Selling a HDB when owner overseas

Selling HDB when owner overseas

Recently I closed a sale of HDB for an HDB owner when she was not residing in Singapore. I thought I would like to share some of an agent’s views on the sale.


Owner’s special situation

The owner has moved to Japan where her husband is Japanese and is working in Tokyo. She been in Tokyo for many years and enjoyed her lifestyle there.

While she has family here in Singapore, she has no plans to move back here.

My client is overseas in Japan but I helped her to sell her property


Her HDB has been fully paid but is not rented out. The HDB flat is getting old and has a decaying leasehold. At a certain point, we have to understand that we must face the leasehold issue.

Decaying HDB leasehold is a real issue


Decaying HDB leasehold is a real issue

After much discussion with her, we finally agreed the best next step is to sell the HDB flat, collect the sales proceeds and invest it elsewhere

With that, she gave me an exclusive to go ahead and market her place for sale.


I did a virtual viewing video

Initially I was selling this HDB in the COVID period which meant that only virtual viewings were allowed. I did a short YouTube video for my client so that potential buyers can view the place first. 


Easier to do viewings

When it was okay to do physical viewings, it was also much easier to do viewings as there was no owners staying in the location. I find that potential buyers also take their time to look at the place before buying (and hence we have good motivated buyers) when the owners are not around.

One buyer even brought her renovation contractor on a viewing to take measurements.

Young People that are keen on the unit

As a large HDB unit that is appropriately priced and located in a mature estate, naturally it attracted a lot of young couples who wanted to buy it to stay near their parents.

It was important for me to advise these “self help” buyers on the need to check their grants, their CPF valuation limit and their housing loan

A good article to read about young people buying old property is here.

My advice to young people is that to do their sums properly and then do their research. The combination of young people buying old leasehold HDB flat has quite complex financial implications.

Young couples need to be careful when buying old HDB

Legal Work Due to Owner Not in Singapore

When an owner is not in Singapore, there are a couple of ways for agents to help them with the legal work. This could be in the form of a Power of Attorney (POA) or to sign the various documents in front of a Notary Public.

My owner and I worked out a great arrangement where her local lawyers worked closely with her to ensure all documents are signed legally and correctly in Japan.

When Owner is Not Around, the Agent is the Owner

Kidding. But what happened is that once a sale goes through, for normal cases, the owners will be the one who packed the place.

But my owner is not in Singapore. Hence, I had to work with many external parties to help her sell the stuff in the house (Carousell anyone) and also town council staff etc.

From this

An original state of my HDB unit

To This

A Clean HDB property to be handed over

I think I fully earned the commission. Grin.

And I guess I do have a happy customer as she gave me a great testimonial.

Happy Customer for Calin Ching Property

Happy Customer

You can read my clients’ happy reviews here.

Call Me If You Need To Sell Your Property

So if you have a property that you need to sell ( or rent out ) when you are overseas, do feel free to give me a call. My experience can help you have a smooth sale while you are working overseas.

Happy satisfied Calin Chong client

Happy Client. Happy Me.

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