EC balloting process – Everything you need to know

EC balloting process - Everything you need to know

Table of Contents

Introduction

The fact that you are currently looking to find out more about the EC balloting process, it will be safe to assume that you have come a long way in your research.

The journey toward purchasing your first EC is no easy feat, you would have to get yourself acquainted with the following preparatory topics to ensure you make an informed purchase.

Focus of this article

In this article, we will dive into the final checkpoint of your EC purchase journey. We will be detailing the actual process of how you go about balloting for your EC. Specifically, we will highlight important areas of consideration for each step of the balloting process.

A little bit about ourselves

We are a team of specialist realtors that specialises in helping our clients purchase their first EC.

Till date we have assisted over 86 buyers from all walks of life purchase their EC. As a side note, we started off as EC owners ourselves and personally benefited financially from the sale of our ECs upon reaching its 5 years minimum occupation period.

In this guide, we hope to provide an overview for each step of the EC balloting process. Feel free to drop us a message if you would like to clarify your doubts or find out more details.

What is an EC Balloting Process ?

As a primer, an EC due to its attractive subsidised pricing, is a highly sought after asset class. In order to create a fair and orderly sale process, ECs are sold by developers via a balloting process. Essentially, the units within EC developments are sold on a first come first serve basis, based on your ballot number.

Preparation steps that you should have taken before diving into the balloting process

While this article focuses specifically on the EC balloting process, we would like to highlight that it will be important for you to ensure that you have completed the following preparation steps before proceeding with the ballot.

This will ensure that there are no unforeseen hurdles that will prevent you from completing your EC purchase.

You should have completed

  • EC eligibility assessment – to ensure that you and your spouse are eligible to purchase an EC
  • Financial calculation – you should have a good ideal of what is the maximum budget for your EC purchase, base on your current savings and future sales proceed from the sale of your current property
  • EC grant assessment – know how much grant you are eligible for
  • EC payment scheme – decide on whether you will opt for normal progressive payment scheme or deferred payment scheme
  • In principle approval – You should secure a in principle loan approval from a bank for your EC purchase

If you have not completed any of these preparation steps, feel free to drop us a message for assistance. We will be happy to walk you through each of these steps.

Step #1 – Deciding which EC to purchase

There would be a few EC launches in a year and each EC development will come with its own pros and cons. To select the ideal EC unit, you will have to first do your homework and decide which EC development you will prioritise.

Aside from that, given ECs are sold in through a balloting process, there is no sure chance of you securing a unit, even though you have prioritised that development. Hence, it would be helpful for you to ballot for more than 1 EC development, if you fail to secure your prioritised EC development.

Prior to making a trip to visit the EC’s showroom, it would be helpful to review each EC development based on the following criterias that take both your family lifestyle needs and investment attributes into consideration.

Researching the EC development

  • Family lifestyle consideration
  • Proximity to child school
  • Proximity to parents or parents in law place
  • Proximity to you and your spouse place of work
  • Preference for the neighbourhood

Investment consideration

  • Upcoming URA transformation plan for the location of property
  • Proximity to MRT
  • Proximity to reputable school, within 1km and 2km radius
  • Proximity to international school
  • Proximity to expat’s place of work
  • Surrounding area supply of competing property
  • Potential demand from surrounding HDB upgraders

Step #2 – Making a visit to the EC showroom

Having done the preliminary research, it is time to make an actual visit to the EC showroom. When you are at the showroom, you should be relying on a specialist EC realtor to help you identify opportunities and blindspots within the site plan of the development.

Simply by reviewing the model site plan, floor plan and the showroom itself, you should be relying on your realtor to help you identify the following.

Stacks / blocks to prioritise or de-prioritise

You should look to avoid stacks that are close to disamenities that will result in objections from future buyers. This includes stacks that have got directly facing the main road that will experience loud road noise, stacks that are facing bin centres or major walkways in the development that will result in compromised privacy.

Your realtor will help you take note of these stacks and only consider them if they are priced much lower than stacks that have more favourable facing.

Layout of different unit type

While making the showroom visit, you should have a good idea of which unit type is the most functional and would be highly sought after by future buyers. Common features to look out for would be units with enclosed kitchen, utility room, helper rooms or a regular shape living room with a functional sized balcony.

Step #3 – Submit e-application to secure ballot number

After you have decided on the EC development that you would be keen to ballot for, it is time to make an e-application to indicate your interest to participate in the balloting process.

You would normally provide your realtor with the necessary information and document and your realtor will make the submission to the developer on your behalf.

The following are information that you will need to provide for you and your joint applicant

  • name
  • citizenship
  • nric
  • gender
  • marital status
  • mobile no
  • email
  • employment status
  • occupation
  • monthly gross income

These will be documents that you will need to submit in conjunction with the information provided above.

  • Proof of identity / citizenship (NRIC)
  • Proof of relationship / marital status (marriage certificate)
  • Proof of income (3 months payslip for employed, or 2 year Notice of assessment for self employed
  • CPF housing grant application form – must be submitted to developer within 1 week of booking or you will risk not able to use grant to pay down your payment

Timeline for EC e-application

The e-application process usually lasts for 1 week and results should be out within 3 weeks from the closing of e-application. Hence, it will be important to stay up to date with the e-application timeline to ensure you do not miss out on putting in your application.

