What your lawyer can do for you when you buy or sell your property

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You have found your dream home and have made up your mind to buy it. What can your lawyer do to assist you?A buyer has decided to buy your property and you are happy with the price offered. What can your lawyers do for you in this case?
Pre-Contract Negotiations Before you make payment to the seller of your dream home or the property you like, it is always prudent to first consult your lawyers. Your lawyer could help you scrutinize the contract that your seller or agent has proposed to see if the terms and conditions stated are fair and reasonable and suits your requirements.

The common issues that are considered are:

  1. Whether the deposit paid will be held by the seller’s lawyers as a neutral party and to be released to the seller only after the whole transaction is completed.
  2. When you may take possession of the premises.
  3. Whether any goods and services tax is payable by you on the purchase price


Before you receive any monies from the intended buyer, you may wish to consult your lawyer first. Your lawyer can advice you as to:

  1. How much money you will receive from the buyers before completion of the transaction.
  2. When you need to move out of the premises.
  3. Your other rights and liabilities
When you should appoint a lawyer For buyers, a lawyer should be appointed as soon as possible preferably even before any deposit or booking fee is paid to the seller, if practically possible.

Your lawyer can then check up on important facts such as to ensure that the sellers are in fact the rightful owners of the property in question and have the right to sell it to you, the tenure and size of the property, whether any other persons have any conflicting claims over the property etc.

For sellers, you should appoint a lawyer as soon as you are ready to grant an option to the intended buyers.

In most options, you will be required to state the name of the legal firm acting for you so that the buyers would know whom they should liaise with in the future.

What your lawyer can do for you For buyers, your lawyers should advise you as to:

  1. The particulars of the property.
  2. Your eligibility to buy, for example, whether there are any HDB restrictions, foreigner’s purchase etc.
  3. Your financing arrangement.
  4. Timing the usage of funds. For example, if you had earlier sold another property or flat and is expecting the same proceeds to finance the new property.
  5. Bank loan terms, such as promotional and long term loan rates, commencement dates and redemption penalties.
  6. Your CPF application etc.

If required, your lawyer can also make arrangements for you to meet the bankers to arrange for your housing loan.

In addition, your lawyer will have to send out legal requisitions to all the various government authorities and departments and will also have to check the Land Transport Authority on whether there are any road widening schemes that may affect the property concerned.

The lawyer will then ensure that all transfer, charge and mortgage documents are properly done and in order before you sign in.

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