If you’ve been looking around at property in Singapore, you may or may not have heard of this thing called a URA caveat.
It’s mostly legal jazz, but you can also make use of it to find your dream home –and more importantly, at your dream price.
Ok, let’s start from the beginning. When you’re serious about buying a condo, you pay an Option Fee and the seller will grant you an Option to Purchase (OTP):
This is when you (actually, your lawyer) should lodge a caveat with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) – this legal document prevents the seller of your prospective home to make a deal with anyone else.
In a nutshell, think of it as chope-ing the property.
What this means for you?
If you’re an interested condo buyer…
Got your eye on a particular unit that’s put up for sale? Your lawyer will conduct a caveat search to make sure that there are no existing caveats on the property.
If anyone’s ever told you that just because there’s a goalkeeper doesn’t mean you cannot score, this DOES NOT apply to buying a house. Chope already means chope already.
If you’re the condo buyer who’s lodged the caveat…
You’ve called dibs!
As long as you adhere to the rest of the buying process properly and punctually, you’ll soon be able to call the new place home.
Note: It’s not compulsory to lodge a caveat for your property purchase, but it’s good practice in order to protect yourself from any potential mess-ups.
If you’re the seller…
You’ll be notified when your buyer and their lawyer has lodged a caveat.
No action is required on your end, but do take note that this means you can’t strike a deal on your property with anyone else unless your buyer gives up their Option to Purchase.
If you’re the nosy neighbour…
You can find out how much your neighbors are selling their property for if you search for their URA caveat on the record of private residential property transactions.
Also, if you’re planning to start some serious condo shopping, you should definitely first search for recent URA caveats in your desired area. This handy tool lets you stalk property transactions by postal district, or by any condo in particular:
Simply key in your search parameters to find a detailed catalogue of units sold, the price they were sold for and transaction date:
Armed with this knowledge, you can be smarter about your property search and also get a better idea of how much you can bargain prices down.
If you’re buying a resale HDB flat…
Finding your dream condo
Hopefully, knowing about the URA caveat makes your condo search in Singapore at least a little easier.