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Selling Property

Singapore - Selling Property

If you own a restricted residential property and want to sell it and buy another one, you’ll have to apply for approval. Before you buy the new one, you’ll need to sell your existing residence first.

Most people work with a property agent when it comes to selling their properties. First, you’ll want to ask for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which will show the different sale prices of properties that are in the area. The agent will work with you on finding potential buyers, setting up appointments, and negotiating any offers. When you employ the help of an estate agent, make sure they are registered with the Council for Estate Agents (CEA). This board ensures that agents have passed their examinations, had the proper training, and continue to receive professional development.

Council for Estates Agents: http://www.sea.gov.sg
Tel: 1800 643 2555

Before you accept an offer, ensure there are no unacceptable conditions attached to it. A good solicitor will be able to check that all the transfer and sales documents are in order and protect your interests. In addition, the solicitor can hold the buyer's deposit while negotiations are going on.

If your buyer is using their CPF fund to purchase the property then the buyer’s lawyer will proceed to prepare the completion statements and draft the transfer document. The completion statements are issued to the mortgagee bank for the seller to finalize the figures in the profit and loss from the sale proceeds. It is also issued to the buyer to determine the balance of the purchase price. Normally, the completion statement is sent to the buyer a few days before the legal completion date. On the legal completion date, the buyer will settle the outstanding balance of the price. The seller’s attorney will then give the house keys to the buyer and the Transfer Document to the buyer’s attorney. The Transfer Document records the evidence of the transfer of ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.

The buyer’s attorney will also apply for the Certificate of Title (CT) from the Singapore Land Authority on the same day and protect it until it is given to the buyer’s bank.

When the property sells, you must notify IRAS within one month. If you’re using a solicitor, remind them to submit the Notice of Transfer via e-Notice of Transfer to IRAS. Stamp duty payment is also required for documents executed for a sale and purchase of property. This is calculated based on the purchase price or market value of the property.

The tax apportionment is agreed upon between you and the buyer. If the property tax has been paid for the entire year, the seller can have the buyer reimburse the relevant tax that has already been paid. The solicitor will be able to apportion the tax liability between you and the buyer.

The gains that are received from the property’s sale are not taxable since it is considered a capital gain. In addition, Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not levied on private real estate transactions.

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