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4 Things to Note After Buying a Secondary Market Property

If you’re looking for a fully developed, more established and less speculative type of property, then the secondary market is definitely the place to shop around. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Apart from having a higher entry cost – for example, immediate payment of stamp duty during the transaction rather than later on when the title has been issued – the legal documents and processes are different as well.

Now, the additional steps can be overwhelming for a first-time homebuyer. If you’ve found the right secondary market property, but have no clue what to do next, don’t fret! We’ve got a step-by-step checklist to guide you on what you should do after you’ve signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA).

1) Make sure all the payments are up-to-date

The seller will have to ensure that all outstanding fees such as quit rent, assessment, sewerage fee (Indah Water) has already been settled. This has to be done before the lawyer can proceed to transfer the property to the purchaser.

The purchaser, on the other hand, must make sure that their bank loan has been approved and then sign the bank loan letter of acceptance. If it’s a cash deal, he/she must prepare the remaining amount of cash to be paid to the seller i.e. after deducting the down payment amount which was paid upon signing the SPA.

2) Decide on the Fire Insurance and Mortgage Life Insurance (MRTA)

Usually, the mortgage officer from the bank will arrange for the purchase of a Fire Insurance for the buyer upon application and acceptance of the bank loan. The most basic policy will cover any loss/damage to the property caused by fire, lightning or explosion – cost of construction, replacements and repairs. 

In addition, although it’s not compulsory, most officers will encourage buyers to purchase an MRTA as it may come in handy.

An MRTA will provide for the full settlement on the outstanding balance of the housing loan amount in the event of any unforeseen circumstances, such as death or total and permanent disability of the purchaser, prior to the settlement of their mortgage.

3) Check your title transfer

What are some of the things that your lawyer must do when paying the balance of the purchase price? The lawyer must confirm that the name of the seller has been transferred to the purchaser. The method of transferring the ownership would be through MOT (Memorandum of Transfer), which will be processed by the relevant Land Office.

Besides that, another relevant ownership record to take note of would be the change of name for quit rent, assessment, management office and utility providers. Finally, your lawyer would also need to make sure that the remainder of the seller’s mortgage is redeemed, including the settlement of all other fees.

4) Make sure your property is fit to live in

Vacant possession (VP) refers to the condition of a property where it’s fully completed but not yet fit to be occupied. To protect the interest of buyers, developers are required by law to obtain proof in terms of a certificate by an architect, which certifies that the building is ready for water and electricity connection before issuing said VP.

So it goes without saying that as a buyer, make sure you get your hands on the VP! 

On top of that, the application for Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) will need to be submitted and accepted by the state authority before developers can hand out VP of housing units. The delivery of vacant possession will be instructed by the lawyer after everything has been settled and transferred from the seller to the purchaser, AND after all outstanding amounts have been settled by the buyer.

So, how many of these steps were you aware of? If you’re ever unsure about any of these or the legal documentations involved, make sure you do your research first and above all, speak to your lawyer for proper guidance. And don't forget to check out simple yet accurate home loan eligibility tools. After all, purchasing your first property should be an exciting affair, not a stress-filled one. Happy buying!

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