This is a complete guide and checklist of purchasing a residential subsale property in Malaysia.


  1. Preliminary questions to ask yourself
  2. The Property search
  3. Things to do while you are property hunting
  4. Making the offer
  5. Payment of earnest deposit fee & signing of booking form, with agent
  6. Appointing lawyers
  7. Applying for Mortgage
  8. Determination of inventory list – what does the Vendor leave and what does he take?
  9. Signing of SPA (Sales and Purchase Agreement)
  10. Valuation Report
  11. Opening your home loan account
  12. EPF withdrawal
  13. Loan Agreement
  14. Insurance on the property
  15. Partial disbursement & Full disbursement
  16. Vacant possession

(Appendix is can be found in the PDF file downloadable on this page)
APPENDIX E: Sample Legal Fees




  • Location
  • Size
  • Facilities
  • Age
  • Tenure
  • Proximity and access to work
  • proximity and access to schools
  • amenities including shopping, leisure, religious facilities, parks
  • safety
  • prestige

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1. Identify potential properties
2. Call up the agents/owners
3. Fix viewing appointments
Take a checklist with you when viewing properties. See Appendix A for a sample checklist.


- pre-qualification of loan - meet up with the bank and develop a relationship with an officer to assist with pre qualification.

- Documents you will need at this stage will include those described in Appendix A1.


- Once you’ve found the right ONE(s), you got to make the offer to purchase

- Do further research. Agents will often intimate that they have a large number of buyers “about” to make an offer in order to bump up the price.

- Create a summary of units sold and last transacted prices in the last 1 year to get a better idea of the real market price. You can do this by researching on the various websites. Look for other listed properties and call up the agents to find out if the unit is still available. If it has been sold, ask for the transacted price. Most likely the agents will tell you, if you call them up. See Appendix B for a template for creating a summary of last transacted prices.

- Get your bank to do a valuation and assessment for loan. Be very careful here as a lot of Vendors simply price their properties at prices far in advance of the actual valuation offered by Banks. Be wary of agents who tell you that they “can get their valuer who is a personal friend, to give you a higher price if you use x and y bank”. Don’t be fooled – if 3 independent banks give you the same valuation, and only the agent’s “friend” is willing to go much higher, this only means that someone along the way is taking a kickback. Such practices are unethical and in breach of the professional rules that govern registered valuers. So even if the “friend” is able to come through with a higher valuation and justify a higher margin of financing, the Purchaser is left to bear the risk that during a future sale, the valuation may not be as high; or, at the point of an auction for default, the actual price of the property will be much lower based on independent valuation. The ultimate loser here is the Purchaser (while the agent would have already collected his fee).

- Plan your budget. It should include:

  • Down payment: the proportion of the purchase price not covered by financing (banks will typically lend 80-90% of the purchase price)
  • Legal fees:
    • 1% for the first RM100,000,
    • 0.5% for the next RM4,900,000
  • Property stamp duty:
    • 1% for the first RM100,000,
    • 2% for the next RM400,000
    • 3% for the next RM500,000 – RM2million
    • 4% above RM2million
  • Loan agreement stamp duty: 0.5% of loan amount transfer
  • Disbursement fees include fees for registration of charge, land search and bankruptcy search (RM300–700 in Wilayah Persekutuan and Selangor)
  • Processing fee: one-time fee charged by the financial institution for loan processing (RM50-1,000)

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Earnest deposit is normally 1-2% of the agreed property price. Agent will have a standard template booking form to facilitate the transaction.


Appoint a firm of solicitors to act for you as the Purchaser. As part of the instruction, forward the firm a list of parties involved in the transaction. See Appendix D for a sample list of parties involved in the transaction.


Loan letter of offer will be issued by the bank. It will contain the salient terms of your loan. A list of such terms would include:
- Type of loan
- Amount of loan
- Purpose of loan
- Description of property
- Duration
- Processing /Set up Fee
- Monthly service charge
- Prevailing interest and Repayment
- Instalments
- Security Documents
- Interest rate on excess
- Prepayments
- GMTA – Group Mortgage Term Assurance or MRTA – Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (if any)
- Conditions precedent to drawdown

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- Do a recci (fact finding visit) of the property and note down what items you want the Vendor to remove and what items you would like the Vendor to leave.

- Once agreed, this list becomes the agreed inventory list – a list of items that you will expect to find when you take over vacant possession. This document also forms part of the SPA.

- See Appendix C for a sample inventory list


- The signing of the SPA can take place separately ie. you sign and forward to your solicitor, and they will forward to the vendor’s solicitor who will arrange for the vendor to sign and return to your solicitor. Your solicitor then forwards to the Bank. You will need to issue the cheque for :
o The RPGT sum (2%) of the purchase price; and
o 8% being the remainder of the earnest deposit (10% - 2% already paid in the form of a booking fee).

