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November 16, 2022

Property Conveyancing: What Your Lawyer Should Be Doing For You

Contributed by Anthony Law Corporation



Broadly, the role of a conveyancing lawyer requires time, cost and most importantly, skilful and practical application of the law in the service of the client. Conveyancing lawyers ensure that property transactions can be carried out smoothly, including documentation and settlement processes. However, the exact scope of work done may differ depending on the client they are representing.

Here’s a detailed list on how their roles differ and what the scope of work covers:

Seller’s Conveyancing Lawyer

Buyer’s Conveyancing Lawyer

Obtain client’s instructions & check client’s capacity to sell the property.Obtain client’s instructions & check client’s capacity to purchase the property.
Make search at Singapore Land Authority.Make search at Singapore Land Authority.
Prepare draft Contract for Sale, by reference to title.Make enquiries with local Government Departments
Where applicable, obtain vendor’s approval of draft Contract.Make any preliminary enquiries deemed necessary with vendor’s solicitors.
Submit draft Contract to purchaser’s solicitors.Peruse and review draft Contract for Sale, by reference to title.
Settle terms of draft Contract with purchaser’s solicitors. Settle, approve and return draft Contract duly signed by purchaser together with the deposit monies plus proportionate GST thereon (if applicable) paid by purchaser. Prior to conclusion of Contract, conduct bankruptcy or judicial management and winding-up searches against the vendor(s) and update title search on the property.
Conclude Contract and collect deposit monies plus proportionate GST thereon (if applicable) to be paid to vendor or a special conveyancing account held with entities such as appointed banks or the Singapore Academy of LawOn conclusion of Contract lodge purchaser’s caveat. Advise purchaser to effect insurance (if required)

Arrange for the Contract to be stamped for the ad valorem stamp duty.

In the case where property is a residential property, arrange for purchaser to sign mandatory declaration form in respect of Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (“ABSD”).

Advice purchaser of the relevant percentage of ABSD payable and for the Contract to be stamped (if applicable) within 14 days.

In the case where property is a residential or industrial property, obtain from the vendor's solicitors a copy of the original mandatory declaration form in respect of the SSD duly signed by the vendor and a copy of the certificate of stamp duty (if SSD is payable).
Obtain from the purchaser's solicitors a copy of the Certificate of Stamp Duty payable by the purchaser on the ContractInvestigation of Title - Peruse and inspect title deeds, send Requisitions on Title to vendors’ solicitors.
In the case where property is a residential or industrial property, arrange for the vendor to sign the mandatory declaration form in respect of Seller’s Stamp Duty (“SSD”). Advise vendor (if applicable) of the relevant percentage of SSD payable and for the Contract to be stamped within 14 days.Where purchaser is taking financing to be secured by a charge or mortgage over the property, apply (where applicable) to lessor, relevant government body or statutory board for approval to the charge or mortgage of the property.
In the case where property is a residential property, obtain from the purchaser's solicitors a copy of the original mandatory declaration form in respect of the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (“ABSD”) (except where the purchaser/beneficiary is a non-an individual or corporate entity) duly signed by the purchaser/beneficiary and the certificate of stamp duty (if ABSD is payable).On obtaining answers to formal Requisitions on Title, prepare draft Conveyance (or instrument of transfer) and submit to vendor’s solicitors for approval.
Obtain documents of title from vendor and forward to purchaser’s solicitors on undertaking to return on demand.Engross Conveyance (or instrument of transfer). Check vendor’s completion account and advise the purchaser of monies plus proportionate GST thereon (if applicable) required to complete the purchase.
Apply (where applicable) to lessor, relevant government body or statutory board for approval to the sale of the property.Bankruptcy or judicial management and winding up searches against vendor(s), as the case may be.
Answer purchaser’s solicitors’ formal Requisitions on Title.Final search of title, then completion (prepare withdrawal of caveat for Torrens title if confirmation of similar interest is not incorporated in the instrument of transfer.)
Approve draft Conveyance (or instrument of transfer) submitted by purchaser’s solicitors and return to purchaser’s solicitors with vendor’s completion account. Inform purchaser of mode of payment of completion monies.

Completion

Register Conveyance/Transfer.

If vendor is a non-resident, to sign a Letter of Confirmation (if required by purchaser) in respect of whether the non-resident vendor is a property trader
Completion.
Prepare and submit e-Notice of Transfer of Ownership pursuant to Section 19 of the Property Tax Act (Cap 254) to the Chief Assessor and file Notice of Transfer of ownership present Section 65(2) of the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (Cap (30C) to the Management Corporation (if applicable). (Give copies to purchaser’s solicitors).

N.B.: If vendor or purchaser is a company, carry out search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and obtain a copy of client’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and Board of Directors’ Resolutions.



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