Your Ultimate HDB Resale Buying Guide

All You Need To Know To Get A Resale HDB, DBSS, or EC Flat
Published by admin on 16 Aug 2021 Last Updated on 13 Dec 2021
  • Resale HDBs are HDB flats currently owned by someone else. They have been lived in for at least the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of usually five years.

  • New flats are sold at a subsidised price while resale flats' prices are negotiated between you and the seller.
  • New flats are mostly located in non-mature estates while resale flats are put up for sale in all locations.
  • New flat launches are held periodically, and applicants apply directly to HDB for a flat while resale flats can be purchased from the open market any time.
  • New flats have a limited pool of CPF grants available while resale flats have a lot more CPF grants available.


  • Check with and choose either HDB or a bank for the mortgage loan amount and payment terms (See: Mortgage & Financing Guide). Do note that HDB has no lock-in period, so you can switch to a bank loan or pay up your HDB loan any time you want.
  • For HDB Loan: Get your HDB Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE). Approval takes about 2 weeks so apply ASAP. Use the HDB Budget Calculator to check your maximum budget and the HDB Payment Calculator to work out a payment plan.
  • For Bank Loan: Get your Approval-In-Principle (AIP) from your chosen bank. Approval takes about a week (the AIP is not mandatory, you can also get an estimate using the DBS Mortgage Calculator).

  • Check online property websites (mainly Property Guru, SRX, for available HDB resale flats.
  • Arrange an appointment with the seller's property agent (directly or via your agent) to view the resale flat(s) you are interested in (See: Finding Your Perfect Home).
  • Once you have made your decision, make a price offer to the seller or seller's agent.

  • You must immediately apply for a Request for Valuation at a cost of $120, which is an HDB estimate of the value of the resale flat. The Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) is the difference between the purchase price of the flat and actual valuation by HDB, and must be paid in cash (CPF and housing loans cannot be used). 
  • You must now apply for any eligible CPF grants. If using CPF to pay for your house, fill up and submit the CPF Withdrawal Form.
  • For HDB Loan: 
  • For Bank Loan: 
    • If your offer is accepted, pay the Option Fee (not more than $1,000) to the seller who will grant you an Option to Purchase (OTP) via the HDB Resale Portal.
    • Discuss with your bank representative to secure a Mortgage Package, Conveyancing Lawyer, and Letter of Offer (LO). 

  • Within 3 weeks of receiving the OTP, sign the OTP and return it to the seller along with the Option Exercise Fee (usually $4,000 or less) to "exercise" the OTP.
  • For Bank Loan: Also sign the Letter of Offer and return it to the mortgage bank. 
  • If you now decide not to purchase the resale flat, you will forfeit the Option Fee.

  • Within 7 days of exercising the OTP, you and the seller must submit your respective Resale Applications. Otherwise, the resale application will be cancelled and the HDB admin fee forfeited.
  • The resale application result will be sent to both parties in about 2 weeks.
  • Meanwhile, pay all resale fees (HDB Caveat and Conveyancing Fees). 
  • For HDB Loan: Purchase the mandatory HDB Fire Insurance Policy.

  • If the resale application is approved, HDB will request both parties to come down to HDB Hub for a Resale Completion Appointment, usually about 8 weeks from date of approval.
  • Bring your Identity Card, Original OTP, Paid Downpayment Receipt, Certificate of Fire Insurance (for HDB Loan).
  • Sign the Transfer and Mortgage documents and collect your keys from the seller.
  • For HDB Loan: Setup your Utilities.
  • For Bank Loan: Apply for Fire Insurance & setup your Utilities.

  • For HDB Flats & Non-Privatised ECs (less than 10 years after TOP)
    • You cannot rent out/sub-lease out any part of the flat before the Minimum-Occupancy-Period (MOP) of 5 years from collecting the keys.
    • You cannot sell the flat (except back to HDB) before the MOP of 5 years from collecting the keys.
    • You cannot buy another house before the MOP of 5 years from collecting the keys.
    • You can only keep 1 dog from the list of approved breeds in your flat. Cats are not allowed.
  • For Privatised ECs (10 or more years after TOP)
    • No renting out/sub-lease/selling restrictions apply.
    • You can keep pets according to your Estate Management guidelines.



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