Ok, first things first, we’re not going to lie: Selling your condo as a private owner takes quite a bit of work. That’s why a lot of home sellers choose to engage property agents.
But if you’re one of the few who are willing to put in the effort, you save on the commission that you’d otherwise be paying to a property agent. A 2% commission from a $1.5M condo, for instance, is already a whopping $30,000! We’d say that’s well worth it.
Before you begin, understanding the entire condo-selling process in Singapore makes it a whole lot easier. Here’s a handy guide!
How to Sell Your Condo in Singapore:
- Set an asking price for your condo
- List your condo for sale
- Arrange viewings for interested buyers
- Engage the help of a conveyance lawyer
- Grant Option to Purchase (OTP) and secure 1% booking fee
- Issue a Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P) and collect a 4% Exercise Fee within 14 days of the OTP
- Pay stamp duty if you sell before occupying your condo for 3 years
1. Set an asking price for your condo
This is an extremely crucial part of selling your condo – set the price too high, and you might not even find yourself any interested buyers; set it too low, and you stand to lose money.
Thankfully, many online sources provide incredibly transparent information about how much a condo costs in Singapore.
The easiest way is to check for similar property listings to benchmark your asking price against.
When doing this, also identify price points that aren’t common, so you’re not lumped in with the rest of the competition.
For instance, if most of the condos for sale in your neighbourhood are priced at $1.1+M and $1.3+M, price your condo within the wide-open $1.2+M price band, so it implicitly stands out when property seekers are browsing the listings.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) website also keeps a record of recent transactions of other units in your condo or condos in your area. Bear in mind, though, that these prices might have been negotiated down from their initial asking price.
2. List your condo for sale
As a private homeowner, there are actually many free platforms (like Carousell!) where you can list your condo for free.
Obviously, you’ll want to tidy up your home before taking any pictures. Clearing out all your clutter now also means you’ll have an easier time moving. Win-win!
Take it a step further and depersonalise your home. The idea here is to allow prospective buyers to easily visualise themselves living in your home that they might one day call theirs. For instance:
- Remove family photos, framed certificates and the like.
- Hide personal care items like toothbrushes in your toilet (although a freshly laundered towel hanging nicely on the rack could pass off as an aesthetic addition).
- Ensure every room has a neutral vibe to it – if you’ve got a room of workout equipment, that’s fine as it was intended as a workout room; but hide that bench press in the corner of your bedroom, as not everyone’s an exercise junkie.
- If you have super cute pets, we know it’s tempting to show them off… But don’t. Also keep your pet’s items, like litter boxes or cages, out of frame.
The description in your listing is equally essential. Include all important information:
- Is your condo near the MRT or any shopping mall?
- Is it a dual-key condo?
- Are there any unique facilities within the development?
3. Arrange viewings for interested buyers
Unlike HDB flats, there are no restrictions on who can buy your condo. So, be open to foreigners, permanent residents, and every nationality alike.
Note that if you’re selling your Executive Condominium (EC), permanent residents are only eligible to buy 5 years after your EC’s date of completion, while foreigners can do so just after 10 years.
This might be a slightly time-consuming process, but be patient. Interested buyers might request to view your house for the second, third or even fourth time – it’s a house they’re buying, after all.
4. Engage the help of a conveyance lawyer
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one owner to another.
A conveyance lawyer (find one here) will conduct a title search to confirm that you, as a seller, have the good root of title. Meaning to say, that your title to the property is not defective due to issues such as a mortgage.
Once this is confirmed, you’re ready to enter the legal bits of selling your condo!
5. Grant Option to Purchase (OTP) and secure 1% booking fee
So, you’ve just found yourself a buyer. Grant them the Option to Purchase – basically, a legal way for your prospective buyer to chope your property – in exchange for a 1% Option Fee (i.e., 1% of the purchase price).
The Option to Purchase will also contain terms on the sale and purchase of your condo, such as confirming that the buyer has checked the property for physical defects.
Note: This means they now bear the risk of any defects. That said, you’re contractually obligated, as the seller, to maintain the property in the same condition.
This will be valid for 14 days, during which you must stop advertising your property.
If the buyer doesn’t proceed with the transaction within 14 days, you get to keep the Option Fee and may start advertising your property once again.
If they do, congratulations! Just some final steps before you complete the sale of your condo…
6. Issue a Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P) and receive a 4% Exercise Fee within 14 days of the OTP
Upon the buyer’s exercise of the Option to Purchase, collect a 4% Exercise Fee and enter into a Sale and Purchase agreement with them. The Exercise Fee is usually held by the buyer’s lawyer pending completion of the sale.
The rest of the process – delivering the property title to your buyer and making sure the remaining 95% payment balance is safely in your hands – should take about 8 to 10 weeks.
7. Pay stamp duty if you sell before occupying your condo for 3 years
If you sell your condo within 3 years of ownership, you’re liable to pay a Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) equivalent to 4-12% (12% if you sell within the first year of ownership, 8% within the second, and 4% within the third) of the final selling price of your property.
Because of this regulation, it’s advisable to only sell after the 3-year mark. If you’re not in a rush to sell your property but are not living in it, you can consider renting it out in the meantime. Why say no to passive income?
Selling a condo in Singapore
Now, you’re familiar enough with the entire process of selling your condo (Seriously, that’s all there is to it!).
Even if you don’t have a salesperson’s gift of the gab, remember: You’re the best ambassador of your own home.
Share what you love about not just your home, but also your condo and the estate – personal stories like these are what only you are familiar with.
Perhaps the jacuzzi pool warms up a little more at night when it’s chillier; or, there’s a 24-hour coffee shop down your street that serves the best bowl of wanton noodles.
These little details might not seem like much, but they paint the image of an inviting, pleasant place to live in.
So, if you’re ready to save yourself your $30,000, I’d say Carousell’s an excellent place to start your selling journey!