Selling Your Property


There are numerous motivations for people to move but whatever your reasons for seeking out a new place, the first step most potential home buyers take is selling the old property.

It is a daunting and overwhelming process for first timers, therefore this guide seeks to alleviate as much of the complications as possible.

If you are absolutely certain of your intent to sell and not rent your property, the first thing you will need to do is appropriately price your property. For a HDB flat, you will need to hire a professional Property Valuer from HDB who will investigate and determine how much your flat is worth. Private property sellers can seek assistance from the banks.

It is common practice for sellers to price their homes in such a way whereby their new home is financially covered completely or by a significant percentage with the sale proceeds from the old home.

It is also a common misstep most sellers make by pricing their property above market price to make a quick profit. Doing this will work to your detriment as not only will it harm the market, but when you lower your price (you will be forced to lower your price eventually due to underwhelming interest), potential buyers may now assume the reasons for the price decrease could be due to a significant fault of the home and/or neighbourhood. Pricing your home too low in the beginning will also elicit similar considerations so it is prudent to evaluate your home properly and set a comfortable negotiable price for you and the potential buyers.

For HDB flat sellers, it is advisable to contemplate sale of your flat only after you have completed paying your mortgage otherwise the sale proceedings will go to paying off the mortgage with the remainder of that total sum available for you to invest in a new home. This will obviously be a much lower amount than expected as property prices are soaring and the cash gap will only widen with more loans. Therefore, unless the mortgage left over is a small insignificant amount and you are not in an urgent need to relieve yourself of your property, postpone all intentions to sell until your debts are cleared.

If you are in the clear, do not go into a sale stubbornly sticking to the price you have determined. What you are selling is a resale property and buyers flock to resale properties because of the negotiation factor. The key to a good sale is flexibility and if you priced your property fairly, you won't typically get a far lower offer than what was set. Buyers will want to ‘test the waters' when they negotiate so be patient and accommodating but firm if they quote you a price you feel is unreasonable.

Sellers will also need to prepare themselves for any negative remarks they are sure to hear during the entire process from potential buyers. ‘One man's food is another man's poison' is the saying and what looks good to you may not appeal to someone else so it is important to not get emotional if you receive a bad remark about your house. It is advisable to be professionally detached but friendly throughout. A little customer service goes a long way and you are conducting business after all.

The easiest way to manage buyer's expectations is to hire a property agent to do the negotiations for you. A property agent can and will also assist you in evaluating the price of your home so if you wish to mitigate the number of things you have to do, engage the services of a property agent from the very beginning.

A property agent will help you with these things:

1.       Evaluate the price of your home

2.       Market your property

3.       Send potential buyers your way and entertain them

4.       Negotiation

5.       Handle paperwork such as the Option to Purchase (OTP) form

In order for all of this to work, however, you will need to:

1.       Stage your home (either alone or with your agent)

2.       Prepare all relevant documents such as bank statements/CPF statements/loans etc. etc.

3.       Keep an open mind when it comes to negotiation

4.       Accept odd viewing hours

5.       Do follow-up calls to gauge interest or to thank them for coming down

Property Agents do most of the leg work but you, the seller, are not totally exempt from participating nor are the tasks you have to do any less important.

Staging your home ties directly into the price you are going to be quoted from the appraisal and this, in turn, ties into how your property is marketed.

Some might argue that pricing and staging are the two key components in attracting buyers and they would not be wrong. People will hone in on the best price for them in the areas they are interested in and the interior of the home is what helps motivate them in making their purchase.

Sometimes, even with the best price and the best looking house, the property just won't sell. This can be chalked up to the market condition. Property agents are acutely aware of this and will advise you based on the fluctuations in the industry.

To sum up, there are 5 basic rules which makes up the wireframe to selling your property; Staging, Price, Market Conditions, Marketing and Customer Service.

Selling your property will always be an endeavour but you can make it a relatively enjoyable experience if you adhere to these basic guidelines.