12-Step Guide in Buying a Resale Flat

On 02 September, I finally finalised the purchase of a resale 3-room HDB flat and become a homeowner!

I’ve engaged an agent to help me look for potential houses, as well as to handle the paperwork for me. I would recommend having an agent to help you with these as they are familiar with the procedures and it really saves a lot of your time. Of course, do engage one that is honest and trustworthy. The one whom I’ve engaged has worked with my family for more than 10 years, helping my father, my brothers and my uncles to sell and buy houses. He works with a partner and both of them have great work integrity. They never hurry or push me to settle with a house even though I’ve viewed 11 houses before making a decision! They also give good advice on how to view the house and what things to look out for.

Enough about my agents, I’ve added this new category in my blog because I wanted to help people who are buying resale flats in Singapore to know what the procedures are like. So, here ‘s a brief summary of the steps that I’ve did.

  1. Check that you are eligible to buy a resale flat here.
  2. Engage a housing agent.
  3. Apply for a HLE letter from HDB if you intend to take an HDB concessionary loan. You can do this online.
  4. Go for house viewing once you’ve gotten the HLE letter. Take note that the letter is only valid for 3 months. If you could not find an ideal house within the 3 months, you’ll need to apply for another HLE.
  5. Once you are interested with a house, negotiate the COV with the owner via your agent. Bear in mind that you should be clear with what your budget is. Never feel pressurised to pay more than what you expect or plan to. Decline and continue your search if the owner asks for too much.
  6. If you and the owner reach a consensus on the COV pricing, you’ll need to pay an option fee of up to 1K and the seller will grant an Option to you.
  7. You will then have 14 calendar days to exercise the option. During this period, the owner cannot consider another person’s offer. Do bear in mind that by the time you exercise your OTP, your HLE must still be valid.
  8. When you exercise the OTP, you will need to pay a deposit. The deposit plus the option fee you paid in Step 6 should not exceed 5K. My agent also collects $80 (resale application fee) and $191.90 (valuation fee) from me. Resale application fee stated on HDB website is $60 but if an agent applies for you through ResaleNet system, it’ll be $80. As for the valuation fee, I find it ridiculous that the cost of a valuation report is paid by the buyer but it seems like that’s the case if the buyer is getting a loan or using CPF.
  9. After exercising the OTP, the agent will arrange with the seller’s agent when to send in the resale application. The party that send in later will book the 1st appointment date.
  10. During the 1st appointment, your eligibility to buy the flat will be verified and for those who are taking HDB loan, your eligibility for a loan will be verified too. You’ll be asked to pay the remaining of the COV after deducting what you have paid in Steps 6 and 8 within 10 days from the 1st appointment. Do buy the Fire Insurance too. You will also need to pay the title search, caveat and conveyancing fees too. You’ll sign the HPS Health Declaration form during this appointment. I’ve bought the floor plan too as I’m going to renovate my place. An estimated 2nd appointment date will be given. YOUR CPF WILL BE “WIPED OUT” A FEW DAYS LATER.
  11. A letter will be sent informing you the 2nd appointment date. Arrange an appointment with the seller to make a final inspection of the house before the 2nd appointment. Anything that you need the owner to remove or save for you, you can request during this appointment.
  12. During the 2nd appointment, the keys will be handed over to you. You’ll need to pay your agent 1% of the purchase price. The commission is subjected to GST.

Well, that’s all for the procedure on buying a resale flat. In the near future, I’ll be posting about my “adventure” in finding a contractor to renovate my place. If you are interested, do come back for it. 🙂


One thought on “12-Step Guide in Buying a Resale Flat

  1. Hi! I’ve just started to look into buying a modest 3-room resale flat, but have completely no clue about the budget. Just curious, how much did you have to pay for the flat, excluding the renovation? 🙂

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