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HDB Resale Process: How to Sell Your HDB Flat Without an Agent

Siew Ann Tan

When you make that big decision to re-sell your HDB flat, why not do it yourself? By doing so you avoid paying an agent’s expensive commissions and fees and get more out of the sale of your flat. You will also be able to interact and negotiate with the buyer…

The post HDB Resale Process: How to Sell Your HDB Flat Without an Agent appeared first on SingaporeLegalAdvice.com.

When you make that big decision to re-sell your HDB flat, why not do it yourself? By doing so you avoid paying an agent’s expensive commissions and fees and get more out of the sale of your flat.

You will also be able to interact and negotiate with the buyer face-to-face and choose how to market your flat.

Here is how you can sell your HDB without engaging an agent.

Things to Consider Before Selling Your HDB Flat

Have you fulfilled your flat’s Minimum Occupancy Period?

Before you start selling, make sure you have fulfilled the Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) for your flat. According to HDB, the MOP is:

“the period of time you are required to physically occupy your flat before you can sell it on the open market.”

The MOP is calculated from the date you collected the keys to your flat.

Generally, flats purchased from HDB, or resale flats bought from the open market with the CPF housing grant, will have an MOP of 5 years. As the MOP duration may vary depending on how you purchased your flat, flat type, and the date of flat application, refer to HDB’s website to check the MOP duration for your specific flat.

Take note that the MOP excludes:

  • Any period when you do not occupy the flat (e.g. when the whole flat is rented out); and
  • Any period where there has been an infringement of the flat lease

Selling part of your HDB flat lease instead of the entire flat

If you are from:

  • An elderly household where all the owners are 65 or older; and
  • You live in a 4-room or smaller flat,

You can consider applying for HDB’s Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) instead of selling your flat. Under this scheme, you can sell part of your flat’s lease to HDB and choose to retain the lease based on the age of the youngest owner.

The proceeds from selling part of your flat’s lease will be used to top up your CPF Retirement Account (RA). You can then use your CPF RA savings to purchase a CPF LIFE plan which will provide you a monthly income for life. This will allow you to receive an income from your flat while continuing to live in it through your retirement years.

You can find more details on the LBS, such as the eligibility conditions and application procedures, on HDB’s website.

Step-by-Step Process of Re-selling Your HDB Flat

All resale applications are processed using the HDB Resale Portal. You may log into this Portal using your SingPass to manage your resale online.

The steps to re-selling your flat are:

  1. Register the Intent to Sell on the HDB Resale Portal and use the HDB-prescribed Option to Purchase (OTP) to enter into a contract with potential buyers;
  2. Submission of your resale application on the HDB Resale Portal;
  3. Endorsement of resale documents (acknowledge the documents on the HDB Resale portal) ;
  4. Payment of resale fees;
  5. Receive approval of resale application; and
  6. Attend the Resale Completion appointment.

The entire process from the acceptance of the resale application (step 2) to completion (step 6) takes about 8 weeks.

Here are some of the key points to take note of under each step:

1. Register intent to sell

Start the process to resell your flat by logging into the HDB Resale Portal and registering an intent to sell. The relevant fields on the application forms will be filled in automatically using the Government’s MyInfo service.

On registering your intent to sell, you will:

  • Be able to confirm your eligibility to sell your flat instantaneously;
  • Receive information on the Ethnic Integration Policy/Singapore Permanent Resident (EIP/SPR) Quota for your block; and
  • Receive information on the status of upgrading of your block and billing of upgrading costs, and recent transacted prices of nearby flats

Take note of the EIP/SPR quotas, which will influence the demographics of buyers you may sell your flat to. If a sale to a particular buyer will cause the block/neighbourhood’s EIP and or SPR quota to be exceeded, you will not be able to sell your flat.

Also, make sure to check if your flat is affected by any Upgrading/Estate Renewal Programme using the “Enquire Status of HDB’s Upgrading /Estate Renewal programme” e-service.

If there are any completed upgrading works, make sure to use the same e-service to check the schedule of billing dates as this will determine whether you or the buyer will be liable to pay for the upgrading cost.

Once you register your intent to sell, the portal will direct you to download a copy of the HDB-prescribed Option to Purchase (OTP). This is the only agreement which you can use in the sale and purchase of the flat. All other agreements are invalid under the Housing and Development Act.

The procedure to enter into a contract using the OTP is:

  1. Negotiate and agree on the resale price with your buyer
  2. Grant the OTP to the buyer
  3. If the buyer wishes to proceed with the purchase, they will exercise the OTP within the option period. If not let the OTP expire where the buyer will forfeit the Option Fee
  4. Upon exercising the OTP, decide with your buyer when to submit the resale application (under clause 12 of the OTP).

Make sure to read through the Important Notes on the OTP and the Terms and Conditions of Resale as both you and your buyer must comply with all the procedures and requirements listed in these documents.

In particular, take note of the requirements for the Option Fee, Deposit and Option Period:

Prescribed Option Fee: More than $0, up to $1,000
Deposit: More than $0, up to $5,000
 
(Option Fee + Option Exercise Fee = Deposit)
Option Period: 21 calendar days (including Sat/ Sun & Public holidays) after the Option Date. The Option expiry time is standardised at 4pm
 
(e.g. If the option is granted on 1 January 2018, the Option will expire on 22 January 2018 at 4pm)

Other conditions to take note of are:

  • You can only issue an OTP after at least 7 days have passed since your registration of your intent to sell;
  • You can only issue one OTP at a time
  • You and the buyer must declare to HDB the true resale price of the flat (i.e. the price that you and your buyer negotiated and agreed on).

