Written by: Rita Magallona
Buying a flat, condominium, or other residential property is usually pretty straightforward. You look for a property you want, you go through the process, and if all goes well, you get the keys to the residence.
But what if the residence you want to buy is not yet completed or just launched? How can you ensure that you will be satisfied when the project is completed?
5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a New Launch Property in Singapore
1. Can you trust the developer?
Simply because the project is a Building Under Construction (BUC), you have to be assured of its timely completion and, should you decide to make the purchase way before its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) , you will get a quality residence to live in. To this end, do some checks on the developer to see if it will deliver.
Here are two basic questions to ask:
- Is the developer licensed? Check the validity of the Housing Developer’s Licence.
- What are the developer’s Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS) scores and Quality Mark (QM) ratings of its past projects? The Building and Construction Authority has this information.
2. Does the show flat match what you are looking for?
Developers have to accurately show what the future residences would look like, so study the show flat and the presented information carefully. Check the enclosures, the stated materials, finishings, installation, appliances to be provided. Inspect the cupboards, cabinets, and other installed furnishings, as they have to be accurate representations of what these will look like in the actual units.
Here’s a detailed list of what to look for in a show flat.
3. Are you satisfied with the Pre-OTP information?
Our experienced agents for new launches will provide you with everything you need to know before you commit to buying a property. Expect a set of documents, particulars, and information about the housing project in general and about the unit in particular before booking a unit, including:
- Location, site, and floor plans
- For strata-titled properties: strata areas and breakdown of the unit, i.e., how much area is occupied by the bedroom, the balcony, air-conditioner ledge, etc.
- Specifications of the building like materials used and appliances provided
- General description of the housing project including the number of units per class, number of parking slots, etc.
- Conditions and restrictions
- Amendments to the S&PA as approved by the Controller of Housing
- Past projects by the developer
Our real estate consultants will guide you carefully with unbiased property insights. After you have read the materials, you will be required to submit a written acknowledgment that you have been given this information.
Did you like what you have seen about the project? Enough to buy a unit? Then pay the booking fee amounting to 5% to 10% of the unit’s purchase price, and you will be issued an Option to Purchase (OTP).
4. Do you agree with all the provisions and stipulations of the S&PA?
The next step would be the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, a copy of which will be sent by the developer to you or your lawyer to review within 14 days of being given the OTP. As with any legal and binding contract, study this carefully and see if you agree with all the provisions.
Here’s a guide on what to look for in the S&PA .
5. When is the Temporary Occupation Permit issued?
All you need to do is to wait for the TOP to be issued. When that is done, you just have to pay the progress payment due upon TOP. Then the developer will advise you on the procedure in collecting the key to your new unit.
On the day of vacant possession, conduct a property inspection of your unit. Make sure you also inspect the housing project in general, particularly the common areas, and report whatever problems you might find so that the developer can rectify these.
This list is just an overview of what you need to deal with in buying an uncompleted property.