Selling HDB and Buying a Condo: Complete Guide & Timeline

Are you thinking of selling your HDB flat and buying a condo?

Or perhaps you are just curious on what this upgrading process entails…

Read on to find out what you should take note of as well as the processes that you need to be aware of!

1. Check Your Eligibility

“Are you eligible to upgrade to a private property if you currently own an HDB?” 

Before determining whether you have the financial capacity to upgrade to a private property, it’s crucial to confirm your eligibility for this option. The two main criteria to consider are the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for your HDB flat and your citizenship status.

– Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)

To qualify for an upgrade from your HDB flat to a condo or landed property, you must have fulfilled the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for your HDB flat. This period typically lasts for a minimum of 5 years, during which you must have physically occupied your HDB flat before you can purchase a private property or sell your HDB flat.

If you’re upgrading from an HDB flat to a condo, the MOP is calculated from the date you obtained the keys to your HDB flat until the date of signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement for your new property. This period doesn’t include any time when you didn’t occupy the HDB flat.

To determine whether you have fulfilled your MOP, you can either visit the HDB website or seek assistance from us, and we’ll guide you through the process of checking your eligibility.

– Citizenship

If you’re considering upgrading from your HDB flat to a private property in Singapore, your eligibility for this option depends on two factors: the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for your HDB flat and your citizenship status. Once you’ve fulfilled these criteria, you’ll need to consider your financial capacity to determine whether you can afford to keep your HDB flat or sell it after buying a private property.

It’s worth noting that if at least one owner of your HDB flat is a Singapore citizen, you can keep the HDB and the new condominium. However, if all owners are Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs), you must sell the HDB flat within six months of purchasing the new private property.

To determine whether you can afford to keep your HDB flat or need to sell it, it’s crucial to assess your financial situation. This includes considering your income, savings, and expenses, as well as the mortgage loan and interest rates for your potential new property. You’ll also need to factor in additional costs such as stamp duty, legal fees, and maintenance fees.

Here at Let’s Talk Property, we are able to do a financial assessment so that you can decide whether keeping your HDB flat or selling it after upgrading makes more sense for you. We are able to provide assistance and guidance throughout this process to help you make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.

2. Selling your HDB first

Are you considering selling your HDB before buying a condo? 

If so, you might be wondering what the process entails. The good news is that the process is relatively straightforward.

Once you’ve sold your HDB, you’ll need to return the amount of CPF you have used for its purchase, along with any accrued interest, to your CPF Ordinary Account (OA). This is true whether you buy a condo before or after selling your HDB. The only difference is the timing.

When it comes to buying a condo, you’ll be able to withdraw up to 120% of the Valuation Limit of the property. The Valuation Limit is the lower of the property’s market value and purchase price.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are still limitations on the amount you can withdraw based on the remaining lease of the property. So, if you’re buying a condo with a shorter remaining lease, you may not be able to withdraw as much money as you would like.

3. Other miscellaneous/admin costs

Some other costs that can apply are:

– Resale application administrative fees

The fee for submitting an HDB resale application varies depending on the size of your flat. For 1 and 2-Room flats, the fee is $40. For 3-Room and larger flats, the fee is $80.

It’s important to note that this fee is non-refundable. So, make sure you have all the necessary documents and information ready before submitting your application to avoid any unnecessary fees.

 – Legal fees

If you’re using HDB lawyers for your sale, you can estimate the legal fee using the Legal Fee Enquiry service on HDB’s website. This service provides an estimate based on the type of HDB flat you have and the selling price. Typically, this would cost a few hundred dollars.

If you decide to engage your own lawyers for the sale, they will advise you on the legal fees applicable. Keep in mind that hiring private lawyers for your condo purchase will typically cost you a few thousand dollars, depending on the law firm you choose.

– Service & Conservancy Charges / Maintenance Fee

In an HDB flat, you’ll need to pay Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) for the maintenance of the common facilities in your block. These charges must be paid up until the HDB sale completion appointment date. You can find the details of your S&CC through your Town Council.

Similarly, when you upgrade to a condo, you’ll need to pay monthly maintenance fees for the upkeep of the common facilities in your condo. These fees can range from as little as $200 to as much as $1,200, depending on the condo.

– Property Agent Commission

For selling your HDB, an agent will typically charge you 2% of the HDB’s selling price (this is the standard market practice).

When selling, it is important to hire an experienced HDB property agent. A bad agent can cost you more than they can save you, and considering that this is one of the largest financial transactions of your life, look out for a good and experienced one.