No penalty for backing out after making e-application

Note that there is no penalty, if you choose to back out from balloting process after submitting your e-application

Step #4 – E-application results

Within 3 weeks from the closing of the e-application you should expect to receive the result of your application and if successful, you would receive a ballot number.

Step #5 – Price list release

With the release of the balloting number and e-application results, you will receive a copy of the price list.

At this point it would be crucial to work with your realtor to analyse the developer’s pricing strategy and identify the price disparity between bedroom and unit type and price disparities between different stacks/blocks and finally price disparity between different units on different levels.

As a primer, developers typically price different units differently to ensure sought after units with attractive layout, levels and facing are priced at a premium. While less attractive units are priced at a discount to ensure demand.

As prospective EC buyers, it will be in our objective to find the best value purchase. We will be looking to secure a unit that has the optimal balance between affordability and attractive attributes.

Step #6 – Shortlisting of units

With the pricing analysis done, we should now be able to create a shortlist for the units that we will be looking to secure during booking day.

It will be key to have as many units in your shortlist as possible, this will give you ample backup choices in the event your choiced unit is snapped up by buyers ahead of you.

Step #7 – Booking day

Fast forward, booking day has finally arrived. On the booking day, you will be required to come to the showflat at your designated time slot to select and book your unit. It will be advisable to arrive 30 mins early.

As the booking procedure starts, you will be ushered into the booking area to make your unit selection. You will be given a live update of whether the units you have selected have been sold or if it is still available.

We will be accompanying our client throughout this entire process, ensuring efficient update of information on unit availability and finally coming down to securing the final unit to be purchased.

Presenting a 5% cheque to secure your unit

Once you have locked in on a unit to purchase, you would hand over a cheque comprising 5% of the property price. This is also known as the booking fee, and forms part of your initial 20% downpayment for your EC.

Signing the PDI form

In return for the 5% cheque, you will be presented with a Property Detail Information form. The form will contain all the necessary information about the floor plans, site plans, rules and regulation, fixtures, appliances that come with your booked unit.

We will run through all the details of the PDI form with our client, the purpose of this process is to ensure that all information has been property disclosed and you know what exactly you are purchasing.

Receiving Option to Purchase

After signing the PDI form you will receive the option to purchase from the developer. You would have 21 days to exercise the option, by signing the sales and purchase document.

At this point, if you so chose to back out from the purchase, the developer will have the right to forfeit 25% of your 5% booking fee.

What happens when you are not around during the booking day ?

If you are overseas during the booking day, you can assign a proxy to secure the unit on your behalf. To assign a proxy you would need to complete and submit an authorisation form to the developer.

Step #8 – Post booking day

Post booking day, work has not been completed, there are two key things that need to be settled.

Secure letter of offer from bank

Firstly, you would need to secure a letter of offer with a bank of your choice. As part of our service process, we would conduct a comparison of loan packages from 3 different banks for consideration.

After which you will be looking to submit the necessary information, accompanied by your option to purchase to secure an official letter of offer.

Assign a conveyancing lawyer

Next, we refer you to a conveyancing lawyer to help facilitate the exercising of options and property conveyancing process.

Bonus point – Balloting process for 2nd timer EC applicants

You will be considered a 2nd time EC applicant if you have previously purchased a property directly from HDB, i.e. a BTO, DBSS or EC or if you have previously received a subsidy from HDB.

During the launch of the EC, a 30% quota is allocated to 2nd timers. Once this threshold is met, you would not be eligible to book a unit.

However you will have the option to return for another round of balloting with other 2nd timers for the balance of unsold units after the initial launch.

Final words

The balloting process for an EC could be an intimidating process for many buyers who have not experienced it before. As a specialist in helping our partners purchased EC, we have fine tune a set of procedure to ensure a smooth experience for our client when securing an EC.

More reads, more gains ?

Kudos on making it this far. The fact that you have invested the last 5 mins reading this article.

We believe you are a like minded real estate investor looking to beat the rat race by getting more out of your real estate investment.

If so, do check out the following articles.

Guide to purchasing 2nd property in Singapore
How to avoid paying ABSD
Decoupling Property Singapore
Sell one buy two strategy
Decoupling EC 

Author

  • Jue Wen

    Jue Wen is the content marketing lead. This means he spend his waking hours researching and writing all things real estate. He believes life is a hustle and there is no joy in grinding away daily in our little rat races. He believes making wise moves in real estate investment can be a game changer. Aside from writing all things real estate, you can find him in your nearest bouldering gym.

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Jue Wen

Author

Jue Wen is the property analyst and content marketing lead at decoupling expertise.
He specialises in helping clients overcome the complexities involved in owning their second private property in Singapore.
He had over 10 years of experience in real estate investing and have written over 40 detail guides on decoupling and minimising ABSD. He is a licensed real estate consultant and holds a Bachelor degree in Business Management from the Nanyang Technological University.

Kenji

Co-Author

Kenji is the Group Division Director of ERA Realty Network.
He have got over 20 years of experience in real estate and have successfully helped over 50 couples purchased their second property. He specialises in helping client achieve the best approach towards acquiring their ideal investment properties while minimising ABSD.