Ultimate Home Buyers’ Guide to Purchasing Residential New Launches

Five Steps Process: Doing Basic Checks, Visiting A Show Flat, Booking Your Unit, Signing the Agreement, and Collecting Your Keys

This guide provides 5 steps process of purchasing an uncompleted private residential property (also known as new launch project) and considerations to take prior to committing to a purchase. This guide is intended only for general information purposes and does not constitute to any legal or financial advice, or otherwise. In case you may need advice on your specific situation, whether you are a prospective home buyer or otherwise, you should consult the relevant professionals for further advice. Any reliance you place on this home buyer’s guide is strictly at your own risk. While we endeavour to ensure accuracy in this guide, we make no representations or warranties of any kind (whether express or implied) about the accuracy, completeness, format, currency or any other aspects of this guide or its application. 

STEP 1: DOING BASIC CHECKS

Prior to committing to a purchase, you are advisable to conduct some basic checks on the real estate developer of the housing project and consider all the costs involved in buying an uncompleted private residential property. 

Housing Developer’s Licence 

You need to verify whether the real estate developer is issued with a sale or no-sale licence, if there are more than 4 units in the housing project. Prior to commencing sale of uncompleted residential properties, real estate developers must first be issued with a sale licence and obtain a building plan approval for the housing project. Developers that were issued with no-sale licences are not permitted to sell any residential unit in the development. You can check here if a property developer holds a valid housing developer’s licence 

Licensed housing developers have to use the standard agreements i.e. Option to Purchase (OTP) as well as Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&PA), for the sale of units in their housing project. When the housing project is finally completed with issuance of Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and individual titles issued to all units in the housing project, the property developer will be de-licensed and will no longer be required to use the standard agreements for the sale of the remaining unsold units in the project. 

CONQUAS & Quality Mark 

You can check the ratings of the developer’s past projects through Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS) scores and Quality Mark (QM), which are available at The Building and Construction Authority (BCA)'s website. If the developer subscribes to these schemes, BCA would then assess the workmanship of the completed project. The CONQUAS scores and QM rating will give you an indication of the quality achieved in the developer’s past projects. 

Eligibility 

If you own an HDB flat, a DBSS flat or an Executive Condominium, you have to fulfil the 5 years Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) set by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) before you are allowed to purchase any private residential properties. 

If you are not a Singapore citizen, you have to first obtain approval from the Controller of Residential Property in the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), before you can be allowed to purchase a landed house including strata landed house. Generally you should be a permanent resident of Singapore for at least five (5) years and must make exceptional economic contribution to Singapore to stand a good chance to obtain approval to purchase a landed property in Singapore. More information on foreign ownership of residential property can be found here.

Finances 

Prior to purchasing a property, you should browse through the property prices in the area and compute your finances and fees payable. You are advisable to buy within your financial means. 

  • Property prices and rentals

URA provides free information on the property market, such as prices and rentals of private residential units, for you to do your own research prior to purchasing a unit. Click here to find out. For privacy purposes, URA do not reveal the house numbers of landed houses and unit numbers of strata-titled units. Such information is only available at their Real Estate Information System (REALIS) at subscription rate of $1,800 for 1 year of access. You can get in touch with us to obtain the most complete real estate market data. 

  • Using your CPF

You may use up to all of your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) savings up to withdrawal limits (click here for more info) to purchase your private residential property under the Private Properties Scheme. Your CPF OA savings will be released after you have paid the booking fee, required cash down payment and balance purchase price. The balance purchase price is calculated as such: Balance purchase price = Purchase Price – Required Cash Down Payment - Housing Loan – CPF OA savings approved for use for the property 

  • Bank loan

You are advised to enquire with banks on your eligibility for housing loan as early as possible, preferably prior to paying for the booking fee or commit yourself to the purchase. The payment schedule for uncompleted residential property is on progressive tier scheme in that each payment is made upon a specific milestone of the project reached.

