SELLERS OF RARE FLATS MAY USE LOOPHOLE

Anxious sellers of rare units may use a loophole in new housing board rules given the limited number of similar transactions to base asking prices on; said media reports quoting several property agents.

Anxious sellers of rare units may use a loophole in new housing board rules given the limited number of similar transactions to base asking prices on; said media reports quoting several property agents. 

Under the new rules, only the buyer or his agent can get a HDB-approved valuation after a price has been agreed upon with the seller. Notably, sellers will no longer be allowed to secure a copy of the valuation since they do not need it. 

But unlike sellers of typical flats who have plenty of transactions to guide them, sellers of rarer units may find themselves scratching their heads. 

Hence, sellers wanting to know how HDB values the flat, could "get a friend to pose as a buyer, get the valuation, then let the option lapse after 21 days", said property agent J.A Goh.

This could occur in unique flat types like Pinnacle@Duxton, which will see its minimum occupation period (MOP) expire later this year, or the discontinued Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats.

"The Pinnacle is public housing but it's so unique that you can't exactly base prices on nearby HDB flats," noted Goh, adding that "sellers may want peace of mind and find out what is reasonable from the HDB". 

Having a relative or friend pose as a buyer to get a HDB-approved valuation is much cheaper than having private valuers, which can cost thousands of dollars. A HDB-approved valuation only costs $191.90 for a three-room or larger flat.  

Nonetheless, most sellers are unlikely to get a relative or friend to pose as buyers considering that prices of typical units are "pretty standard". 

"If you get a valuation just to 'be sure', you'll lock yourself out from a potential deal for the next 21 days. There's no point," said agent Dennis Foo.

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg

Date Post: 17/3/2014
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