- *Make sure that the premises are correctly described in the SPA – ensure that any additional parcel forming a car park that comes with the unit, is included in the description under the SPA.

- You may wish to arrange for all parties to sign at the same time. This is because after you have signed and issued the cheques, you will want to go to EPF to get your reimbursement from Account 2 as soon as possible. However, the signed and stamped SPA is needed before you can do this. As such, if you sign the SPA separately, you could have a situation where the Vendor takes his own sweet time to sign and you cannot go to EPF for your reimbursement – and yet, the money has already been debited from your account. (It will be placed in a clients/stakeholder account with the Vendor’s solicitors – but still, the money would have been debited from your account). Don’t be caught in this situation, make sure the Vendor signs the SPA at the same time as you.

- Prepare to pay the solicitor’s bill. A typical bill at this stage will look as set out in Appendix E.

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• The Bank will send a representative from its selected firm of property valuers, to take photographs of your apartment and prepare a valuation report.

• The cost of the valuation report


• A separate account in which funds to service your loan and interest payments needs to be opened with the bank granting you your loan. Your loan officer should sort this out for you. Choose a branch nearest to your place of work to facilitate easy sorting out of administrative matters.


• Friends and family may tell you that this is a relatively straightforward process and that you can expect to withdraw your money easily and without hassle.

• Be warned – this may not necessarily be the case.

• As a general rule, purchasers of property located in Selangor are advised to visit the PJ EPF branch, while purchasers of property located in Wilayah Persekutuan are advised to go to the KL EPF branch. Trying to process the paperwork for a KL-based property at the PJ branch can result in complications and confusion over the type of forms from the Land Office which are required for the submission.

• A list of documents required by EPF is set out on their website at The relevant forms to be filled in prior to submission can also be downloaded from the website.

• Be prepared however – sometimes, the EPF officers will ask for additional documents. It’s best to take all documents that you have, with you just in case.

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The bank will send their standard loan agreement and charge document to your solicitors (If your solicitors are also on the bank’s panel, they will prepare the documents according to the Bank’s approved template.
There are lots of onerous terms, one-sided clauses etc. Unfortunately, the bank will not entertain any attempt by you or your solicitor to amend the clauses.


• What often happens is the bank will send an automatically-generated notice requesting a copy of the existing fire insurance policy for the property within 2 weeks of date of the letter failing which the bank will take out a policy on the property without further notice.

• The problem here is that for condos purchased on the sub-sale market, there should be a master fire insurance policy maintained by the building management office for the whole condominium already valid and in force. If this is the case, there is no reason for the bank to take out another policy over the same unit and bill you for it, as you will already be paying management fees – a component of which is for your existing policy.

• What to do : Immediately contact the bank – use the number in the letter – get the email address and name of the officer who picks up the phone and instruct them via email NOT to take out any additional policy first

• Next, contact the building management office and ask for a copy of the front page of the existing fire insurance policy to be faxed/emailed to you. This page should contain the details of the policy including validity period, unit number and details of the current owner.

• Once received, email a copy of this document to the bank officer and ask for instructions what to do next. Ideally, you should leave the existing insurance policy as is until the transfer of title is updated to reflect your name as the new owner, after which you should notify the building management and get them to update the policy accordingly.

• Meanwhile, the bank should not be allowed to take out another insurance policy over the unit and bill you extra.

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• The bank will issue a cheque for the partial drawdown – sufficient for the Vendor to discharge the outstanding on any loan he/she may have taken out over the property. This cheque will be sent to your solicitors and they will forward it to the Vendor’s solicitors.

• The MRTA portion will also be disbursed (if you have obtained financing for this portion).

• Once the Vendor has utilized the partial drawdown to procure the discharge of the charge (assuming he had charged the property to a bank earlier), the bank will release the original strata title to the Vendor’s solicitor. This will then be forwarded to the Land Office for the updating of details, etc.

• The Vendor’s solicitor will send it to the Bank’s solicitor (which could also be your solicitor as the Purchaser).

• The Bank’s solicitor will issue the advice to the Bank to proceed with full drawdown.

• Once full drawdown has been issued by the Bank into the Vendor’s solicitor’s account, you will be notified.

• From this point, the Vendor has a specified number of days within which to deliver vacant possession to you, failing which you have the right to charge interest. The number of days is usually between 5 to 7 days and is specified in the SPA.

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• The next step is for the Vendor’s solicitor to release the Agreed Apportionments figure to your lawyer. This is essentially, a list of all payments which the Vendor has already paid in part/full for items such as management fee, sinking fund, water, etc.

