Most buyers neglect conveyancing as an important task in the process of buying or refinancing. We think it is so significant as they carry out checks that we could not or neglect. Afterall, one should exercise maximum due diligence in the purchase of a property. Let's learn more about conveyancing.
What is Conveyancing?
According to Wikipedia, conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another, or the granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien. Properties cost a fortune in Singapore, so it's definitely useful to learn more about this before jumping into a possibly biggest purchase you will ever undertake.
What does Conveyancing Lawyer do?
You engage a conveyancing lawyer in few situations:
- For refinancing cases, the same conveyancing law firm can act for both the bank and you.
- For new purchase, 2 law firms are required to act for the buyer and seller, to avoid conflict of interest.
- For those looking to decouple or part purchase, 2 law firms are required too.
- They are hired in distributing of properties in events of will/ trust execution, death of an owner and divorce.
They perform a huge amount of due diligence and checks.
- Property title and tenure: whether the property is freehold or leasehold (residential properties lease range from 99 years, 103 years to 999 years);
- Encumbrances: you are buying a property, you need to know whether the property is protected by caveats or has been mortgaged to a bank or any parties.
- Name of registered proprietor(s): to confirm the names of the owners; and
- Manner of ownership holding: to verify the owners structure. Are there multiple owners? Is the property owned as joint tenants or tenants-in-common. Joint tenants have equal interests in the flat regardless of their amount of contribution to the purchase of the property, while tenants-in-common own the property in divided shares, the proportion of the split depending on the owners’ contributions to the purchase of the property.
- Sales contract or Option to Purchase (OTP): Is it drafted fairly or biased towards a certain party? Is the agreed transaction timeline fair? Will it be handed over to the buyer as vacant or with tenant?
- Refinancing: Can they act for the bank? They will serve redemption letter to the outgoing bank, requesting for the rate review date (if any) and provide a 3-month notice. They will also compute the costs involved to ensure sufficient funds are released by the new bank to the outgoing one on settlement date. Well, things don't happen magically right?
What goes into Conveyancing Fees?
There are various components that go into the property conveyancing fees, such as Mortgage Stamp Duty, CPF Legal Fees, GST, lawyers professional fees, etc. It is recommended to look for legal firms that quote you a nett rate that includes all services to be provided. Then you should not be worried about the various components. Do not engage a firm that charges per item or service. You should be worried if that's the case. You would not want to be paying extra that goes to the property agent or any party in the form of referral fees or commission.
Range of Fees
Fees payable varies from type of properties, value and transaction.
|HDB Refinance||$1,500 - $2,500|
|HDB New Purchase||$1,800 - $2,500|
|Private Refinance||$1,900 - $2,500|
|Private Purchase||$2,000 - $2,500|
|Refinance with Cash Out||$2,300 - $2,800|
|Part Purchase||$5,500 - $6,500|
Do you know that refinancing may get legal subsidies? Check out these refinancing packages here.