Property DIY – Buy and sell Resale HDB flat on your own

Ready and planning to buy or sell your HDB flat? Finding a good agent is the next big step, and an important one. But if you have the energy and time to do it yourself, the option and resources are available.

Queenstown-HDB
HDB regularly runs resale seminars in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil to educate buyers and sellers about the resale process. On their website, they have a clearly mapped out 9-step process complete with links to resources. Sellers could also do the marketing and selling of the flat themselves but engage an agent only to assist with the paperwork.

The entire resale transaction, minus the open houses and home viewings, commonly takes between 6 to 8 weeks. Before all that, sellers and buyers are advised to check their eligibility to sell or buy a flat, plan their finances and either approach banks or apply for a HLE (HDB loan eligibility) letter before looking for a flat. HDB also has an online tool that helps you compute a rough estimate of your loan type and amount.

HDB websiteUpon finding a flat you wish to purchase or when someone is ready to purchase your flat, the seller will then need to grant the buyer an OTP (option to purchase) which costs up to $1,000 and the ball is then in the buyer’s court whether or not to exercise the option within 21 days. If the buyer wishes to purchase the flat, both parties are required to submit resale applications via HDB’s e-Resale service. There are additional legal, administrative, insurance and valuation fees to consider in the entire process. Agent or DIY, having a firm idea of what is required will only be helpful in making the entire resale flat search and purchase process a smoother one.

 

Singapore Real Estate – Of Buying and Renting

It is not easy sussing out a good landlord, tenant, seller or buyer. It takes time, a great deal of good timing and some amount of luck.

But whether you’re looking to rent a property or buy one, there are some common things to look out for.

Adana CondoPhoto: Adana Thomson

1. Reputation – If you are looking to buy a new property, the developer’s track record is one of the key factors. This even applies to resale properties for that matter. It is a reassurance of the current and future value of the property. They are familiar with the ins and outs of the industry and have quality control checks in place; plus they are often very transparent with the selling process. For tenants and landlords alike, background research and interviews are important. Employment track record, understanding each other’s background and culture are crucial and laying things out clearly on the table before anyone signs on the dotted line will help smoothen the tenancy out. In some cases, landlords may even request to check with a tenant’s previous landlords for references.

2. Price – There is no need to price below market price purely to secure a deal, landlords and home sellers should be realistic but also fair to themselves. They need to weigh the time and effort they are willing to sacrifice against the amount they are able to profit in the long run. Pricing too high may simply keep buyers and tenants at arms’ lengths and a vacant property will still require maintenance and utilities. It will always help to find out what similar properties in the vicinity are going for.

3. Finances – Before going on the hunt for a property, it’s always wise to first sort out your finances. Check with banks to see how much you are able to loan, how deep your pocket actually is, and what sort of financial liquidity you need and the sustainability of your current financial situation. Taking steps before committing to an often life-long commitment of buying a property will keep debt away. And remember not to be lead by opinions of others. They will not be paying your mortgage. Decide on what works best for you.

And after all that, if all else fails, a recommendation of a good real estate agent will often make all that property-hutning headache go away.

Get help investing in Iskandar properties

The next time you’re thinking about investing in properties in Malaysia, don’t just sit there and surf the net and wonder about all the possibilities from the couch. Property developers are increasingly aware of the growing interest in Malaysian properties, especially those in Iskandar Malaysia, and are organizing regular trips to allow potential investors a more in-depth peek into the workings and actual environment of the properties just across the border.

Meridin Suites in Malaysia.

Meridin Suites in Malaysia.

Ascendent Assets, for example, offers weekend training courses which provides the participant with tips and tricks about investing in Malaysian properties. There is quite a lot of know as the rules and regulations change quickly and new updates are always available. And unlike investing in a property close to home, foreign property purchases have a bigger risk factor, which can be cut down by finding out all you can before putting your hard-earned money into the pot. One of the pluses about this course is the meeting of Iskandar Regional Development Authority officials and the ability to visit and inspect the actual sites. Getty Goh, Ascendent Assets’ Director advises investors against leaping into the deep end with the idea that the property market in Malaysia is as fertile as in Singapore.

Malaysian property developer, Mah Sing, holds similar weekend excursions and is experienced with buyers interested in their Medini-based development, The Meridin @ Medini. Most of them are drawn to the urban-style living which comes with the corresponding convenience of hotels, shops and hospitals nearby, but increasingly the development of EduCity which will feature international universities have also proven to be a strong pull factor.

Developers also provide an option for experienced investors who are familiar with foreign property purchases but may be shopping around for the best deals. Property clubs, usually run by real estate agents, allow a group of like-minded individuals to get together and explore different markets and network with relevant individuals in the Malaysian market.

So there is help out there if you are willing to look hard enough. And unlike before when it’s like stepping out into the dark, there is now many beacons to help guide you on your way.

Home buyers get more time to decide

It used to be, see the showflat, book a flat, pay a deposit all within a day or two. Or otherwise miss your chance altogether, what with so many buyers competing for the same unit.

THE Quinn

But now, it seems developers are lengthening their preview launch periods to allow buyers more time to work out their sums before their big commitment. All this in reaction to the recent restrictions on loans, which may have caused buyers to be more cautious about how much they can afford and how much of a loan they can actually receive. Mental sums may not cut it, and developers are making certain that marketing agents are readily at hand to provide assistance and information, even going as far as to provide a “thinking corner” which is free from the pressure of agents to allow buyers a quiet space to consider their potential purchases.

The Tembusu condominium for example was launched only on 13 August, but two weeks before the official launch date, showflats were already open and available for viewing but not purchases. Buyers could have the luxury of time to browse and consider whether their budget matched the indicative pricing. It also allows for a more thorough research and comparison of short and long-term goals and financial considerations.

The MaisonsBanks are also held to the new total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) rules when calculating property buyers’ loan applications, thus the approval waiting period is also longer. It used to take three days to process an application, but now it could take up to a week.
At The Quinn and The Maisons private apartments, buyers not get two days leeway to think things through when previously a blank cheque is required as an expression of interest should they wish to reserve a unit. This has certainly tipped the scale towards buyers as they now have more time to contemplate their purchases and there might be a higher chance of rejection for the developers. How will this affect the overall private property prices?