• You will need to reimburse the Vendor for the portion that he may have pre-paid, as he will not be enjoying the use of the property from the date of vacant possession onward.

• Conversely, there might be outstanding payments which are already due prior to the date of vacant possession, which the Vendor should have paid. These amounts should be calculated as well and set off against the total agreed apportionments figure outstanding.

• See Appendix F for a sample agreed apportionment template.

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    61 replies to "Complete Guide and Checklist of Purchasing a Subsale Residential Property in Malaysia"

    • PP

      Hi – if i am selling my property, i have signed the offer letter. Buyer loan approved but spa not signed. Earnest deposit is with the buyer lawyer. Can i still pull out and will there be any legal repurcussions? do i have to pay any money back since my agent or lawyer is not holding the earnest deposit.

      • KCLau

        Since agreement is not signed, you can still pull out from the transaction.
        You must also check the offer letter you signed. Does it has any clause regarding the seller pulling out from the deal?

    • Cindy khong

      Hi MR KCLAU

      Can you kindly explained when an SPA / subsales uses the term ” As is , where is” during viewing and signing of letter of offer there were no defects, no blocking toilet drainage and no leakages with photos and video taken… But upon VP found leakage and block toilet drainage… In Clause ” as is , where is” does it put the responsibility to owner to maintain and VP the property at a comparable state as initial state/ When Letter of offer signed. I am exploring on subsales property hence is studying the legal aspect. Would greatly appreciate it if you could shed some light on this please. Many thanks.

      • KCLau

        This is a perfect question to ask the lawyer who represent you to do the SPA.
        I am not legal expert and couldn’t really give you a valid answer on this matter.

    • CS

      Hi KC,
      I’m a first time homebuyer interested in buying a subsale condominium. There are a lot of legal matters I’m confused about, and I’d feel safer with a lawyer. What I’d like to ask is at what point does the lawyer come in.
      Can I get a lawyer to participate from the beginning, that means even before signing the booking form and paying earnest deposit? Can the lawyer investigate such as land search, background search of the owner, outstanding loan amount and even who is in possesion of land title before paying deposit? Or does the lawyer only come in when preparing S&P as well as LA?


      • KCLau

        As a purchaser, normally you will engage a lawyer after booking a unit.
        Then the lawyer will do the necessary due diligence.
        If you want to do all those due diligence before paying a deposit, I think you can do that too.
        My suggestion is that you can start with engaging a lawyer first who has worked on the properties in the area you are house-hunting.

    • Jaswant

      Hi KC. For secondary sale of apartment, upon getting the keys during vacant possession, found that the seller did not dispose of a bulky, old rusty stove, which upon checking with transport company will cost RM250 to dispose( transport, 2 workers, disposal).
      And also keys for 2 bedrooms locks were missing. Need to replace the locks.
      Is seller liable for these costs? Thank you.

      • KCLau

        Since the Sales and Purchase Agreement is not a standard agreement, so you will need to check back your agreement. See what the seller is responsible for.
        Find the agreed condition of the property upon handing over. Also, call your lawyer as he/she prepared the SPA for you. Ask for their clarification of what is your right.

    • Thierry

      Also, you missed about fire insurance..which is mandatory when bank loan released…maybe you want to think to include that

    • Thierry

      As usual….good, usable and actionable article…keep it up

    • Daniel

      Hi KC,

      I notice that in section ‘SIGNING OF SPA (SALES AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT)”, you mention during this process, the buyer has to prepare a cheque for the RPGT sum (2%) of the purchase price. I am confused why a buyer has to pay for RPGT. Or am I interpreting it wrongly?

    • Jessica

      Hi KC, I brought a sub sale apartment recently.. may I know if I found any damages of the house ( like water leakage, wall) after the signed the s&p agreement can I request the seller to repair for me?

      • KCLau

        If it is stated in the S&P agreement. So you will need to refer to your lawyer who prepared the agreement.

    • Kaiyen Goh

      Hi KC,
      If a developer does not allow for direct transfer of title to 2nd buyer and requires double transfer, how long will the whole process of signing s&p to handing over normally take? The title is already out btw. Thanks.

      • KCLau

        You will need to check with the SPA lawyer to understand the process. I can’t give you a time line here, as each location also may be different due to the different local council you will be dealing with.

    • Cheah teong keat

      I am buying a subsale landed property paying cash from a seller who would engage a lawyer paying for the sap legal fees n mot. Therefore I can save on these fees but do not have a lawyer. Is this advisable?

      • KCLau

        You should have your own lawyer to represent you.

