Singapore property prices are set to keep climbing in 2022 and as a property owner you might be wondering if now is a good time to sell your private property. Some might have qualms about the selling process but in reality, to sell private property isn’t nearly as complicated as selling an HDB flat.
For one, there aren’t as many regulatory requirements you have to follow. You also won’t be hit with all the miscellaneous costs, like the resale levy and HDB administration fees.
But since agent commissions can be exorbitant when you sell a private property, it’s no wonder that more and more sellers are opting for the DIY route.
(Read also: Is It Worth it to Engage a Property Agent?)
That said, when you sell your private property in Singapore without an agent, there’s a fair bit more learning involved. Obviously, as a diligent seller, you’ll want to make sure you haven’t missed out on any key aspects of the resale condo procedure.
And that’s exactly we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide for you.
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: Market Your Property
Step 7: Conduct House Viewings
Step 8: Issue an Option to Purchase (OTP) to Your Buyer
Step 9: Wait for Buyer to Exercise OTP
Step 10: Pay Seller’s Stamp Duty If Necessary
Step 11: Invite Buyer to Inspect the Unit
Step 12: Complete the Sale at the Lawyer’s Office
Unlike with an HDB resale flat, there isn’t a Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) to fulfill before you can sell your private property.
Technically, you can rent out or sell your condo immediately after you purchase it. It’s just that you might be hit with the Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) if you sell too soon. (Read also: How to Calculate and Avoid Paying Seller Stamp Duty)
We’d recommend holding your property for at least 3 years if you’re not in a hurry to sell.
If you’re looking to sell your current private property and upgrading (or downgrading) to another place, then it’s relatively straightforward. You can check out this article to get a breakdown of all the costs you’ll incur.
Read also: The Real Costs of Selling a Property in Singapore
But if you’re selling an investment property and buying another one afterwards, bear in mind that you might run into a few extra hurdles with bank loans, Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), CPF usage, and the larger cash down payment required. (Read also: 3 Steps to Determine If You’re Ready to Sell Your House)
By the way, if you used CPF to purchase your current property, you’ll also have to refund your CPF account with accrued interest and pay off your home loan (if any) in its entirety.
This means you might not get much in cash from the proceeds of the sale, so do ensure you have enough liquidity to cover the cash down payment for your new place.
In contrast to the 8-week period HDB takes to process a Resale Application, the sale of a private property typically takes 3 months once you’ve found a buyer.
This gives you a little more time to move out, but you’ll still want to have a rough timeline in your head before you list your property for sale.
For instance, have you got your eye on a new condo? Check out how quickly units are being snapped up in that development so you don’t miss out on your dream home.
Are you looking to sell your private property first so you have the money to purchase that grand new condo? Survey the prevailing market conditions to make sure you’re selling at your preferred rates. (Read also: 2 Easy Steps to Get a Precise Valuation On Your Next Property)
Or are you buying first so you don’t miss out on that great deal? Make sure your finances can carry the load of two properties – particularly if your previous home doesn’t get sold as quickly as you’d hoped.
You might also want to consider the best time of year to start selling your property. For instance, there are usually more houses sold in between school terms, as buyers don’t want to uproot their families in the middle of the term.
Compared to the rather tedious HDB process, the procedure to sell a private property in Singapore without an agent is easy.
That said, it definitely has its own share of hiccups, so you may still want to consider getting an agent. (Read also: 7 Myths About Property Agents Everyone Thinks Are True)
Some of the snags you might hit during the resale condo procedure include:
If you’re not administratively inclined, you might also need help with the previous two steps (planning your finances and timeline).
Typically, agent commissions for the sale of private property are about 2%. PropNex, for example, charges a “minimum 2 per cent or up to a maximum of 4 per cent as sales commission.” (Source: TODAYonline)
Depending on the property, some agencies might even charge as high as 5%. On a million-dollar property, that’s a whopping $50,000 in commission fees. In contrast, Bluenest offers full-service agent packages at half the market rate of only 1% .
This gets you everything that a professional real estate agent can offer, but saves you tens of thousands in commission fees. For instance, you’ll get:
The best way to start pricing your home is to get a CMA for your property. Essentially, this is a deep dive into the specifics of your property versus comparable properties in the surrounding neighbourhood – floor area, facing, orientation, layout, and so on.
We cover the valuation process in more detail in our guide on how to value and price your property for sale.
You can also call up the bank to get an indicative valuation of your property, though these estimates will vary from bank to bank.
By the way, if you’re not satisfied with the price your property is fetching, consider taking action on some of these tips to increase your property’s value.
After all that prep work, it’s time to actually advertise your property!
Putting ads out in the newspapers is one way to do this, but make sure you have professionally-taken photographs of your home to attract the best buyers.
Otherwise, you can try the free alternatives available for property listings. (You’ll still need decent photographs and a good write-up, though.)
