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7 must-do steps when selling your house in Singapore

7 must-do steps when selling your house in Singapore
PHOTO: Pexels

Planning to sell your house soon? Whether you’re engaging a property agent or not, properly prepping your house for sale is a good idea. Here’s a quick house-selling guide to make the transaction easier. The more steps you take, the higher the likelihood that your property can fetch a good price.

1. Check the listed prices and transaction histories of surrounding properties

Knowing the average prices in the area will help you to set a realistic figure. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t set a higher-than-average price. But you have to be conscious that the higher you set the price, the longer it could take to offload your property, especially during a buyer’s market.

You can start your research by going to to search for properties for sale near the house you’re putting up for sale.

In addition, take note of details such as:

  • Capital appreciation over the years
  • Rental yields in the area
  • Nearby en-bloc sales
  • The volume of sales in the development, and surrounding projects

Your property agent can also help you do more comprehensive research on this.

But for a start, consider using the 99 Property Value Tool to estimate how much you can sell your house for! Powered by X-Value, it gives you an estimation of your property, price trend, rental yield and potential capital gain!

2. Work out your holding power, and follow a fixed plan

Say you choose to set a price that’s above average. At what point will you lower the price? Will it be after a month without a response, or three months?

Also, what’s the absolute lowest price you will settle for, and at what price will you immediately agree and sell? What’s your plan if a buyer says their purchase is urgent, and can’t wait longer for you to accept their offer?

You should have the answers to all these at the snap of a finger.

It’s advisable to have a “script to stick to”, so to speak. This will prevent you from making impulsive gut decisions, and lower the anxiety involved in selling.

3. Do basic research on how listings and ads work

Even if a property agent is helping you, it pays to understand the basics of how listing sites work. For example, to list on a site like, property agents spend a certain amount to make the listing prominent. It’s also down to them to use flattering videos and pictures of the house, and to describe its best features.

Renovated properties for sale

If you can’t see your house on any listings sites, or see only scant listings with terrible pictures, then perhaps you should find an agent who will put in more marketing spend.

ALSO READ: Will landed homes continue their momentum in the Singapore market for 2021?

4. Get some uplights to illuminate the rooms when taking pictures for listings (and even for viewings)

A common mistake among many sellers is to rely heavily on downlights (lights that shine down directly from the ceiling). But it’s better to use uplights that cast light from the ground to the ceiling; this is less harsh and makes your property look warmer.

(If you’re wondering why designer apartments in magazines look so good, this is often the reason).

Uplights can come in the form of floor lamps or track-lights. Most are inexpensive, and they’re probably the quickest way to make a house look good.

If you have a property agent however, they can have someone stage the house for you and save you the trouble.

5. Get a home inspector to go over your house, before buyers do their own checks

A home inspection costs about $450 to $650 for a unit in the 1,001 to 1,300 sq ft range. However, it’s worth the cost to fix any hidden flaws that might get in the way of a home sale.

It’s inadvisable to try and hide defects or damage. A buyer may tolerate such issues if you’re honest. But if you’re caught hiding the problem behind a sofa or temporary fix, they’ll lose trust and could call off the purchase completely.

Spotting damages isn’t the only reason to call a home inspector. You’ll also be more informed when the buyer questions you. For example, you’ll know that some discolouration in the false ceiling is due to a previously fixed water heater, and not a massive leak from the unit upstairs (which some buyers may suspect).

6. Find out what the MCST is planning for damaged or closed facilities

If your condo facilities aren’t in top working order, it could affect your ultimate sale price. Do press your MCST on how they intend to address the issues. At the very least, you can get the answers on when your condo is re-opening its sauna, replacing the treadmills in the gym or cleaning up the makeshift “dumping ground” that appeared in the car park.

Condos with facilities for sale

For resale HDB flats, contact your town council if the common corridors are in a bad state. Or if the stairwell areas need repainting (especially if there’s “O$P$” graffiti still visible under a thin coat of paint).

Prospective buyers will ask about these issues, and you don’t want to just respond with a shrug.

7. Tell your neighbours that you’re holding some viewings

Most neighbours are understanding. If you tell them you’re having buyers at around a certain hour, they’ll help you out by keeping things quiet.

If your neighbours don’t know, you can’t blame them for holding a band practice session or party at the same time prospective buyers turn up. This can give the wrong impression about who they’re living next to.

Likewise, be aware that some buyers will “gather intelligence” by talking to your neighbours. If your neighbours know you’re trying to sell your house, they might drop in a good word for you.

This article was first published in

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