Assuming the purchase price is S$1,500,000, and your Loan-to-Value is 75% of the purchase price equivalent to S$1,125,000, and you are taking the mortgage tenure of 25 years at interest rate of 1.5%, your initial down payment will then consist of Option to Purchase fee of 5% S$75,000 and 15% $225,000 upon signing of Sale and Purchase Agreement. Afterwards your progressive payment schedule will be as of following:

 Timeline

 Milestone (Percentage)

Amount Payable

Monthly Repayment

After 6 months 

Completion of Foundation Works (10%)

S$ 150,000 consists of 

S$ 75,000 Cash Payment, and;

S$ 75,000 Bank Payment

S$ 599.90

After 1 year 

Completion of reinforced concrete framework of unit (10%)

S$ 150,000

S$ 1,199.81

After 1 year & 6 months

Completion of partition walls of unit (5%)

S$ 75,000

S$ 1,499.76

After 1 year 9 months

Completion of roofing / ceiling of unit (5%)    

S$ 75,000

S$ 1,799.71

After 2 years

 

Completion of door sub-frames / door frames, window frames, electrical wiring, internal plastering and plumbing of unit (5%)

S$ 75,000

S$ 2,099.67

After 2 years 3 months

 

Completion of car park, roads, and drains serving the housing project (5%)            

S$ 75,000

S$ 2,399.62

After 2 years 6 months

Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) (25%)  

S$ 375,000

S$ 3,899.38

After 3 years 6 months

 

Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) (15%)

S$ 225,000

S$ 4,799.24

 

Click here for a guide on housing loan and other important information. 

 

  • Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is the tax imposed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) when property is either leased, rented, bought, or sold. Stamp Duty for property buyers include Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) 

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

You are required to pay Buyers’ Stamp Duty (BSD) after signing the S&PA. For quick calculation, you can use simplified formula of 3% x (the first S$1,000,000 of the purchase price) – S$5,400, and 4% x the excess amount after $1,000,000. Assuming the purchase price is S$1,500,000, the Buyer’s Stamp Duty will be S$44,600 (computation: 3% x $1,000,000 – S$5,400) + (S$500,000 x 4%).

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

You may also need to pay Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty after signing the S&PA depending on your profile: 

  1. Whether you are buying as an individual or as an entity 
  2. Your residency status e.g. Singaporean. Nationals & PR of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland & Nationals of USA will be accorded with the same treatment as Singapore Citizens, upon making an application for ABSD Remission
  3. Number of residential properties owned in Singapore

Refer to the following table for computation of ABSD:

Residency Status of Buyer

ABSD Rates (w.e.f. 6 July 2018)

Singapore Citizens (SC) buying first residential property

Not applicable

Singapore Citizens (SC) buying second residential property

12%

Singapore Citizens (SC) buying third and subsequent residential property

15%

Singapore PR buying first residential property

5%

Singapore PR buying second and subsequent residential property

15%

Foreigners buying any residential property

20%

Entities buying any residential property

25%

 

Seller’s Stamp Duty

You are required to pay a Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) if you sell or dispose of your property within 3 years of acquiring it (for property purchase on or after 11 Mar 2017). Selling your residential property within the 1st year of ownership is chargeable at 12% of transacted price or market value of the property whichever is higher, 2ndyear and 3rd year are 8% and 4% respectively. No SSD is chargeable if you have held the property for more than 3 years. 

Learn more about stamp duty on our Stamp Duty guides

  • Legal fees

When you purchase an uncompleted private residential property, you will have engage a conveyancing lawyer. Legal fee ranges from S$2,500 - $5,000 depending on the purchase price and scope of works involved (e.g. whether there is bank loan, CPF OA used for the purchase, etc). In general, the services that a lawyer can provide you would include: 

  • Advising you on the important transaction paper works i.e. terms and conditions in your OTP and/or S&PA. 
  • Conducting title searches to verify the title of the property identified in the contract matches with the title record in the Land Titles Registry. 
  • Providing real estate law, regulatory and financing advice. 
  • Checking if there are any regulatory notices or government schemes that will affect the property you intend to purchase. 
  • Lodging a caveat against the title to the property on your behalf pending completion of your purchase. This serves to notify the public and third parties also interested in this property of your valid interest or claim. 
  • Liaising with your bank’s lawyer who will prepare the mortgage for the bank. 
  • Liaising with the bank and CPF Board to ensure that your housing loan and CPF funds are in place and ready for drawdown. 
  • Completing the conveyance by exchanging your payment for the executed instrument of transfer. 

