The complete guide to buying a new launch condo in Singapore

Singaporeans viewing property in a showflat
Singaporeans viewing property in a showflat

With lots of exciting condo launches scheduled for 2019, you might be thinking of buying a new home or investment property.

Thanks to the Internet, selecting and buying property has never been easier. Here’s how to buy a newly-launched property in a few simple steps.

Browse listings on PropertyGuru and shortlist the properties that you want to explore

PropertyGuru has a huge directory of properties for sale in Singapore covering all residential property types, from condominiums to HDB flats.

On our website, you can find information on all upcoming condo launches here, as well as read our in-depth project reviews of the latest new launches.

You can browse new projects according to location and view a list of all new projects on the site. You can also filter the list according to date, which enables you to check in periodically to see what you’ve missed since your last visit.

Make an appointment to view your shortlisted properties

Once you have made a list of several condo projects that interest you, it is time to make an appointment to view your shortlisted properties.

Click on the listing on PropertyGuru, and you will find an online form that enables you to get in touch directly with the developer or the agent in charge of the development.

You can either contact them directly using the phone number on the site or leave your name, mobile number and email address so they can get in touch with you to set up an appointment.

Visit the showflat

At the appointed date and time, visit the showflat in person to get a taste of what the new property is going to look like when it is built.

Always remember that visiting a showflat is not the same as visiting an actual unit. Many factors such as lighting and ID treatment will differ from the finished product, and without the erection of actual walls, otherwise cramped spaces can look more spacious.

Submit an expression of interest form and a blank, unsigned cheque

When you have found a unit, submit an Expression of Interest form, supplied by the staff at the showflat, together with a blank, unsigned cheque.

This doesn’t mean you have secured a unit yet. It is simply an indication to the developer that you wish to be invited to select a unit on launch day.

Shortlist the units you wish to buy

Just because you have your sights set on a particular unit doesn’t mean you will necessarily get it, as there might be multiple buyers competing for the same unit.

That’s why you should shortlist several units you are interested in buying. Consider as many factors as you can, including the indicative asking price, direction the unit faces, layout and more.

Turn up on launch day, get a number and wait to be called

This is your big day when you discover if you have been allocated the unit you want.

Show up at the appointed date and time, get a number, cross your fingers and wait for your number to be called.

You will also need to be prepared to pay a 5.0 percent cash deposit that day, so get your finances in order ahead of time.

 

Select your unit and pay the initial cash deposit

Based on the results of the balloting exercise, you will be told which units you can choose from based on availability.

When you have selected the unit you want, it is time to pay the 5.0 percent cash deposit on the spot by filling up the blank cheque you left at the showflat earlier.

Appoint a lawyer

Once you have booked a unit, you should appoint a lawyer if you have not already done so. The lawyer will manage your timelines on your behalf, make sure you do not miss deadlines and prompt you whenever payments need to be made.

Notify the developer of the law firm’s contact details as soon as possible.

Make home loan arrangements

At this stage, you can start looking for a mortgage. While you won’t need the loan to be disbursed for at least another two weeks, and probably much longer, the earlier you start your search for a home loan, the higher your chances of finding a good deal with a reasonable interest rate.

Search for a suitable mortgage package here

When a bank has agreed to lend you money, you will be issued with a Letter of Offer which you should then submit to the lawyer, who can explain the terms to you if there is any uncertainty.

Pay the balance cash deposit

After paying the 5.0 percent cash deposit, you will have to submit to the developer the balance booking fee of another 5.0 percent within eight weeks. This portion must be paid in cash.

Payment can be submitted to your lawyer, who will then pass it on to the developers before the deadline.

In exchange, the developer will issue you (or your lawyer) with an Option to Purchase, which when exercised will mean you are legally the buyer of the property.

Exercise the Option to Purchase and pay stamp duty

Within two weeks of paying the 4.0 percent balance booking fee and receiving the Option to Purchase, the developer will send you or your lawyer two copies of the Sales and Purchase Agreement.

You will now have three weeks from the date of delivery of the Sales and Purchase agreement to exercise the option.

In order to exercise the option, your lawyer will need to return the Sales and Purchase Agreement, signed by you, to the developer.

Pay the 15% balance down payment

Eight weeks from the day you received the Option to Purchase, which is also two weeks from launch day, you will have to submit the balance down payment, which is equivalent to 15 percent of the purchase price.

This can be paid in cash, using your CPF OA savings or a combination of the two.

As before, payment will be submitted directly to your lawyer, who will then pass it on to the developers. For payment using CPF funds, your lawyer can liaise with the CPF Board on your behalf.

For the sake of convenience, you can submit this payment the day you visit your lawyer’s office to sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement.

Pay stamp duty

Within two weeks of the exercise of the Option to Purchase, you will also have to submit to your lawyer payment for Buyer’s Stamp Duty and, if applicable, Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty.

You can use your CPF OA savings to pay stamp duty if you wish.

For the sake of convenience, you can submit this payment the day you visit your lawyer’s office to sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement.

Wait for the condo to be built

Now, it’s time to play the waiting game. Payment for the remaining 80 percent of the condo’s purchase price will be made in stages according to what has been built.

If you are paying any portion of this 80 percent in cash, your lawyer will contact you to make payment whenever necessary.

For payment via CPF or through your bank loan, you can just sit back and let your lawyer do the rest.

Collect your keys, check for defects and move in

Once the unit is ready for vacant possession, you or your lawyer will receive notice that you can come and collect your keys.

Now, all you have to do is check the unit for defects and, if all is well, move into your new home!

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