Sale of private properties in Singapore usually takes between 2 to 4 months to be completed. The duration is dependent on:

1. Your property selling price. The higher the price then harder it is to be sold. Some properties with unrealistic prices remain in the market looking for buyer for a long time. Owner or the tenant living in such properties will have to live with the hassle of having these unproductive viewings.

2. Is the property sold vacant or with tenancy. Arrangement of viewings in owner stay or vacant house is always easier then those of a property with tenancy. 

3. Do you need to serve a 3 months notice to redeem your home loan.  

The real estate agent you engaging should run through with you on what are the recent transaction in your neighborhood and then verify with the banks on the indicative value the banks can support. These values will give you an idea on what is the fair value of your property. If the property is tenanted you should connect with your tenant to agree on what are the best timing to conduct the house viewing. Viewing can be consolidated to a weekly fix timing to minimise disturbance to your tenant routine. 

Important things you need to verify

Before you start marketing your property for sale, you should verify:

1. with you bank whether there is any lock in period or penalty when your redeem your loan. Depending on the loan package you have taken, there may be a 2 to 3 years lock in period. The penalty to redeem your loan during the lock in period can be as high as 1.5% of the loan amount. 

2. with CPF on the amount of fund that is require to be return to your CPF account after the sale is completed. Also make sure to clarify whether the fund is going to your ordinary or retirement account.

Offer to Purchase

When your agent find a buyer who is interested to make you an offer, the buyer will give you a cheque of 1% of the selling price (Option Fee) in the owner name and sign off a Offer to Purchase. The Offer to Purchase is a document that detail the term of the offer. Buyer please ask your agent to provide prove of ownership when you are issuing the cheque for the option fee. Ownership detail of all private property can be verify at website of Singapore Land Authority. It will cost your agent SGD $5.25 to retrieve this document. To perform ownership search of a Singapore property you can see sla.gov.sg.

Option to Purchase (OTP)

When the seller accepted the offer, he will issue the Option to Purchase to the buyer. This is the property sale contract. Buyer has an option peeriod of 14 days to decide whether he want to proceed with this purchase after he gotten the OTP. If he want to, then he pay another 4% through the buyer’s lawyer who will transfer this additional downpayment to the seller lawyer to exercise the option to puchase the property. The 4% is usually held with the seller lawyer until sale completion. The duration from OTP is issued until seller received his sale proceed usual is between 10 to 14 weeks inclusive of the 14 days option period.  (In the event, buyer decided not to proceed, then seller will get to keep the option fee of 1%. 50% of this forfeited amount will be paid to your agent as brokerage fee.)

What you need to know after you issued OTP

You will need to engage a lawyer after you issued the OTP.  We have reliable partnering law firms that we can recommend to you if you don’t have a preferable law firm. 

You lawyer will take care of the rest of the process from here on. Your lawyer will :

1. Write to your bank to serve the the redemption notice. 

2. Write to CPF to find out the actual amount needed to be returned to CPF.

3. Provide you a statement which break down all the deductibles. This statement will also shows the amount needed to be return to CPF and the final amount of sale proceed you will be getting. 

4. Hand over the keys to the buyer’s law firm on the day of sale completion. You will get your sale proceed in the form of a cashier order at around 5.30pm or the next working day.

Your CPF return will take up to 2 weeks to reflect on your account. If you are over the retirement age, the CPF board may direct this fund back to your CPF link bank account.