For more information on the role of a conveyancing lawyer in a property purchase, you may refer to the Law Society of Singapore’s ‘Know the Law NOW!’ booklet, available here (see Chapter 33, Buying and Selling a House). 

STEP 2: VISITING A SHOW FLAT

When you are in the show flat, review the information on the project and specific unit(s) thoroughly prior to committing to a purchase. Developers must ensure that the plans and models exhibited, and show units erected are accurate and in accordance with the approved building plans as required under the Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules

Location plan 

Location plan exhibited must be drawn to scale and shows: 

  • Location of the housing project
  • Scale used for the drawn-to-scale plan
  • Street names, prominent buildings and facilities, e.g. schools, residential estates, shops, places of worship, etc, within a 500-metre radius of the project 

Site plan 

A site plan displays the common facilities in the housing project. The site plan must be drawn to scale and shows: 

  • Scale used for the drawn-to-scale plan 
  • All buildings and communal facilities, such as clubhouse, gymnasium, swimming pool, BBQ pit, security guard house, electrical substation, bin centre, etc, as approved by the relevant authorities and in accordance with the approved Building Plan 
  • Building Plan approval number and approval date 

Project model 

The project model showcased must be built to scale based on the approved building plan and shows: 

  • Scale used for the drawn-to-scale model 
  • All buildings and communal facilities, such as clubhouse, swimming pool, gymnasium, BBQ pit, guard house, electrical substation, bin centre, etc, as approved by the relevant authorities and in accordance with the approved Building Plan 
  • Building Plan approval number and approval date 

Unit model 

The unit model showcased must be built to scale based on the approved building plan and shows: 

  • Scale used for the drawn-to-scale model.
  • Building Plan approval number and approval date. 

Show unit 

A show unit is intended to portray a specific unit or unit type. The show unit must be erected in accordance with the approved building plan for that specific unit or unit type. 

There can be differences in the layout, material or fittings between the show unit to other the similar-size or similar no. of bedroom units. Thus, you have to ask the real estate agent presenting to you on the actual layout, materials or fittings provided in the specific unit that you are interested in.

Prior to entering the show unit

Check the drawn-to-scale unit floor plan and written notice displayed at the entrance for: 

  • Address of the unit which the show unit is portraying 
  • A breakdown of the area of the unit, such as living room, dining room, kitchen (open concept or enclosed), bedrooms, bathrooms (whether there is any window or will be using ventilation fan), air-conditioner ledge, void area, etc 
  • Floor-to-ceiling height of the various rooms and spaces in the show unit 
  • The type of walls dividing each room, such as reinforced concrete walls, partitioned walls, columns, etc.
  • Building Plan approval number and approval date 

Inside the show unit

Do check out on the following: 

  • Some enclosures of the unit e.g. walls, railings, windows, and doors, may not be erected to facilitate viewers movement or to showcase various interior design ideas. The developer must disclose and explain clearly in the written notices and the location, thickness, and width of the unbuilt enclosures must be clearly labelled and marked with solid lines on the floor. 
  • Written notices stating the materials, finishes, fittings, equipment, installation and appliances that will be provided, e.g. compressed marble flooring, quartz stone kitchen top, etc 
  • All cupboards, vanity units, cabinets and wardrobes to be provided in the actual unit must be installed in the show unit. They are meant to be an accurate representation of what is provided, and therefore must have the same specifications, dimensions and be made of the same materials as those to be provided in the depicted unit. 
  • Some features such as curtains, lightings, wallpaper, wall panels, appliances, and furniture are displayed in the show unit as interior decorations only and will not be provided in the actual unit. 
  • If there is a household shelter (also known as bomb shelter), the developer must identify in the show unit with a written notice displayed at the entrance to the household shelter. 
  • If lofts or furniture decks are displayed in the show unit, check with the real estate agent if these will be built in the actual unit, and whether extra payment for construction is required. If they are not provided on the actual unit and you wish to construct one on your own in the future, you will need to engage a Qualified Person (QP) to obtain approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) if the loft or furniture deck exceeds the allowable 5 square metres, or is not made fully of timber. As a general guide, only one loft or furniture deck is allowed in a residential unit. 

