Financial News and Advice in Singapore

How To Sell Your HDB DIY-style, And Save On Property Agent Commission

|Posted by | HDB, Home Ownership
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Planning to put your home on the market? If you’re curious about going the DIY route and keeping the 2% commission for yourself, here are the steps you need to take.

Selling your HDB without the help of an agent – is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Well if you’re budget-conscious and are willing to go the extra mile (such as getting involved with paperwork and putting in a lot of time), taking the DIY route could definitely be a lot friendlier on your wallet. 

How much can you save on property agent commission?

The potential for maximising savings alone is a major draw. Currently, the industry rate for engaging a seller’s agent is pegged at 2%. If you’ve sold your 4-room Punggol flat at $430,000, you’ll have to pay your agent $8,600 in commission. That amount could easily go towards funding your home renovation or splurging on that fancy leather sofa you’ve been eyeing on. 

Case in point? You will save on paying that 2% commission when you DIY.

Plus, there’s always technology to help us along the way. Thanks to the prevalence of property portals, we have the tools we need to go about it ourselves without the professional hand-holding.

If you’re curious to know more about what it takes to sell your HDB all on your own, here’s a rundown of what to do!

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But first, have you signed up for home insurance?

Yes, even when you’ve got your sights set on greener pastures, protecting your current abode with home insurance is crucial. After all, costly disasters like home break-ins, burst pipes and fires could strike at any time — which could lead to money down the drain.

Signing up for home insurance will ensure that your precious valuables, furniture, renovation, building and more are protected from financial liability.

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How to sell your home DIY-style

Step #1: Register Intent to Sell 

Visit the HDB Resale Portal to submit your ‘Intent to Sell’. it’s best to familiarise yourself with the portal at this point as you would have to go back to this again at multiple points in the DIY process, whether it’s to submit important documents or make payments.

Registering your ‘Intent to Sell’ essentially confirms your eligibility to sell your flat. 

Once you’ve registered, HDB will inform you of the following: 

  • Ethnic Integration Policy/ Singapore Permanent Resident Quota for your specific block
  • Status of upgrading 
  • Billing of upgrading costs 
  • Prices of recent HDB transactions within your vicinity

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Step #2: Find out your estimated sales proceeds

Next comes a fair bit of number crunching. Lucky for us, the HDB Resale Portal provides a calculator that lets us know how much we might receive from the sale based on your intended selling price.

This step is crucial in your financial planning as you’ll need to know how much cash proceeds you need in order to finance your next home purchase.

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Step #3: Start marketing your flat and attract buyers

Now we’ve come to the fun part of the process. Once you’ve done your homework on pricing your flat based on recent HDB transactions within your area, it’s time to flex your photography skills and snap photos of your abode to populate your listing.

Ideally, these photos should have the power to draw potential buyers in and make enquiries and hopefully request a viewing appointment – be sure to showcase your home at its finest! 

As your listing is considered as directly posted by you, the owner, it whittles down your options.

Sites like PropertyGuru and SRX require a registered agent to post a listing. However, places like Carousell, 99.co and Ohmyhome are good places to start as there is no restriction for owners to post their own listing.

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Step #4: Grant Option To Purchase (OTP) 

Let’s say your listing went live and managed to lure an interested buyer. Negotiations went well and you both have settled amicably on the flat’s resale price.

The next thing you should do is put it in black and white. This protects both you and the buyer’s interests as not only can they not budge from the agreed upon price, you can’t entertain other buyers as well.

Start by downloading a copy of the OTP form and granting the OTP to the buyer. This acts as a legally binding contract between you and the buyer to sell your home at the agreed price. Keep in mind that you can only grant an OTP to the buyer at least seven days after registering your ‘Intent to Sell’. This period is for you to reflect and ensure that you’re 100% sure about selling your home.

If the buyer wants to go ahead and buy your flat, they will need to exercise the Option within 21 days (A.K.A. the Option period). Should things get down to the wire, the Option will officially expire at 4pm on the 21st day. 

