Maybe you’ve been living in that BTO flat for a while now. You’re doing well financially, and you’re wondering if it’s the right time to let go of your HDB and upgrade to a private property.
Maybe you’ve outgrown your home and need more space for your family.
Whatever your reason for putting your HDB up on the resale market, you want to make sure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.
We’ll guide you through all the requirements you need to tick off, from the very start of the HDB resale process to the official completion of the sale.
The HDB Resale Process, Step by Step:
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
Step 2: Calculate Your Finances
Step 3: Chart Out Your Timeline
Step 4: Decide Whether to Hire an Agent or DIY
Step 5: Get a Home Valuation & Set a Price
Step 6: Register Your Intent to Sell
Step 7: Market Your Resale Flat Online
Step 8: Issue an HDB Option to Purchase (OTP) to Your Buyer
Step 9: Submit the Resale Application to HDB
Step 10: (Optional): Apply for an Extension of Stay
Step 11: Get HDB’s Approval
Step 12: Invite Buyer to Inspect the Unit
Step 13: Attend the HDB Resale Completion Appointment
Step 14: Settle / Terminate those Misc Bills
Visit the HDB resale portal to check whether you’re eligible to sell your HDB. This typically takes about 2 weeks to process. You’ll receive the confirmation letter directly at the HDB flat in question.
If you’d like a quicker answer, you can look up the eligibility requirements here and then compare your flat details with the criteria listed.
We cover this in more detail in our article on whether you’re ready to sell your house, but to recap: you need to make sure you have enough in cash, CPF, or home loans to cover your new home.
You can use the Sale Proceeds Calculator from HDB to get a base amount for how much home equity you have. But bear in mind that you may also have a few other costs to consider, including:
Since you have to refund your CPF account and pay off your outstanding home loan balance, you may not have much in actual cash from the sale proceeds. Do make sure you have enough to cover the cash down payment for the new place – particularly if you’re going for a private property. (Read also: The Costs of Selling Your Property in Singapore [2019 Edition])
This part can be tricky especially if you haven’t already found a new place to live in.
It takes about 8 weeks from the time HDB accepts your Resale Application to the actual HDB Resale Completion Appointment. During that time, you’ll have to move out so that the buyer can conduct their final inspection before the handover.
This is a rather tight timeline if you haven’t already got new living arrangements.
Even if you’ve already got another property, though, you still have to plan your timeline accordingly.
For instance, what if your HDB doesn’t sell for many months? Can your finances cope with the load of two properties?
Also note that if your second property is another HDB, you only have 6 months to sell off the old one.
This really depends on the amount of work you want to put in.
For some, Steps 2 & 3 (planning out your finances and timeline) are a HUGE pain.
Then you’ll have to settle tasks like:
Bluenest offers both DIY and agent-led options.
If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do all that heavy lifting, you’ll only have to pay a low fee of $988 for the DIY option.
But even if you want Bluenest’s real estate agents to settle everything for you, it’s still a lower-than-market-rate commission fee of 1%. (The standard is 2% of the purchase price.)
The main thing to keep in mind here is that for official property valuations, the proper maintenance of your home matters. This means if you want a better valuation, you’ll have to make all those home repairs you’ve been putting off.
Also, while renovations won’t affect the valuation, homes with designer décor have always been the fastest to sell regardless of the prevailing market conditions.
You can do so via the HDB resale portal here. (You’ll need your SingPass for this.)
Note that the Intent to Sell is valid for 12 months, and there’s a 7-day cooling-off period before you can issue an OTP (Step 8). This means you can’t market the flat first, find a buyer, then register your Intent to Sell and immediately issue the buyer the OTP.
This is the main area where having an agent will give you a competitive edge.
Only real estate agents with paid subscriptions can post property up on listing websites like PropertyGuru and SRX.
Experienced agents also know which listing platforms are most effective to market your property.
But if you’re well-versed in the world of real estate promotions and don’t need the extra help, you can also look up the few free alternatives available for owner listings.
Once you’ve found a buyer, you can issue them the official HDB OTP. They’ll also have to give you a previously agreed-upon amount for the Option Fee (anywhere from $1 to $1,000).
This works like a chope on your property: if you’ve issued the OTP to one buyer, you can’t issue it to a second buyer.
From there, the buyer has 21 calendar days to confirm whether he or she really wants to buy your property. If they don’t, you keep the Option Fee. If they do, they’ll have to pay you an Option Exercise Fee.
The Option Fee + Option Exercise Fee will form the deposit for your resale flat. The exact amount for the Option Exercise Fee is negotiable, but the Option Fee + Option Exercise Fee shouldn’t go over $5,000.
If you and your buyer are ready, it’s now time to submit that Resale Application!
Important Note: Make sure you and the buyer agree on a date to submit this application. Both parties must submit their side of the application within 7 days of each other. If not, it’ll be canceled and you’ll lose the $40-80 admin fee.
You’ll need these details to submit the form:
Once HDB lets you know that they’ve accepted your application, the clock starts ticking. You’ll get an SMS to endorse the documents on the HDB resale portal within 6 days.
This is when you’ll have to settle all the legal fees (conveyancing) and the caveat, so make sure you have some liquidity on hand.
You’ll also have 8 weeks to move out so that HDB (and the buyer) can conduct their final inspections. The purpose of HDB’s inspection is to make sure you haven’t made any illegal alterations to the flat – and you’ll have to pass the inspection before HDB will give you their stamp of approval.
This is only if you haven’t found a place to stay after selling your flat. Essentially, if you need an extension of stay after the sale has been legally completed, you can arrange with the buyers to extend your stay temporarily in the flat – up to 3 months.
They have to agree to it though, so be nice!
The buyers will also have to pay an admin fee of $20 along with the loan instalments and housing-related payments – even if you’re still occupying the flat. So it’s best if you give them some sort of monetary compensation in return for their generosity.
You and the buyer can submit all the necessary documentation for the extension of stay at the same time as the Resale Application.
Now the ball is in HDB’s court. They’ll take some time to review all the documentation and ensure everything is in order.
Once that’s done, you’ll get an SMS letting you know that the approval letter has been posted on the HDB Resale Portal. Following that, you’ll get another SMS to arrange the HDB Resale Completion Appointment.
This step actually takes place in between the approval letter and the HDB Resale Completion Appointment.
Between the SMS notification and the actual completion appointment, you’ll have to move out of the flat entirely. (You should’ve already made preparations to start doing so beforehand, so this won’t come as a shock.)
Then, invite the buyers to inspect the flat. This is mainly so they can verify that you’ve moved all of your stuff out and that the items listed in the valuation report are intact (e.g. built-in wardrobe isn’t missing).
You’re almost there! Just one last appointment to go to.
Stuff to Bring for Your HDB Resale Completion Appointment:
If you’ve got a solicitor acting on your behalf, you won’t have to attend the HDB Resale Completion Appointment yourself. Otherwise, you and the buyer will have to head over to HDB Hub.
HDB Hub Address
480 Lor 6 Toa Payoh
Telephone: (+65) 64901111
If you’ve got any flat-related payments on GIRO, it’s time to terminate those.
You’ll also have to settle all the outstanding payments, namely:
And that’s it! You now know just about everything you need to take care of when selling your HDB flat.
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Meiling is an American-born Chinese currently living in Singapore. As a property owner herself, she enjoys doing research into the local real estate market and making highly technical topics easy to understand for readers. When not writing for Bluenest, Meiling enjoys going for a long run or snuggling into her armchair with a good book.