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How to buy a resale flat in Singapore in 5 steps

Singapore Property Agent | Andik Imran | Real Estate Dad

I’ve met friends and newlyweds who have either unsuccessfully balloted for an HDB Built-to-Order (BTO) flat, or have actually considered skipping the long wait for a BTO altogether.

So if you aren’t planning to purchase a Built-to-Order (BTO) flat, your next option is to get one off the open market.

It can be tricky to navigate the resale market as your timeline has to match the seller’s. Of course, it will be easier to leave it to the experts, however, this 5-step guide can help you plan your resale flat purchase from the open market.

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Before you kick-start the flat buying process, it is important to first know whether you are eligible to purchase a resale flat. You can use HDB’s Eligibility Check e-service to do a quick check.

For easy reference, here are some key eligibility conditions that apply to ALL resale flat purchases/schemes:

a. Income ceiling

Good news! There’s no income ceiling restriction that you’ve to take note of if you’re buying a resale HDB flat. However, if you’re planning to apply for CPF Housing Grants and/or HDB Housing Loans, you’ll want to check if you meet their respective requirements.

b. Ownership/interest in HDB flats

Before purchasing your new home, check if you or anyone else (e.g. family members) listed within your resale flat application is an owner of an HDB flat. If so, he or she must sell it within six months before your purchase.

c. Ownership/interest in Singapore or overseas properties

Likewise, if you or another party in your resale flat application owns a private property (either local or overseas), he or she may sell it off within the same six-month period.

Step 2: Work out the calculations for your purchase

After you’ve confirmed that you are eligible to purchase a resale HDB flat, it’s time to do some math!

For a better gauge of the price range you are looking at, shortlist some flats and find out the transacted resale flat prices of similar flats in the vicinity. Don’t forget too to check the CPF Housing Grants available for resale flat buyers – these differ for the various application schemes.

If you intend to purchase a resale flat using a housing loan from HDB, the Resale Financial Plan will be useful as it helps calculate estimated financial outlay for the key financial components of your resale flat journey.

Step 3: Register your intent to buy using the HDB Resale Portal

Upon completion of steps 1 and 2, you are ready to start your home-buying journey! The HDB Resale Portal not only allows resale flat buyers to register their purchase intent but also integrates all related services/tasks – from handling of personal particulars to keeping track of HDB housing loans – into a single online platform.

Step 4: Receive the Option to Purchase from the seller and Request for Valuation

The Option to Purchase (OTP) is a legal contract between you and the flat’s seller and it’ll grant you the exclusive right to purchase a property that you’ve chosen. Upon receiving the OTP from the seller, you’ll need to submit a Request for Valuation, which determines the value of the flat, and in turn, your CPF usage and housing loan amounts from either HDB or a bank.

Both documents are obtainable through HDB’s Resale Portal. But do take note that in the case of the OTP, it’s only valid for 21 days during which you have to exercise it ie. purchase your chosen HDB resale flat.

You can also start looking for an interior designer after acquiring the OTP, which leaves enough time for your designer to project an accurate cost/renovation period and also for you to decide on a preferred theme.

Step 5: Submit resale application to HDB

Both flat buyer and seller will have to submit their respective portions of the resale application on the HDB Resale Portal. HDB will then contact both parties to come down to HDB Hub to attend a resale completion appointment, to endorse a number of documents.

All you have to do next is wait for the HDB appointment with the seller to get the keys to your new home!

You can expect to take up to 3 months to complete the whole process. However, as buying a home is one of the costliest purchases in our lives, I’d advise you to speak to a property agent to ensure a smooth transaction and peace of mind.

There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.

Andik Imran

Engage a professional Singapore real estate agent

ANDIK IMRAN | BSc Business
CEA Reg No: R061801F

9450 8732
PropNex Realty Pte Ltd

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