Step-by-step guide to selling your home in Singapore

Here's a step-by-step guide to selling your home or investment property successfully and smoothly.
Selling Property Guide_big

When you’re ready to upgrade your home or feel the time is ripe to profit from an investment property, you need to learn how to sell your property. 

Luckily, selling a property is now easier than ever thanks to the many online tools at your disposal.

Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Set an asking price for your property

Before you take any steps to sell your property, you must first decide on your asking price. As prospective buyers are likely to try to negotiate with you, you need to know what is the lowest price you are willing to accept.

In addition, if you are not in a hurry to sell the property and would prefer to wait if it means getting a better price, you should think about the price you would like to place on your property listing. Doing research on the prices of similar properties in your area can help you come up with a reasonable figure.

Find a suitable agent on PropertyGuru and get them to list the property for sale

Once you have decided on an asking price, it is time to put your property up for sale. The first step for many sellers is to contact a property agent.

The property agent can handle the administrative aspects of the sale, such as creating property listings in order to reach potential buyers, liaising with buyers, and setting up viewing sessions.

PropertyGuru maintains a property agent directory that helps you easily find agents that can best meet your needs. Simply search for agents by region, specialty, agent or agency name to generate a list of suitable agents and their contact details.

Make your home attractive to potential buyers

Once you have engaged an agent to sell your property for you, you can expect to be contacted about potential buyers any day now.

Before they arrive, you might want to do some home staging, which is the process of preparing your property for sale and making it look attractive in the eyes of potential buyers. On a basic level, this obviously means cleaning up and getting rid of any clutter.

Other tactics include making strategic use of potted plants, removing any furniture that does not look good, and moving existing furniture into a more suitable arrangement. Brightness is usually prized by buyers, so experiment with lighting and keep your curtains open to achieve a light and airy look.

Allow viewings of your property

Your agent will now help to set up viewing appointments with potential property buyers. This can be done either when you are at home, if you are still living in the property, or in your absence.

If you are still living in the property, you will want to ensure that you and your household look your best when a prospective buyer is coming over. The behavior and appearance of your household can subconsciously influence a buyer’s assessment of your home. So, make sure everyone cleans up their messes, is polite and looks sharp if they are around during a home viewing session.

Negotiate on the price

The buyer is likely to try to negotiate on the price that has been indicated on the property listing, so be prepared to enter into negotiations with a firm idea of your bottom line.

Once you and the buyer have arrived at a price you are mutually comfortable with, it is time for both of you to commit to the sale and purchase.

Hire a conveyancing lawyer

As a seller, you will need to hire a conveyancing lawyer to act for you in the sale.

If you are selling an HDB flat, you will have the option of using HDB’s lawyers. For both HDB and private property, you can contact a private lawyer to handle the matter for you.

Do note, however, that HDB lawyers will require you to attend the meeting at which the sale is completed, while a private lawyer can handle completion without your presence, which is a little more convenient if you are travelling or on a tight schedule.

Issue the Option to Purchase

The Option to Purchase is issued to an interested buyer, usually in exchange for an option fee. Once the buyer receives the Option to Purchase, he or she must exercise it by the deadline, typically about 21 days, in order to enter into a contract for sale with you.

Your agent should provide an Option to Purchase which the buyer will later have to exercise in order to signal his commitment to the sale.

If you are not working with an agent, you can ask your lawyer to draft an Option to Purchase to be issued to the buyer.

Wait for the buyer to exercise the Option to Purchase

The buyer should exercise the Option to Purchase by returning the signed document to your lawyer together with the required deposit before the deadline.

If this has been done correctly, congratulations, you are now officially selling your property.

Prepare to move out and complete the sale with your lawyer

From here on out, your lawyer will be the one handling the transaction on your behalf. He or she will inform you as to what documents and payments you need to sign and furnish, and so on.

Your lawyer will also provide you with a timeline, so you will know when completion of the transaction takes place. That is the day the keys will be handed over to the buyer.

In the meantime, you should prepare to move out by the handover date. That means you’ll be packing up belongings and furniture and arranging for transportation to a new home. Do this as early as possible so you have the time to sell any unwanted items in the second-hand market and arrange for transportation of your belongings.

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