Quick Guide for Condo Sellers: Timeline to Sell Condo in 2023

Zhen Hao Guo

This article is for condominium owners who are looking to sell their property. If you’re a HDB flat owner who’s looking to sell, check out this article where we show you how to do so in just 10 weeks or less.

Selling a condominium in Singapore may be trickier than selling an HDB flat. You are selling a private property after all, and with less regulations in place, you’ll want a reliable agent on hand to keep everything in check every step of the way. 

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you get to just sit back and relax. It’s helpful to at least understand the general flow of the process, just to prevent yourself from being taken for a ride in case your agent doesn’t know what they are doing. 

We’re in for a long ride so keep your eyes peeled throughout this guide and don’t miss a thing.

Table of Contents: 

  1. Check payable Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD)
  2. Conduct market research & post condo listing
  3. Home staging & renovation
  4. Find buyers on Ohmyhome
  5. Arrange viewings & negotiations
  6. Contact a lawyer & grant Option to Purchase (OTP)
  7. Complete the sale

1. Check payable Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD)

If you are selling your condominium 3 years after the initial purchase, this step is not applicable to you. Skip directly to step 2.

In line with property cooling measures, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) requires private property owners to pay Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) in order to be eligible to sell their home. 

To refresh your memory, SSD is basically the tax payable to IRAS if you sell a property within the first three years of purchasing it. The three-year, minimum holding period requires you to hold on to your property for three years before selling it.

Should you be liable to pay SSD, you will need to make the payment within 14 days from the date of exercising the Option.

SSD rates from 11 March 2017 onwards

The following table details the price of SSD payable relative to your home’s actual price or market value, whichever is higher. This table is applicable for properties purchased from 11 Mar 2017 and beyond:

Holding PeriodSSD Payable (% of actual price/market value)
Up to 1 year12%
More than 1 year and up to 2 years8%
More than 2 years and up to 3 years4%
More than 3 yearsNo SSD payable
Source: IRAS, Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) for Residential Property

2. Conduct market research & post condo listing

Before putting your condo up for sale, you’ll want to get a rough idea of how much similar properties have been transacted for. This will also give you a ballpark figure to work off of, keeping your price reasonable while also ensuring that you do not get ripped off by an opportunistic buyer.

A couple of factors typically determine the price of a condominium:

  • Remaining lease on the property (or if it’s a freehold)
  • Condition of the home
  • Whether furnishings will be included
  • Location

There are a bunch of free property valuation tools out there, but we’re not going to vouch for their accuracy. And we don’t mean to toot our horn, but 70% of the properties handled by Ohmyhome’s agents have sold above the valuation benchmarks. So, if you want a quick and painless way to secure an accurate home valuation, just say the word and we’ll handle it.

Once you are aware of the current market and how to best position your sale price, you can upload your listing for free on the Ohmyhome app, where you can chat with buyers directly! You can download our app on Google Play and App Store.

3. Home staging & renovation

To give yourself the best chance of selling high, you’ll want to put your best foot forward. There’s actually a process for this: home staging. As the name suggests, you’ll be ‘staging’ your home by presenting it in a way that will attract the most buyers.

Homeowners typically do this by using attractive furniture and arranging things in a presentable manner to help potential buyers visualise themselves living in your home. Because most listings are viewed online nowadays, good photographers and videographers are almost essential as they can help highlight your home’s best features and guide buyers via visual tours

Some homeowners might be tempted to renovate their homes to bargain for a higher selling price. On average, condo renovations cost around $82,000, and buyers definitely aren’t going to fork out that much extra cash. New homeowners typically want to conduct renovations on their own so that the interior can be styled according to their preferences. So renovating your home to prepare it for sale is typically NOT RECOMMENDED unless you’re fixing parts that are not in functional condition. 

4. Find buyers on Ohmyhome

You can also view public ShoutOuts of tenants’ property preferences, such as their budget, number of rooms they’re looking for and location. If you find a ShoutOut that matches your requirements, you can click ‘Suggest Listing’ and start up a conversation with the buyer directly. No upfront costs whatsoever.

Here’s how you can find your ideal buyer via Ohmyhome’s ShoutOut function in 3 simple steps: 

Log in to Ohmyhome > Tap ‘More’ at the bottom options > View ShoutOuts > Filter > For Rent, Room Type, Property Type, Budget, Min. Floor Area, Move-in Date, Locations, Nationalities, Gender > Done

On the other hand, interested buyers may chat directly with you to enquire more when they see your listing. Pro Tip: Check the app often for enquiries from interested buyers via the in-app chat by turning on your notifications in your settings.

5. Arrange viewings & negotiations

This is where the true battle starts. Your asking price is not the final transaction price. Buyers will throw curveballs at you in order to bring the price down, which you must be ready to counter if you wish to maintain your profit margin. 

Negotiations will definitely put your market research to the test. You’ll definitely want to have looked at the properties within a 1km radius of your home, as well as the historical transaction data of your district on file. This will give you hard, concrete numbers to fall back on when buyers quote a price below your expectations.

That said, there’s only so much groundwork the average person can do. Relying on specialised property agents will give you a bigger advantage, especially when your agent knows your town or district through and through. With their experience and the support of a database with over 175,000 property transactions, Ohmyhome’s Super Agents can help you handle even the toughest of customers. 

6. Contact a lawyer & grant Option to Purchase

At this stage, you’ll need to engage a lawyer to draft the terms and conditions in the Option to Purchase (OTP) and prepare the necessary documents for the transfer of ownership.

Unlike OTPs for HDB flats, which can be downloaded off the HDB website, OTPs for private properties have to be drafted up by a lawyer or an agent authorised to handle legal documents relating to property. 

Once you have the OTP drafted, the buyer can purchase it from you at 1% of your condominium’s selling price, although this amount is negotiable between both parties. The Option Fee is there to simply disincentivise your buyer from running away after you have turned down other potential buyers and reserved your house for them. 

The seller will have to sign on the OTP once a price has been agreed upon, which will commence the Option Period. This period typically lasts between two to ten weeks, depending on how negotiations go. The buyer can then decide to exercise the OTP within this Option Period which will indicate their decision to purchase your property. 

7. Buyer exercise OTP

There’s literally nothing for you to do at this stage except to wait for the buyer to exercise the OTP. Your legal representative will inform you once it has been done.

The exercise fee is usually 4% of the selling price and will be paid to the conveyancing account of your law firm (unless a separate private arrangement has been agreed upon between you and the buyer). You will then enter into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&P) with the buyer.

Do remember that if the buyer does not wise to proceed with the purchase of your home and does not exercise the OTP within the stipulated 14-week Option period, the Option Fee will be forfeited.

8. Complete the sale

If you’ve engaged a lawyer or a property agent for your sale, most of it should be smooth sailing from here on out. You will be required to sign documents on the final sale date and hand over the keys of your property to the new owner. 

Just be sure to move out before the transfer of ownership. If you have to extend your stay beyond the date of transfer, private arrangements should be made between you and your buyer. While they may extend goodwill by allowing you to stay rent-free for a period of time, keep in mind that they are not legally obliged to do so, as property tax and maintenance for them kicks in after the date of transfer. 

Sell your home fast and at the best price!

Sell your home for a high price in no time, hassle-free. Our Super Agents are CEA-certified and among the Top 1% in Singapore. With more than 8,000 happy customers served, we’ve garnered 4-star ratings on both Facebook and Google! Because at Ohmyhome, we‘re always by your side, always on your side.

Call us at 6886 9009 to secure an appointment with any of our Super Agents or message us in the chatbox at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. You can also WhatsApp us at 9755 1009!

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