Have a few interested buyers? Great! It’s time to get your house ready for viewings.
Just as we’d want to look our best for a job interview, you want your property to be in the best condition possible beforehand.
(Read also: 10+ Tips to Increase Your Property’s Value — and Sell It FAST)
A few tips here:
If you can afford the time or money, you might even want to put up a fresh coat of paint and buff up the flooring. This will help your place look well-maintained and thus more attractive to buyers.
So you’ve found a buyer – congratulations! At this point, most of the legwork is done. Assuming your buyer has the means and commitment to follow through, it’s largely a waiting game until the sale is closed in 12 weeks. (Read also: So You’ve Found a Buyer — Now What?)
You can get a standard Option to Purchase (OTP) from a solicitor if you’ve already got one in mind. Some will even give out the OTP for free, since they want your business during conveyancing and all.
Alternatively, if you want to save a bit on the legal fees, all of Bluenest’s packages also include the OTP.
Sign this OTP and send it over to the buyer (or buyer’s lawyer). In exchange, they’ll give you 1% of the purchase price as the Option Fee.
The buyer now has 14 calendar days to decide whether they want to move forward with the sale. During this time, you can’t give an OTP to anyone else.
If they do, they give you another 4% as the Exercise of Option Fee. You can also engage a solicitor (if you haven’t already) to take care of the rest of the legalities.
If the buyer backs out, you get to keep the Option Fee, but you’ll have to put your house back on the market.
Once the buyer exercises the OTP, you have a 14-day deadline to pay IRAS your Seller’s Stamp Duty (if you need to).
Head over to the IRAS e-Stamping Portal here to do so.
In the remaining time before the sale closes, you’ll obviously have to move out.
You’re still under obligation to maintain the place in the same condition, but other than that there shouldn’t be any more hurdles to jump over.
Once you’ve moved all your stuff out, invite the buyer over to conduct a final inspection to confirm vacant possession before the close of the sale.
It’s the day you’ve long been waiting for: you get to collect the other 95% of the payment!
Head down to the lawyer’s office to hand over the keys, sign those documents, and get all the bank loan and CPF stuff sorted out.
This is also when you’ll have to settle those conveyancing fees, agent commissions, and bank early repayment/legal fees. The lawyers will settle the official transfer of the title deeds, so you’re all good to go!
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Good article, I hope you can continue to publish more of this same topic further. I think all of us should learn to sell our own house and not use any agent at all.
can a buyer agent demand a co broke commission from seller? If seller DIY his property sale without engage any agent.
Do them have any rights
just my curious.
Hi John, thanks for reaching out! There isn’t any ruling stating that the seller is required to pay a commission fee to the agent once the unit has been sold. It is usually common practice for the seller(s) of private property to be the one paying for the commission to the agents once the unit has been sold. In the event that the seller is selling without any property agent, the buyer agent can actually request for the commission directly from the buyer. However, this is not commonly practised here.
If this is the case happening with you right now, you may need to discuss this with your buying agent on the best way to move forward with this.
Dear Ms Tan
I need your advice as I am new to the resale market.
Do the buyer needs a lawyer or can all be settled like documentations and final payment for the private property using the seller’s lawyer? Do buyer needs to engage a lawyer at all? What is the market practice?
Are there two lawyers involved? For step 12, which lawyer’s office – buyer or seller are you referring to?
Hi Tan Meiling,
I really enjoyed reading your blog post on how to sell private property in Singapore. It was comprehensive and informative, and I learned a lot from it.
I particularly liked the tips on how to declutter and depersonalize your home before showings. I think these are really important steps that can help you sell your home faster and for a better price.
I also appreciated the information on how to market your property. I think it’s important to use a variety of marketing channels to reach as many potential buyers as possible.
Overall, I thought your blog post was very helpful. Thanks for sharing it!
Hi there, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed our article. As someone who has always been passionate about this subject, it was truly a pleasure to write. If you have any additional thoughts or insights to share, we would love to hear them! Thanks again for your support!
This article provides an excellent guide for anyone looking to sell their private property in Singapore. The author covers a range of topics, including preparing the property for sale, engaging a property agent, pricing the property, and negotiating the sale. The author provides useful tips on each topic and offers insights into the property market in Singapore. One of the strengths of this article is that it is written in a clear and concise style, making it easy to follow for readers. The use of real-life examples and case studies also adds to the value of this article. Must-read for anyone considering selling their private property in Singapore, as it provides important information that can help them navigate the sales process successfully.
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on our article. We appreciate your kind words and encouragement, and they serve as a great motivation for us to continue creating useful content. Your comment reinforces our belief that our work is making a positive impact, and we are grateful for your support. We will continue to strive to provide valuable information and insights in our future articles. Once again, thank you for your thoughtful comment and for being a part of our community.