Quick Sale and Purchase (S&P) References

Sample Documents
Option to Purchase (OTP) sample use by PropNex Realty Pte LtdClick here
Exclusive Estate Agency Agreement (CEA) Form 5 for  sale of residential propertyClick here 

Selling & Buying Process Summary

1. Offer to Purchase
When a Buyer decide to purchase a property, Buyer can ask their realtor to prepare an Offer to Purchase, clearly state the offer price, sales completion period, addition terms and  conditions together with 1% option money to the seller.

The Validity of the Offer To Purchase is normally 3 days, and Seller needs to make a decision whether to accept Buyer offer by issue an Option to Purchase to Buyer, counter offer or reject the offer by returning the 1% cheque back to Buyer.

Nevertheless, if price, terms and conditions have pre-agreed between Buyer and Seller, both parties can omit the Offer To Purchase process, and go straight to Option To Purchase (OTP) process.  

2. Option To Purchase
When a Vendor (Seller) and Purchaser (Buyer) has agreed on the transaction price and decided to transact a property. The Buyer needs to prepare a 1% cheque of the property price (as a consideration Option money) in exchange with the seller for the Option to Purchase (OTP). The OTP is usually prepared by the seller’s solicitor or agent.

In the OTP, Buyer is normally given 14 days to decide whether to proceed with the purchase. If Buyer decide to proceed, Buyer needs to exercise the option in front their solicitor, and deliver the signed OPT to Seller’s solicitor together with another 4% or 9% (agreement between both parties) of the property price before the OTP expire.  A point to take note, once the Seller has issued the OTP to Buyer, Seller cannot, cancel, terminate or withdraw the Sale, however buyer still can cancel the sale by allowing the Buyer to forfeit the 1% option money.  Nevertheless, once buyer has exercised the option, it is a bidding contract to both parties.  


3. Completion of Sale
Once Buyer has exercised the OTP, from then on, both solicitors will process for the completion of the sale, which normally take around 10 to 12 weeks (agreement between the vendor and purchaser). Buyer’s solicitor will lodge a caveat on the property, coordinate with the financial institution, CPF board (if applicable), prepare the mortgagor/mortgagee documents. Seller’s solicitor will needs to check the outstanding mortgage, CPF use and refund etc.  

*Important Note:
Is it always good to ensure the property involve is not previously transferred by way of gift to seller?  If yes, please make sure it has pass the 5 years from the date that the gift has been made. If not, please consult your lawyer for more advice.


For Seller, Seller’s Stamp Fee (applicable to private property only) will be payable to Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, if the seller’s property is purchased on and after 14 January 2011, the rate is as follow:

 On and after 14 Jan 2011 Up to 1 year 16%
 More than 1 year and up to 2 years 12%
 More than 2  years and up to 3  years 8%
 More than 3  years and up to 4  years 4%
 More than 4  years No SSD payable

For HDB flats, there is also an option period of 21 days for the buyer to consider over the intended purchase, to check his eligibility, financing aspects and other issues such as whether the flat is affected by redevelopment/upgrading, the liability to pay upgrading cost/levy etc. If the buyer does not wish to buy the resale flat, he can let the Option expire and loses only the option fee. To ensure a standardised practice, HDB has the following guidelines for the Option Fee, Deposit and Option Period:
Option Fee – An amount not exceeding $1,000
Deposit – An amount not exceeding $5,000 (including the Option Fee)
Option Period – 21 calendar days.

Selling Process

  • Set Asking Price

  • Market Property

  • Conduct Viewing & Negotiate

    Accept 1% booking/Option fee
    (For HDB is not more than $1k)

  • Grant OTP

    Normally Option is 2 weeks
    (For HDB standard 3 weeks)

  • Wait OTP to be Exercised

    Exercise fee 4%
    (For HDB total not more than $5k)

  • Proceed for S&P

    The Sales process is between 10 to 12 weeks

  • Completion

For Buyer, stamp fee will be payable to Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore within 14 days upon exercising the Option to Purchase or signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement when buyer buy from a property developer. For stamp fee payable, refer to the ‘Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)’ and ‘Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)’ sections as follow:

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

On 7 December 2011, the Government announced the introduction of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) to be paid by certain groups of people who buy or acquire residential properties (including residential land) on or after 8 Dec 2011. Subsequently, on 11 Jan 2013, the Government announced the revised ABSD rates applicable to purchases or acquisitions of residential properties on or after 12 Jan 2013.

Affected buyers are required to pay ABSD on top of the existing Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). From 12 Jan 2013, buyers or transferees who are:

a) Foreigners (FR) and entities would have to pay ABSD of 15% on the purchase or acquisition of any residential property.

b)(i) Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) would have to pay ABSD of 5% on the purchase or acquisition of their first residential property.

b)(ii) Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) who already own 1 or more residential properties would have to pay ABSD of 10% on the purchase or acquisition of another residential property.

c)(i) Singapore Citizens (SC) who already own one residential property would have to pay ABSD of 7% on the purchase or acquisition of the second residential property.

c)(ii) Singapore Citizens (SC) who already own two or more residential properties would have to pay ABSD of 10% on the purchase or acquisition of another residential property.

The ABSD is payable by affected buyers at fixed rates on the actual price paid or market value of the property whichever is the higher.

Profile of buyerABSD rates (from 12 Jan 2013)
 FR and entities buying residential property15%
 SPR buying 1st residential property5%
 SPR buying second and subsequent residential property10%
 SC buying the first residential propertyNil
 SC buying second residential property7%
 SC buying the third and subsequent residential property10%

ABSD: Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty
FR: Foreigners
SPR: Singapore Permanent Residents
SC: Singapore Citizens

Visit IRAS website for more information.

Buying Process

  • Shortlist & View Properties

  • Obtain Approval-In-Principal (AIP)

  • Issue Offer to Purchase

    The Booking/Option fee normally is 1%
    (For HDB not more than $1k)

  • Receive OTP -Validity normally 2 weeks

    (For HDB is Standard 3 weeks)

    Submit OTP to bank, engage lawyer

  • Excise OTP & Pay Stamp Duty (SD)

    Sign Letter to Offer, pay 4% to exercise & pay SD within 2 weeks
    (For HDB the exercise is max. $5k in total)

  • Proceed for S&P

    The Buying process is between 10 to 12 weeks

  • Completion