Step-by-Step Guide On Buying A Resale HDB Flat in Singapore

Buying resale HDB flats in Singapore can be confusing, but with a step-by-step guide, you can follow through the process of buying a resale flat with ease!
November 22, 2021
Property

While applying for a resale application, you may stumble upon a mountain of documents and submissions you need to send in to purchase a HDB resale flat. There are also multiple options of units and locations that you can choose from - which is both exciting yet overwhelming for new homeowners. 

How to Buy a Resale HDB Flat in Singapore: A Step-By-Step Guide

A property agent will be able to match you up with a favourable unit that checks your preferences, but that comes with a 1% commission fee that you would have to pay as the buyer. To save up on fees and still get the home of your dreams, you can opt to purchase a resale HDB flat yourself. 

It may sound difficult given that you don’t necessarily have the same network a property agent does, but thankfully the HDB website and online real estate sites are informative when it comes to scouting for a unit to purchase. 

We present a step-by-step guide on how to buy resale flat units under HDB, and include the helpful sites that you can refer to as part of your search!

Step 1: Plan your budget. 

First, plan your budget. A budget would help you stick to your financial goals, and would narrow down your search on the types of flats that you’ll be scouting for. Your budget should include details like additional fees and purchase price per area, as these factors can determine the right kind of home that would fit your budget. 

Along with your budget, assume you will be taking a HDB Housing Loan that would require a 10% down payment. Check on your CPF Housing Fund, Bank Loan Eligibility, or HDB Loan Eligibility letter that you can apply for with your combined household income bracket. 

Step 2: Choose your type of flat. 

Next, choose a type of flat that fits your budget and space requirements. Most HDB units come in two or three-bedroom units, which are great for couples or small families. One-bedroom units are also available, as well as units with four or more bedrooms. 

Your type of flat should consider the number of people in your household, your budget limitations, and your own personal preferences in space size. You may be looking for a space to start a family, so consider future plans in choosing your type of flat to purchase. 

Step 3: Scouting for an available unit.

Step 3 is choosing an available unit in a location that you prefer. While you may have an HDB flat in mind, you may not find any units for sale in particular areas, especially ones that are in high demand. 

There are popular websites you can visit to check for the availability of units in a particular location. Property listings online can range from informal listings like in Facebook property groups, to specialized websites for real estate services. The most popular of which is 99.co, but you can also find properties in Carousell, iProperty, PropertyGuru, and Edgeprop.sg.

Step 4: Register intent to purchase a unit.

Afterwards, you’ll need to register your Intent to Buy at the HDB Resale Portal. Only one member of the household will need to register, and you will need to register yourself under the following criteria:

  • You are a person eligible to purchase a resale flat based on one of the HDB schemes:
  • Public scheme
  • Fiancé/fiancée scheme
  • Singaporean citizen scheme
  • Joint single citizen scheme
  • Non-citizen spouse scheme
  • Orphans scheme
  • Conversion scheme
  • You must comply with the current Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) upon submitting your Intent to Buy
  • You understand that the Intent to Buy is valid for only 12 months from the date of registration. Upon expiry, you will need to register again. 

Step 5: Contact flat seller for a unit viewing.

Once you’ve scouted for flats you like, and have registered your intent to purchase in HDB, you can contact the seller of your chosen unit to meet up for a house viewing and negotiations. A tour of the unit will give you a glimpse of its features, and you can do a thorough home inspection before you decide to purchase the property. 

A unit viewing will also allow you to see the common amenities in the building, as well as a glance at the surrounding neighbourhood. You can see how the reception area and elevators operate, and view the distance of the building from commuting stations. 

Step 6: Negotiate on price and sign the Option to Purchase (OTP) form.

You may already have an idea of how much the unit will cost you based on the values listed in the property site. More often than not, prices on property listings online are inflated to give room for negotiations, so prepare to negotiate on the property to fit your budget! 

Once you’ve agreed on a set price, you can go ahead and sign the Option to Purchase (OTP) form which the seller should be able to provide you with. The OTP form ensures that the seller cannot pitch the unit to another prospective buyer, giving you full rights to purchase the HDB flat for 21 days whether you ultimately decide to purchase the flat or not. 

Step 7: Pay the Option Fee.

With the reservation, however, comes a premium fee known as the Option Fee, which you will need to pay upfront to the seller. The option fee can go as low as S$1 to S$1,000 or higher depending on the unit and location. Once paid, you have 21 days to decide whether to push through with the purchase. 

Step 8: Submit the HDB Resale Flat Application and Wait for Confirmation.

When you do decide to purchase the unit and have agreed with the seller on terms and conditions, you will need to submit a HDB resale application form on your end. As both the seller and the buyer will need to submit an application form, both parties must complete the submission within seven days from the start of the application. 

Step 9: Attend Resale Completion Appointment.

Finally, HDB will weigh in whether to approve of the resale or not. Once approved, both the buyer and seller will be given a notification via email or SMS. HDB will schedule a Resale Completion Appointment which both parties should attend to confirm the sale and complete the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.

And you’re done! Congratulations on becoming a proud new homeowner of one of the HDB resale flats. 

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