Sale and Purchase of Property
(Real Estate)
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VI. Completing the sale and purchase transaction

Steps in completing the sale and purchase of a property:

 

Steps

Done by

1.

Drafts an assignment (*note a).

Purchaser's solicitor

2.

Approves the assignment.

Vendor's solicitor

3.

Vendor arranges for the Purchaser to make a final inspection of the flat.

Vendor & Purchaser

4.

Signs the assignment (and the mortgage, if any).

Purchaser

5.

Gives a cheque for the balance of the purchase price to the Purchaser's solicitor.

(If the Purchaser has been granted a mortgage loan, the bank sends the loan money to the Purchaser's solicitor.)

Purchaser

6.

Signs the assignment and gives the keys of the property to the Vendor's solicitor.

Vendor

7.

Gives the assignment and keys to the Purchaser's solicitor. This is usually done not later than 5 p.m. (weekday) or 1 p.m. (Saturday) on the completion day (*note b).

Vendor's solicitor

8.

Undertakes to ascertain that all mortgages are paid off within a certain number of days (if Vendor has taken out a mortgage on the property).

Vendor's solicitor

9.

Gives the cheque(s) for the balance of purchase price to the Vendor's solicitor. This is usually done not later than 5 p.m. (weekday) or 1 p.m. (Saturday) on the completion day.

Purchaser's solicitor

10.

Gives the keys to the Purchaser, and stamps the assignment at the Stamp Office (*note c).

Purchaser' solicitor

11.

Arranges for the Vendor to pay off all mortgages (if any) on the property.

If no mortgage to be discharged, the balance of purchase price (less legal costs) will be paid to the Vendor. Skip steps 12 and 13 below.

Vendor's solicitor

12.

Issue a discharge of the mortgage, which shows that the Vendor's mortgage loan has been paid off.

Bank (Vendor's mortgagee)

13.

Collects and sends the discharge to the Purchaser's solicitor.

Vendor's solicitor

14.

Registers the assignment with the Land Registry (*note d)

(If there is a discharge and a new mortgage, the Purchaser's solicitor should also register them with the Land Registry.)

Purchaser's solicitor

15.

Gives the registered assignment and all other title deeds to the Purchaser (or gives them to the bank if the Purchaser has been granted a mortgage loan).

Purchaser's solicitor

*Notes:

a) An assignment is a document transferring the title (i.e. property ownership) from the vendor to the purchaser. It will be signed on the completion day.

b) The property will be formally transferred from the vendor to the purchaser on the completion day . Keys will be delivered to the purchaser and the balance of purchase price will be paid to the vendor within this day (which represents the formal completion of the sale and purchase).

c) The current stamp duty for an assignment for residential property is $100 (if the preceding agreement for sale and purchase has been stamped). In respect of an assignment for non-residential property, the full stamp duty is payable (please refer to the relevant Q&A.)

d) The current registration fee for an assignment is $230 (property price not exceeding $750,000) or $450 (property price exceeds $750,000). For details, please go to the Land Registry's website.

  1. If there are some "new expenses" (e.g. repair costs for the relevant building) come out after the parties signed the formal sale and purchase agreement but before the completion day, should the vendor or the purchaser bear these expenses?
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