2. Submit resale application

After exercising the OTP, you and the buyer must submit your respective portions of the resale application together with the necessary documents to HDB via the HDB Resale Portal.

Take note that there are 2 important time requirements to meet:

  1. You and your buyer must submit your respective parts of the application within 7 calendar days of each other; and
  2. Under clause 12 of the OTP, you and the buyer had to agree on a timeframe to submit the application. Make sure to fulfil this timing you arranged with your buyer.

The information and documents you will have to provide are:

  • The details of the OTP (Serial No., Option grant/exercise date, purchase price, Option Fee/ Option Exercise Fee);
  • Your particulars;
  • The buyer’s particulars;
  • Whether you have an existing loan with HDB or any financial institution; and
  • Declarations regarding your purchase.

You may also have to submit additional supporting documents for your resale application. These will be listed in the HDB Resale Portal when you submit your resale application.

For example, if your spouse is not an owner of the flat, you may need to submit your their endorsement on the resale application form and the Spouse Consent to Resale form.

HDB will verify the information provided and notify you of the acceptance of the application via SMS/E-mail. You can also check the status of your application on the portal. From the acceptance of the resale application, there will be an 8-week processing period where you will have to complete steps 3 to 6.

3. Endorse resale documents

When HDB accepts your resale application, both you and the buyer will be required to endorse documents which HDB will prepare for you through the HDB Resale Portal. These include:

  • Seller’s sale proceeds
  • Acknowledgement for Upgrading Programme (if applicable)
  • Spouse Consent to Resale (if applicable)
  • Resale documents for acknowledgement

You will be notified via SMS to endorse these documents within 6 days of the notification. Be sure to do so to avoid your resale completion being postponed.

4. Pay resale fees online

Both you and the buyer will each have to pay an administrative fee of $40 for 1 and 2-room flats, and $80 for 3-room and bigger flats. You can do so online via credit card when using the HDB Resale Portal.

5. Receive approval of resale

Typically, HDB will grant an approval for the resale within 2 weeks after both you and your buyer have endorsed the documents prepared by HDB.

Once the application is approved, you and the buyer will be notified via SMS and emails, and the approval letter will be posted on the HDB Resale Portal for both you and your buyer to view.

Please take note of the information in the approval letter, which will include:

  • The date of HDB’s flat inspection which is scheduled about 5 working days upon the approval of application. The purpose of the inspection is to check if there are unauthorised renovation works which may damage HDB property and affect structural stability of the flat/building; and
  • The tentative resale completion appointment date.

6. Resale completion

The final step is resale completion.

This will involve a Resale Completion Appointment at HDB Hub where legal documents will be signed by you and your buyer, and where the handing over of keys will take place.

HDB will schedule an appointment about 8 weeks from the date of acceptance of the resale application. You and your buyer will be notified via SMS on the actual date and time of your resale completion appointment once it is scheduled, and you can also check this on the HDB Resale Portal.

Should you need to change the scheduled date, both you and your buyer must write in to HDB and ask for their consent to change the resale completion date. HDB will reschedule the appointment to another date/time at their discretion.

At this stage, you will need to hire either a lawyer from HDB or a private lawyer (more below) to act for you to carry out the conveyancing of the resale.

If you engage an HDB lawyer, you will need to be present at the resale completion appointment. If you engage a private lawyer, the lawyer will attend the completion appointment on your behalf.

You will have to move out of the flat before the Date of Completion so that the buyers can take possession of the resale flat after the completion appointment. If you are unable to do so immediately, you can apply for a temporary extension of stay for up to 3 months after the legal completion.

Hiring a Lawyer to Assist with the Transaction

Here is how you can get a lawyer to help in the legal aspects of your re-sale.

Hiring an HDB lawyer

If you choose to appoint HDB to act for you in the conveyancing, the legal fees will be as stated in the First Schedule of the Housing and Development (Conveyancing) Rules 2002.

The scale of legal fees for a resale of an HDB flat is as follows:

First $30,000 13.5¢ per $100 or part thereof
Next $30,000 10.8¢ per $100 or part thereof
Thereafter 9.0¢ per $100 or part thereof
Note: The minimum fee is $20.

To get an estimate of the legal fees you will need to pay, you can use the e-service “Legal Fees Enquiry Facility” on HDB’s InfoWeb.

Hiring a private lawyer

You can also hire a private conveyancing lawyer to act on your behalf.

Having a private lawyer assist you from an early stage will help you make sure all the legal aspects of your resale is in order and make the process less daunting.

They can advise you on your rights and liabilities, and help you gain a better understanding of your position. Should problems arise, they will be able to advise you on the appropriate actions to take, helping you to protect your interests.

While a HDB lawyer can conduct the conveyancing for you, they may not be able to guide you in the early process of re-selling your flat.

If you hire a private lawyer at the conveyancing stage, you will need to produce a letter from your solicitor to confirm that they are acting for you in the conveyancing of the resale transaction when you submit your resale application to HDB.

You can also engage a private lawyer at the contractual stage (when you are preparing to grant an OTP to your buyers). To do this, you will need to complete the Authorisation Form in the OTP.

Should you require assistance, you can get in touch with one of our trusted conveyancing lawyers to help you through the legal process of re-selling your HDB flat.

The post HDB Resale Process: How to Sell Your HDB Flat Without an Agent appeared first on SingaporeLegalAdvice.com.