The HDB (Housing Development Board) in Singapore has built over 1 million apartment units, and most of Singapore’s population, amounting to over 80%, live in these units. Only legitimate Singaporeans or non-citizens with complete documents are allowed to live in HDB flats. Tourists are not allowed to rent entire apartments or even just a bedroom.
HDB flats are considered public housing, and they can be acquired in several ways. However, selling fully paid HDB flat is much more complex because of the process that a Singaporean has to go through.
Selling Without An Agent
Before even thinking of selling, Singaporeans would have to live in their flat for at least five years for it to be eligible for resale. Without an agent, they would first have to register their intent to sell by going on to the HDB Resale Portal. Then, they need to fill up and submit the resale application. Next, they would need to submit resale documents via the portal and pay the resale fee. Then, wait for the approval, and once approved, they have to appear at the resale completion appointment. The entire process will take up to two months.
Selling With An Agent
With an agent, the process would only take two weeks, and your flat can be sold within that period as well. Agents also offer a few more services along with processing your resale. They will meet with you and discuss a great marketing plan before putting it on the market. They’ll even take attractive photos of your flat, add a few appliances and furniture to help the buyer visualize the layout of the apartment. Since everyone is on their phones nowadays, marketing is done heavily online, with a vlog-style tour of the apartment and surrounding amenities to attract potential buyers.
Pictures and videos of the apartment will then be posted on social media platforms and property portals exclusive to Singapore, and buyers have the option to reply and inquire online. More details are provided by the agent online via private messaging, and an invitation to view the flat is offered as well. On viewing day, the agent will again stage the flat to look appealing. An agent’s marketing ploy is to invite several buyers to create competition and even hint at getting the unit immediately with a higher price.
Agents will be there on the turnover date to help you with the paperwork since it can be pretty overwhelming. Even after the sale, they will assist you with purchasing your next unit. Some agents even assist their clients in viewing new units before getting the old unit sold, so they will have ample time to transition without being hurried out by the new flat owner.
Selling fully paid HDB flat isn’t as complex as it seems. Perhaps without an agent, an HDB flat owner might feel stressed while going through the resale process, but it would feel like a breeze with an agent. Flat owners wouldn’t have to lift a finger because the agents would be taking everything into their own hands.