When you purchase property, your lawyer’s responsibilities are:
1. Review the terms and conditions of the contract to ensure that your interest is protected and explain these terms and conditions to you.
2. Conduct searches on the title of the property to ensure that you will be given title to the property that is identified in the contract and which you have negotiated to buy.
3. Send routine queries to various government departments to ensure that are no adverse regulatory notices or government schemes that will affect the property you wish to purchase.
4. Pending completion of your purchase, your lawyer will lodge a caveat against the title to the property – this serves to notify the public (and any third party interested in the property) that you have a valid interest or claim to the title of the property arising from the contract for the sale and purchase.
5. If you are using a bank loan to finance this purchase, your lawyer will also liaise with the bank’s lawyer who is responsible for preparing the mortgage to secure the loan. In some cases, your bank will also appoint the same lawyer to represent its interest.
6. Your lawyer will be responsible for liaising with the bank and the CPF Board (or their lawyers) to ensure that your housing loan and your CPF funds are in place and ready for drawdown to order to complete the purchase within the agreed completion period.
7. Complete the Sale – this is a technical term referring the payment of the contracted sale price (from you as the buyer) in exchange for the signed conveyance of title called the “Instrument of Transfer” which effectively transfers the ownership of the property from the current owners to yourself (as the new owner).