Role of a real estate agent 

Developers usually appoint joint real estate marketing agencies to help them to market and sell their project. You should well be aware that such real estate agents appointed by the developers represent fully the developers’ interests. You are advisable to engage a licensed and competent property agent to represent your interest, guide you with relevant information about the property market and project, and assist you in choosing which project amongst the many available in the market (or even resale properties), and finally which unit you should seriously consider. You should check here if the property agent is licensed and registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). Note that property agents are not allowed to offer you any benefit, in cash or kind, to induce you to engage their services. Visit the CEA website for more information on engaging a property agent and the role of an agent in a property transaction. 

The cost will be free to you as buyer’s agents will receive the agent fee from the developer’s joint marketing agents as part of the commercial arrangement. You can reach out to us at https://wa.me/98760972 to enquire on real estate services that we provide to buyers like yourself. 

Issuing a “Blank” Cheque 

After zooming into a unit that you are interested in, the property agent presenting the show unit to you may ask you to issue a “blank” cheque with the amount of money to be paid for the booking fee left blank as an expression of interest to purchase the unit. Please take note that issuing of blank cheque is not at all a commitment to a purchase. You may wish to double verify with the property agent that the issuance of the “blank” cheque is not a commitment to a purchase. You have the right to ask for the cheque to be returned to you if you do not subsequently proceed with the purchase. 

CEA has a set of guidelines for property agencies and agents on the use of cheques. The guidelines can be found in CEA’s Practice Guidelines on the Professional Service Manual

 

STEP 3: BOOKING YOUR UNIT

Prior to accepting the booking fee of 5% of the purchase price from you, the real estate developer is required to present to you with a set of particulars, documents, and essential information on the housing project and unit, which will include the following:

  • Scaled location plan, site plan and floor plan of the unit. 
  • Built-up area of strata-titled properties, which is the amount of space sold to a buyer based on the strata boundary of the unit. You may wish to review the strata area breakdown e.g. area of bedroom, balcony, air-conditioner ledge and void area to double confirm that the property space meets your needs.
  • Specifications of the building e.g. floor finishing, facilities, electrical appliances provided. 
  • General description of the housing project, including total number of units in each class, and number and type of car parking lots provided, e.g. covered parking lots, handicapped lots, mechanical parking lots for boutique projects. If the number of car parking lots provided is less than the number of housing units and you own or plan to own a car, you should check with the developer’s appointed real estate agent on the method of allocation of the car parking lots. 
  • Conditions and restrictions imposed by the authorities. Some projects may be affected by public schemes such as drainage reserves, road reserves, sewage pipes and electrical cables. There may be specific conditions imposed by the relevant authorities in relation to these public schemes which may affect the liabilities of the owners or residents of the housing project after its completion. 
  • Amendments to the prescribed Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&PA), as approved by the Controller of Housing. 
  • Past projects completed by the developer or its related companies. 
  • Share value assigned to each unit. The developer is required to make available the Schedule of Strata Units for strata-titled properties. The share value assigned to your unit will be the basis for computing the maintenance charges payable by you. 

You should review the information carefully to ensure that the housing project and unit meet your needs before making any payment. You do not have to proceed with the purchase, if you do not wish to after reviewing the information. The developer is required to obtain written acknowledgement from you that these mandatory information has been provided to you. 

