The Purchasing Process

Procedures for buying property in Singapore

The Purchasing Process


There are two ways you can purchase properties in Singapore, on a freehold or a leasehold tenure. A freehold title allows the owner to hold the property in perpetuity, while a leasehold title transfers possession of the property to the purchaser for the entire duration of the lease.

Once you decide to purchase a property the first step is to get an option to purchase form. You can get the option to purchase by paying one percent of the purchase price to the seller, and it is usually drawn up by the seller or their property agent. You will then have 14 days to go through with the purchase, at which time you will sign the option to purchase and return it to the seller along with four to nine percent of the purchase price (depending on what is agreed upon). Sometimes this process is done in reverse order, with the purchaser drawing up a offer to purchase and passing this along to the seller to agree and sign.

Next, you will need a solicitor to prepare the Sales and Purchase Agreement. It usually takes about ten weeks for a sale to be finalized, and by that time all fees will be due. You should also arrange to inspect the property yourself before finalizing the sale. Check to make sure the property is in the condition agreed upon in the contract, and that all additional furniture or other items mentioned in the contract are there.

The purchase is complete when the Certificate of Title is issued and the final balance is paid. In the case of a mortgage, the bank will keep the Certificate of Title until you have fully paid off the loan.

Property Tax

Property tax in Singapore is ten percent of the annual value, and is levied no matter what the use of the property. However, if the property is owner-occupied then property tax is only four percent and the owner is eligible for tax rebates. The annual value of your property is the estimated annual rental value of your property, and is calculated by analysing rents of comparable properties.

Further reading

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