Conveyancing Process in Singapore

At PKWA Law, our Real Estate, Property & Conveyancing lawyers act for all types of property transactions in Singapore.  Our firm is widely regarded as a leading Property, Real Estate and Conveyancing Law Firm in Singapore.

Our transactions range from purchases and mortgages of HDB flats and private properties to en-bloc sales.

PKWA Law is on the panel of approved lawyers for all the major banks, including DBS, UOB, OCBC, Maybank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, ANZ Bank, HongCitibank and CPF Board.

Our clients include all the major banks, investors, individuals, companies and developers.  We are proud to be a law firm that many Singaporeans go to when purchasing their first property.

To assist you, we explain below the conveyancing guide for buying an uncompleted or completed condominium.

Completed Condominium

(1) Option to purchase (OTP)

The completed unit is granted by Seller(s) when Buyer pays an Option Fee to the Seller(s)(which is usually 1% of the purchase price).

  • The parties can negotiate all the terms in the OTP before the Buyer pays the Option Fee to the Seller(s)Upon the Seller(s).’
  • Acceptance of the Option Fee, the terms in the OTP are binding on both parties.
  • For example, if we assume sale price = $1,000,000, then the option fee would usually be 1% = $10,000

(2) Expiry of OTP

  • To exercise OTP, Purchaser must pay the deposit stated in the OTP, usually  4% of the price.
  • The OTP will usually expire 14 days from the date of OTP or a date agreed by the parties.
  • For example, to exercise the OTP, purchaser pays 4% of $1,000,000 sale price = $40,000.
  • If the OTP is not exercised, the seller will forfeit the 1% option fee = $10,000 based on our earlier example.

(3) Stamp Duty

  • The buyer will have to pay Stamp Duty within 14 days after the date of the OTP.
  • For example, the Buyer’s Stamp Duty on a $1m purchase price = $24,600 plus any ABSD applicable.

(4) Completion date

  • A fixed date in the OTP, usually 12 weeks or any date agreed by the parties.
  • Balance of purchase price is paid in exchange for possession of the unit.
  • Transfer of ownership is registered with Singapore Land Authority.
  • For example, balance is 95% of $1,000,000, meaning $950,000 is paid on the completion date.

Condominium under construction

(1) Option to Purchase (OTP)

Option to purchase (OTP) the uncompleted unit is granted by the Developer(s) when Buyer pays a Booking Fee to the Developer (which is fixed at 5% of the purchase price).

  • The OTP is a prescribed form that cannot be amended without approval.
  • The terms in the OTP are binding on both parties.
  • For example, if purchase price is $1,000,000 then the OTP fee will be set at 5% = $50,000.

(2) Expiry of OTP

  • Fixed at 3 weeks after receipt of the Sale & Purchase Agreements from the Developer.
  • To exercise OTP, the buyer must return the signed Sale & Purchase Agreement.
  • The balance of the 20% of the price is payable within 8 weeks from the date of the OTP.
  • For example, the buyer pays 15% of the sale price ($150,000) within 8 weeks from the date of the OTP or upon exercise of the OTP, whichever is later. If non-exercise of the OTP, the developer will forfeit 25% of the booking fee (i.e., $12,500) and refund 75%.

(3) Stamp duty

  • Purchaser has to pay Stamp Duty within 14 days after the date of the Sale & Purchase Agreement.

(4) Progress payments

  • The price is paid in instalments according to the payment schedule in the Sale & Purchase Agreement.

(5) TOP

  • A fixed date in the Sale & Purchase Agreement.
  • Purchaser pays survey fee and 6 months’ maintenance charges before getting the keys.
  • 12 months warranty against defects.

(6) Completion

  • A fixed date in the Sale & Purchase Agreement.
  • Issuance of the SSCT.

Buying an uncompleted condominium

Buying an uncompleted condominium project may be suitable for buyers who can wait a few years to obtain the keys and vacant possession of the unit (such as investors, single persons or a young couple who are planning to buy their own property). Compared to a completed project, the advantages of buying an uncompleted project for a buyer(s) would be as follows:

  • Smaller mortgage instalments as the bank loan are disbursed in progressive payments to the developer;
  • Allow the buyer(s) to accumulate savings and CPF monies during the construction of the project;
  • Buyer(s) do not have to pay property tax and maintenance fees until vacant possession of the unit is delivered to the buyer(s);
  • Buyers get a brand new property that comes with a 12-month warranty against property defects provided by the developer.

Authors

Cheah Wai Mun

Conveyancing & Property

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