Option to Purchase (OTP) 

As and when you decide on proceeding to purchase your choice unit after you have reviewed the essential information, you will then pay a booking fee in exchange for the issuance of an Option to Purchase (OTP) for the unit by the developer. 

An Option to Purchase (OTP) is a right or option granted to you to purchase the unit. Unlike that of private resale transaction of completed properties between private sellers and buyers, a licensed housing developer has to use standard OTP form and seek the approval from the Controller of Housing to include any amendments in the OTP. 

Non-Assignment of Option 

You are not allowed to assign or transfer the OTP to any other persons. Thus, you must ensure that all the name of the person(s) who is/are intending to purchase the unit are correctly identified and named as the 'intending purchasers' in the OTP. Only the intending purchasers named in the OTP are allowed exercise the option and sign on the S&PA. 

Exercising the Option 

Upon granting an OTP to you, the developer must deliver the S&PA and the original or copies of the title deeds to you or your lawyer for review within 14 days from the date of the Option. 

If you decide to proceed and purchase the property, you have to exercise the Option to Purchase (OTP) by completing all of the following prior to the Option expiry date, i.e. 3 weeks after the date of delivery of the S&PA and title deeds to you: 

  • Sign all the copies of the S&PA
  • Return all copies of the signed Agreement to the developer
  • Pay to the developer the balance down payment, which is 15% (20% of the purchase price less the booking fee 5% paid)

Some developers may allow you to pay the balance down payment within 8 weeks from the Option date instead of the 3 weeks mentioned above. 

Non-Exercise of Option 

If you do not wish to proceed with the purchase, you can serve a written notice to the developer stating that you do not wish to exercise the Option to Purchase. The Option will lapse immediately upon the receipt by the housing developer of the written notice. Upon the OTP lapsed, the developer shall have the right to forfeit 25% of the booking fee and refund 75% of the booking fee to you. The unit now becomes available for other interested buyers’ selection.

 

STEP 4: SIGNING THE AGREEMENT

Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&PA) 

The S&PA is a private contract between the purchaser and the developer for the sale and purchase of a housing unit. Unlike that of private resale of completed properties between private buyers and sellers, licensed housing developers are required by the authority to use the standard form of S&PA in the sale of uncompleted housing unit. Should there be any amendment to the S&PA required, the developer must obtain approval from the Controller of Housing. You should review the terms and conditions set out in the S&PA prior to signing it. 

Important Information to Look Out For in S&PA 

Date of Vacant Possession

The date of vacant possession is the latest date the developer must hand over the keys of the unit to you. In most cases, Do note the actual handing over of the keys happen before the vacant possession date unless there is a setback e.g. Covid-19 pandemic that affects the construction workers in the dormitory. The OTP and S&PA contractually bind the developer to deliver vacant possession of the property to the buyer by the date stated. Failure to do so results in developer paying liquidated damages to you. Delivery of vacant possession can only be done upon the developer obtaining the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). Upon all the relevant legal requirements have been met, the developer will apply for Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC), known as legal completion. Moving in to reside in the unit prior to developer obtaining either TOP or CSC is an offence under the Building Control Act. 

The developers or the appointed property agencies of the project may also present to you an “estimated TOP date”, which is an estimation based on the planned construction schedule. The actual TOP date may vary, depending on the project’s construction progress. 

Developers’ obligation 

The developer must build all the units together with all the common property in a workmanlike manner according to the specifications set out in the S&PA’s and the plans approved by the relevant authorities. 

Prior to making any changes to the unit and substantive changes to the approved plans on the common property, the developer has to obtain consent from the buyer, unless the relevant authorities request the developer to make such changes.

Specifications of Unit 

The developer must build the unit in accordance with the specifications and approved plans set out in the S&PA. Unless the buyer and relevant authorities have approved of the changes or the relevant authorities request the developer to make such changes which is less likely the case after approval has been given, the developer has no right to make any changes. 

