|
|Seller’s stamp duty (SSD)||If applicable (click here to find out if you need to pay SSD)||If applicable (click here to find out if you need to pay SSD)||Within 14 days after the S&P agreement is signed|
|Property tax until the end of the year||Prorated amount upon completion of sale||Prorated amount upon completion of sale||Payable in January for the year in advance|
|Moving / renovation costs||✔||✔||Typically before the close of the sale so buyer can confirm vacant possession|
* Note: These quoted figures are estimates, as the fees will depend on the specific firms, banks, or individuals you engage.
Obviously, some of these may not apply to you. If you’ve taken an HDB loan rather than a bank loan for instance, HDB doesn’t charge an early repayment fee.
If you’re selling a flat, it’s cheaper to go with HDB for most of the process. After all, their mission is to provide affordable housing for all Singaporeans, and they’ve gone to great lengths to keep their services inexpensive.
You’ll find, for example, that HDB’s solicitor fees are significantly lower than fees from an independent law firm elsewhere.
One final note here: If you’re looking to minimize some of these costs, Bluenest provides a full suite of services to help you sell your property faster.
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Thanks for the article. Was helpful.
Have a question: why are Property Agent commissions so high? Eg 2% of a $4m private property is $80k. recently spoke with an agent and was frustrated to learn that he offered nothing of real value to me as a potential customer. Could not address my question on the reasonableness of capping price and decreasing psf simply because the land area is larger than others. Especially when other units on the SAME STREET were selling for a higher Psf. So this is a legit question I have, as most professionals work harder and engage in more decision support activities for a much smaller remuneration. Just seems a restructuring of fees is in order for the industry.
Where am I wrong?
Hello Jimbo! The thing about the commission structure here in Singapore is that it is negotiable which also means that the agent could charge more than the market rate of 2% and if the seller is agreeable to it, the agent would then get a bigger paycheck once the unit is sold. To be fair to them, they would need the money for marketing costs, listing platforms (like PropertyGuru) and whatnot which also means that they are like their own boss managing their business on their own.
Hence, it is very easy for them to say they are charging 2% as it is the market rate but at times, sellers like yourself would feel that they did not do much to earn that 2%.
This is when Bluenest comes in to change the way sellers think about agents and commission here in Singapore. Bluenest is a tech-enabled real estate agency and with all the technologies that we have at the back end, we will be able to help our sellers, like yourself to fetch the best possible price at only 1% commission which is half of the market rate of 2%. With technology, we have managed to streamline our business and making our agents even more efficient and effective to attend to our sellers’ needs than a traditional agent here in Singapore. Hence, we have a good number of properties that are sold within the month itself or less and at the best possible price. Also, our agents are highly experienced coupled with a very good sales track record as well so it is definitely not the case of “you pay cheap and you get cheap”, something that you probably hear among those traditional agents out there if you were to ask them to lower their rates.
Here in Bluenest, it would not just an agent helping you to sell but it would be a company that would be selling for you. Do hit us up at email@example.com or +65 3138 2554 if you wish to find out more and engage our services! Hope to hear from you soon!