If you’re planning to sell your HDB flat, you’ll want to make sure that you hire an experienced and reliable property agent to guide you through the process.

As a standard market practice, the agent will typically charge you 2% of the HDB’s selling price. This fee is well worth it when you consider the potential cost savings and peace of mind that come with working with a knowledgeable and experienced agent.

Here at Let’s Talk Property, we will provide our clients with step-by-step guidance throughout the selling process. We help our clients price their property appropriately, market it effectively, and negotiate with potential buyers to ensure that they get the best possible price for their HDB flat.

Don’t leave the selling/buying process to chance. Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you.

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4. Sale & Cash Proceeds

If you’re planning to upgrade from an HDB flat to a condo, one of the most important things you’ll need to do is calculate your sale proceeds. This will help you determine the cash proceeds you’ll receive from the sale of your HDB flat, as well as your affordability for a condo.

Calculating your sale proceeds can be a bit complex, but it’s essential to get an accurate estimate of how much money you’ll have available to put towards your condo purchase. Some factors that can impact your sale proceeds include the selling price of your HDB flat, any outstanding loans or mortgages and any fees or charges associated with the sale.

Potential Sale Proceeds =

HDB flat Sale Price

– Upgrading Costs

– Upgrading Levy

– Outstanding Bank Loan Amount

– Outstanding HDB Loan Amount

– Other costs (Legal, Property Agent etc.) 

Potential Cash Proceeds =

Sale Proceeds

– CPF Refund 

5. Affordability

There are two ways to calculate your affordability.

The first method is to use the following formula:

Affordability =

CPF Withdrawable Amount

+ Previous HDB Sale’s Cash Proceeds

+ Cash savings

– Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

– Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

– Other costs (Legal, Property Agent etc.) 

The second method is to look at the upfront cash and CPF outlay required to purchase the HDB flat. This includes the downpayment, buyer’s stamp duty, additional buyer’s stamp duty, and other costs like legal and property agent fees. By adding up these costs, you can determine whether you have the necessary funds to cover the upfront payment.

Upfront Cash/CPF Needed =


+ Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

+ Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD)

+ Other costs (Legal, Property Agent etc.)

6. What are the steps to upgrade from an HDB to a condo?

The upgrading process can seem daunting, but with proper planning and knowledge, it can be a smooth transition. Below are the steps to upgrade from an HDB to a condo. 

Firstly, Sell your HDB flat.

Here are the steps to sell your HDB flat: 

– Register your ‘Intent to Sell’ on HDB’s website

– Start marketing your property for sale

– Grant an Option to Purchase (OTP) to the buyer for $1,000

– Wait for the buyer to exercise the OTP for another $4,000

– Submit the sale application to HDB

– Endorse the resale documents

– Pay the relevant fees online

– Receive the approval of the sale

– Attend the HDB appointment for the sale 

Generally, it would take around 8 weeks from submitting the sale documents to getting an appointment with HDB.

Next, buy your next home (private property).

Buying takes a lot less time than selling. 

Here are the steps to buy a resale condo:  

– Start viewing condos to buy

– Ask the condo owner to issue an OTP for 1%

– Hire a lawyer and finalise your loan

– Exercise the OTP for 4% and pay stamp duty

– Sign the Sale & Purchase agreement

– Handover to your lawyers

– Pay remaining 20% of downpayment

– Collect your keys! 


In conclusion, upgrading from a HDB flat to private property is a major decision that requires careful thought and planning. By considering factors such as eligibility, financial implications, affordability and budget, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your financial goals. Having the knowledge on the upgrading process will go a long way in helping you avoid pitfalls and mistakes. However, simply reading a blog post cannot replace having a trustworthy professional agent to guide you through this important decision. If you wish to find out how to sell your HDB flat and buy a condo CONCURRENTLY, do contact us for a non-obligatory sharing session. 

Wondering if it’s the right time to buy, sell, or wait it out?

These decisions can be tough, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.

But don’t worry, that’s where we come in!

At Let’s Talk Property, we are here to provide clarity to you and guide you step-by-step in your real estate journey!

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, we hope to partner with you to create a clear plan that’s tailored to your unique needs and provide objective guidance to help you make the best real estate decision.

So, if you’re looking to buy, sell, or just want to chat about your real estate options, we’re here for you!

With our extensive on-the-ground experience, you can trust us to provide a top-notch real estate experience that’s both informative and stress-free.

Do contact us for a sharing session!

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Best Regards,
Let’s Talk Property
Dillon @ 9389 1992

P.S. HDB Owners, with so much UNCERTAINTY, Should you BUY, SELL or WAIT?
Find out more by clicking HERE


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