The developer must conform to the type of materials, finishes, fittings, appliances, and furnishings to be used or provided for a unit and the common facilities as set out in the "Specifications of the Building" in the S&PA. 

If the developers have offered you any items such as free washing machine, refrigerator and such offers are not stated in the specifications, you should insist to obtain a written confirmation from the developer. 

Share Value 

The share value of a strata-titled unit determines your share in the project and hence the computation of your share of contribution for the quarterly maintenance fees and charges, future sinking fund for the common property, voting rights in the event of collective sales. It is imperative that you should be aware of the share value allocated to the unit that you are interested in in relation to the whole housing project.  

More information on living in a strata-titled property from BCA's publication "Strata Living in Singapore". 

Lodging a caveat 

The word caveat means “beware,” so a caveat on a piece of property protects the buyer. Once your lawyer lodges a caveat on the property you’re in the process of buying, others will find out that your transaction has priority. If someone else tries to buy that piece of property behind your back, the caveat will block that transaction. Your conveyancing lawyer will lodge a caveat notice with SLA against the unit that you are purchasing after paying your booking fee or signing your S&PA. 

Progress payment 

Do ensure prompt payments are to the developer according to the payment schedule set out in the S&PA. Upon completion of each stage of the project construction, you will have to immediately make the payment. If at such stage the payment is made through the disbursement of your bank loan, your conveyancing lawyer will liaise with the bank for the payment on your behalf.  The completion of each stage of the project construction will be duly certified by the Qualified Person (a registered architect or professional engineer) engaged by the developer and the developer will issue a copy of the requisite certificate at each stage to certify the completion. 

Should there be any delay in full payment after the deadline specified in the S&PA, the developer has the right to charge an interest in accordance with the formula set out in the S&PA. In the event the payment and the interest remains unpaid for unpaid for more than 14 days after it is due, the developer has the right to treat the S&PA as having been repudiated by you and has the right to take action in accordance to the condition specified in the Agreement to annul the S&PA. The developer has the right to forfeit 20% of the purchase price if the S&PA is annulled to recover all outstanding interest owing and unpaid by you, and to resell the unit to any other person. 

Sub-sale of Unit 

Sub-sale means sale of the property prior to legal completion i.e. the buyer is not yet the legal owner of the purchased unit. You or your conveyancing lawyer will have to inform the developer of the sub-sale. Afterwards, the developer will then enter into a new S&PA with the sub-purchaser (new purchaser).

 

STEP 5: COLLECTING YOUR KEYS

Upon the developer receiving Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) from BCA, and payment of 25% from you, the developer will now inform you of the procedure to collect the key to your unit. You should inspect your unit condition such as living room and bedrooms floor tiles, walls, kitchen top, bathroom fittings etc and report any defects to the developer to carry out rectification works.

Delivery of Vacant Possession 

The developer must deliver vacant possession of the unit to you no later than: 

  • The date as specified in the Sale and Purchase Agreement (S&PA); and, 
  • 21 days from the date of receipt of the payment of 25% of the purchase price. 

Failure to do so, the developer is liable to pay liquidated damages to you. 

Maintenance Fee 

You would need to begin paying to the developer a lump sum of 6-month maintenance charges, followed by quarterly payment in advance thereafter, for the maintenance of the common property from:

  • The date you receive vacant possession of the unit by the developer; or, 
  • The 15th day after you have received the TOP or CSC

Usually after 1 year the management corporation (MCST) will be formed, and you will start paying the maintenance charges to the MCST. The maintenance funds will be used for provision of cleaning, security and services of the project. 

Defects 

A defect is any fault not only in the unit, but also the common property such as lift lobby, common corridors which is due either to defective workmanship or materials or to the unit not having been constructed according to the Specifications set out in the S&PA. 

BCA administers construction works to ensure compliance with the requirements under the Building Control Act and Regulations, which focuses primarily on the structural safety of buildings. After confirming that all the relevant requirements under the Building Control Act and Regulations are conformed with and clearances from the relevant technical authorities are obtained, BCA will issue a TOP for the project. BCA do not regulate defects in the unit. Rather, they are contractual matters between the developer and buyer under the terms set out in the S&PA. 