The buyer will also need to pay a deposit once they exercise the Option.

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Step #5: Schedule a resale application submission date with the buyer and submit your resale application via HDB Resale Portal

A little coordination with you and the buyer is required for the next few steps. Both of you will need to set a date to submit the resale application to HDB. Time is of the essence here as you and your buyer’s portion of the resale application has to be submitted within a seven-day window or the application will be cancelled.

Here are the documents required in your resale application submission: 

  • Details of Option to Purchase
  • Your particulars
  • Buyer’s particulars
  • Information on your existing home loan type
  • Declarations regarding purchase

The completion is only successful once HDB receives both halves of the application. 

On top of this, you and the buyer will have to pay resale application fees, dependent on the flat type.

Source: HDB

Keep in mind that HDB’s acceptance of your resale application marks the starting point for the 8-week processing time. The resale completion date will also be scheduled 8 weeks from the date of HDB’s acceptance.

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Step #6: Engage a solicitor 

Unfortunately, you can’t DIY conveyancing matters — we’ll have to leave it to professionals to handle the legal aspects of your HDB transaction.

That said, you will need to get a law firm to represent you if you’ve used a bank loan to finance the purchase of your property. Alternatively, if you’ve taken up a HDB loan, you have the option to choose between getting a HDB-appointed solicitor or a private one.

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Step #7: Endorse resale documents 

You will be notified to endorse the resale documents via SMS within six days. These documents include your estimated sale proceeds, the buyer’s financial plan, plus the necessary forms and undertakings. Be sure to read through them with a fine-tooth comb.

Once everything is in order and the documents have been endorsed and acknowledged, you will get an in-principle approval for resale.

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Step #8: Pay the legal fees 

Once you’ve endorsed, paying legal fees is the next thing on your to-do list. As everything is now mostly done online, you can easily make payment through your credit card or through scanning the QR code on a supported mobile payment app.

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Step #9: Receive approval of the resale notification

HDB will grant approval for the resale within two weeks after you and the buyer have endorsed the documents. This is when you should look out for an SMS or email from HDB that will tell you that the application has been accepted — usually within 10 working days. You can view the approval letter anytime on the HDB Resale Portal.

Last but not least, an appointment will be scheduled in order to complete the entire transaction.

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Step #10: Attend resale completion appointment

The moment you’ve been waiting for: the all-important resale completion appointment that basically seals the deal on this entire process. A notification of the scheduled appointment date and time will be sent to you via SMS. 

This appointment mostly involves signing the necessary legal and mortgage documents. As the seller, you would also need to pay service and conservancy charges up to the resale completion date. Most importantly, you will receive your cheque for the net sale proceeds, if any. A refund of your CPF monies will only be issued within 7 to 14 working days from this appointment date.

Lastly, you could also use this appointment to officially hand over the keys to the new owners.

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Who is best suited to DIY? 

A quick glance at our list of not-so-easy steps could probably clue you in on the tedious DIY journey. Due to the onerous nature of DIY-ing, we recommend that you should take this one if you’ve got time on your hands, or are willing to embrace the ups and downs of the selling process. 

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How long will this whole DIY process take?

Realistically, selling your HDB could take about three to six months. However, it could also vary due to demand on the buyer’s side can be unpredictable. Some units could take longer to fetch a buyer as compared to other units, so it’s best to do your homework and find out if you’re ready to commit for the long haul. 

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Read these next:
Everything You Need To Know About Escrow Services In Singapore
Step-by-Step Guide To Cheque Deposit: How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Get Bounced
HDB Loan Vs Bank Loan: Which One Should You go For?
Complete Guide to HDB Grants: Find Out What You Qualify For With These Five Easy Questions
The When And How Of Refinancing Your Home Loan


By Marissa Saini
Your friendly neighbourhood cat enthusiast who enjoys not being broke. Spend less, save more is the name of the game. Firm believer that being financially savvy is not about the destination, but the friends you make along the way.