Resale flat transaction time can be halved with new portal
It will cut down on forms, provide information and require just one HDB appointment for buyers and sellers
From January, resale flat buyers and sellers can take half the time to complete a transaction, with the Housing Board introducing streamlined processes on its new digital platform.
The HDB Resale Portal will allow buyers and sellers to conduct eligibility checks, submit resale application forms and upload the required documents on a single platform.
They will also be able to find out essential info such as the flat's Ethnic Integration Policy, Singapore Permanent Residents quota and recent transacted prices of nearby units.
If all documents are submitted online promptly, a resale transaction that usually takes four months can be shortened by up to two.
In a blog post yesterday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the new platform is one of the initiatives under the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map and "part of our move towards being a smart nation".
He also allayed the fears of housing agents, who may feel that the new portal will hurt them further.
HDB figures show a rising number of people doing resale transactions without an agent - from 11 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent in the first half of the year - with HDB saying the "upward trend could be due to the fact that resale flat buyers are generally younger and more tech savvy than resale flat sellers".
But, writing in the blog post, Mr Wong said housing agents can also benefit from the HDB Resale Portal as it will free them up from "time-consuming administrative work" and allow them to focus on higher value-added work.
The new platform will see forms automatically filled up using personal details from the Government's MyInfo service, minimising the need for manual data entry.
Buyers and sellers will also just need to turn up for one appointment with HDB - instead of the current two - to sign documents requiring "wet-ink" signatures to complete the transaction.
The process is also expedited by HDB's use of technology and data to establish if a transacted price is reasonable, rendering a valuation unnecessary.
Currently, every flat has to go through a valuation, which forms the basis for determining the limits on home loans and Central Provident Fund usage.
It costs $156.45 for one- and two-room flats and $226 for three-room and larger flats.
With the HDB Resale Portal, HDB will review and decide on the value of the flat.
A valuation will be arranged in cases where it is required, such as for properties that are rarely transacted.
All flat buyers have to pay a flat fee of $120 to cover the cost of this review, whether or not a valuation is required, said HDB.
PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor noted that a professional housing agent can help with the "intricacies of real estate transactions" such as changing property cycles, which he believes is something most consumers still value.
"For a salesperson's fee of 1 per cent or 2 per cent, consumers can avoid getting into unforeseen complications during the transaction or get buyers' remorse in the future, which might happen should they try to handle their transactions on their own," he added.
First-time buyer Mavis Leong, 29, agreed.
The marketing manager said: "A flat is a huge financial commitment. Given that my fiance and I do not know much about the property market, we would want an expert to guide us along and help us with the negotiations that we may not have time to do on top of our work schedules."
For enquiries, the public can contact the HDB Sales/Resale Customer Service Line at 1800-866-3066.
From Jan 2 next year, HDB will also set up a dedicated helpline and helpdesk at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh to assist resale flat buyers and sellers. They can also sign up for HDB Resale Seminars to find out more.