You should make a meticulous inspection of the unit upon taking vacant possession and highlight any defects to the developer immediately as timeline is of an essence with regards any dispute in the defects, whether it is inherent or caused. You may wish clarify with the developer or seek professional advice if you are unsure whether there are defects in the unit. You may also refer to BCA’s guide on good practices for quality workmanship. 

Defects Liability Period 

For a period of 12 months of the date of vacant possession or 15th day upon notice of TOP, the developer is obliged to rectify any defect in the unit, the common property or the housing project which becomes apparent. If you discover defects at any time during the 12 months defects liability period, you should notify the developers immediately to rectify the defects. If the developer fails to rectify the defects within the specified time, you may proceed with the rectification work on your own from your pocket money and instruct Singapore Academy of Law to withhold the sum held as stakeholder of the developer as reimbursement in accordance to procedure set out in the S&PA. 

Procedure for completion of sale 

Upon receiving CSC, and when the developer is ready to convey the legal title of your unit to you, the process known as the completion of sale will take place. The procedure is as follows: 

  1. The developer will issue you a Notice to Complete which must be given by the date specified in the S&PA or 3 years after the date of delivery of vacant possession of the unit, whichever is earlier. 
  2. Upon receiving Notice to Complete, the Completion must take place within 14 days.
  3. The developer must issue a proper conveyance and a duplicate of the unit’s title to you on completion. The title issued is either the Duplicate Subsidiary Strata Certificate of Title (for strata subdivided property) or the Duplicate Certificate of Title (for non-strata subdivided property). 

These certificates are official documents issued by the Registrar of Titles stating that the person named in the certificate is the legal owner of the property described in the certificate. The total built-up area of the unit based on the title survey as approved by the Chief Surveyor in the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) will be stated in the title. Should the final surveyed area be less than that stated in the S&PA by more than 3%, the purchase price shall then be reduced at the unit purchase price for every sqm of deficiency which is inexcess of 3% of area stated in the S&PA. For example, a unit with an as-built area of 95 sqm is 5sqm (5%) short of the 100sqm (100%) area stated in the S&PA. The as-built area deficiency is 4%, which is more than 3% of the area stated in the Agreement. Thus, the affected purchaser shall have the right claim for the unit purchase price reduction for the 1sqm deficiency which is in excess of 3% of the area stated in the Agreement. 

Liquidated Damages 

You have a right to claim for liquidated damages from the developer according to the formula specified in the S&PA if the developer does not issue you the Notice to Complete by the deadline specified in the S&PA. 

Disputes 

Should there be any a dispute, you should initiate amicable discussion with the developer to resolve your differences. If the discussion is unable to resolve the issue, you can consider seeking legal advice on your rights under the S&PA. You are strongly encouraged to consider resolving any dispute through direct negotiation, failing which, to consider mediation. 

In mediation, an impartial third party, a mediator, will help you and the developer to negotiate an amicable settlement of the differences. The mediator is not a judge and thus is unable to decide on who is right. Rather, the mediator helps both parties reach a mutual agreement by focusing on problem-solving. Mediation costs less than litigation or arbitration and may help to resolve differences faster. The Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) offers mediation services to help disputing parties resolve their dispute. For claims of less than $60,000, the parties could subscribe to the Small Case Commercial Mediation Scheme. For claims exceeding $60,000, the parties could subscribe to the Commercial Mediation Scheme. 

SMC also offers a Neutral Evaluation service, in which an unbiased third party such as a former Judge or Senior Counsel – the Neutral – hears your case either through written submissions and/or oral presentations. They consider the legal merits of your case and give you their reasoned opinion. This allows contending parties to better understand their strengths and weaknesses of their case. More information on the services offered by SMC is available at their website

Mediation services are also available at: 

Are you looking to purchase an uncompleted residential property (new launch project) and would like to be represented by a licensed and trusted real estate agent?