    • Cindy Yip

      Dear KC Lau,

      I would like to seek your advice on period specified as completion date. In my SPA , me being the vendor , it is stated 3 months from the date of signing of SPA. The contract was signed on 12 October 2017 .In Malaysia legal system , is the completion date on my contract falls on 11 January 2018 . Do I need to take into the consideration of public holiday and non working days if so what is the actual completion date. Kindly advise on how do I compute the completion date please.

    • anna

      Morning KC, as I have no realty agent representing me, I am soon to sign the offer letter of purchase to the property that I want, what clause should be inside the offer letter so that my interest is protected? The agent represent the seller.

      • KCLau

        Make sure you have the clause to get back your booking deposit if you cannot get financing from bank.

    • J

      Hi KC,

      My husband and I searched for a house to buy and within 2 months, we found the one we liked and my agent has been on our case to sign the booking form with a fee. Like you mentioned, it’s quite intimidating, no fault in agent as he has to deal with a lot of things but your guide help us a lot. So would like to say thank you.


      • KCLau

        So glad to hear that. Home sweet home!

    • Charles

      Hi KC. I bought a landed property in a gated community. For your information, I was asked to pay “Sales Deposit Notification” by the developer. What is “Sales Deposit Notification”? Do I need to pay?

      • KCLau

        So sorry that the term “Sales Deposit Notification” is also alien to me. Ask your Sales and Purchase lawyer for clarification.

    • Faye

      I sold my property. Buyer and seller engaged different solicitor. Would like to know when can i get the earnest deposit of the remaining 8% (after deduction of 2% agent commission) from my solicitor? It is to wait until the completion of the whole process of few months or immediately after my solicitor received the remaining of 8% earnest deposit from the buyer solicitor?

      • KCLau

        Normally, the buyer will request the lawyer to hold the 8% until consent is obtained (from local authority if required). There can be cases that once SPA is signed, you will get the remaining 8% minus all legal fee. Ask your lawyer about the proper process since he/she represent you in this case. Everything is up for negotiation.

    • CW

      Ø S&P Agreement date: 22 Feb 2017
      Ø Application for State’s consent: 16 June 2017
      Ø State’s approval: 20 June 2017
      Ø Receipt of State’s approval by lawyer: 28 June 2017
      Ø Delivery of vacant possession: 15 August 2017

      Advice Required:
      Need your advice regarding the apportionment of outgoings for the sale of my apartment:

      1. Migration of individual water meter
      · The Management had, on 13 May 2017, issued a notification on the (i) amount of payment to be made by the owners for the said migration (as below); and (ii) payment due on 22 June 2017 in order for the management to kick-start the application for the migration. The owners have to complete the application form and submit it to the Management.

      Deposit, Installation & stamp duty to Syabas – RM134.60
      Technical cost to repair modification – RM245.40
      Total – RM380.00

      · I did not complete / submit the application form for the migration as I have signed the S&P Agreement to sell the property.
      · This migration is not stated in any of the invoice from JMB to the owners.
      · Shall I be held liable for the above migration costs? If so, how to proportionate the costs – from 22 June 2017 (payment due date) till the delivery of possession?

      2. Painting of the exterior walls of apartment
      · JMB had, on 1 May 2017, issued a notice informing that the painting works are targeted to commence on 16 May 2017 and that owners will need to pay RM600 (one lump sum payment) or RM50 per month for 12 months (instalment basis).
      · This RM50 was included in the monthly invoice from JMB to the owners since May 2017 onwards.
      · However, actual painting works only begin in August 2017.
      · Shall I be held liable for the costs of the painting? If so, when i.e. from 16 May 2017 or from August 2017 onwards (the date when the actual painting works begin)?


      • KCLau

        Frankly, I am not sure who should be liable for the costs. Please consult your SPA lawyer.

    • Prem

      Hi Sir,

      Recently I purchased a landed property (subsale/leasehold). My lawyer called me yesterday and said that she got the keys from the Seller and can give it to me today. She said she can even send her runner to pass me the house keys. My question is, how can I know that the property is already transferred from the seller to my name? My lawyer sent a message via whatsapp saying that the ownership is now changed and notification has been served to developer. She also told me last time that the title has not been released yet to the owners since its still new project. I want to clarify if are there any documents that I need to sign before accepting the key ? Based on my lawyer there is nothing to be signed. Please advise if what my lawyer saying is correct. Also please advise what are the things ( documents..etc ) should I receive/check from the lawyer before accepting the keys.

    • jamie

      May i know after bank release the final balance payment to seller, seller need to pass over the house key in between how many days is consider legal?

      • KCLau

        Refer to the SPA – normally it should be immediate.

    • Joyce

      Hi KC

      Can the lawyer firm representative bring the SPA agreement out from the lawyer firm and we sign it ourside ?

      • KCLau

        I think can.. just need the lawyer to witness the signing.

    • Ernest

      No the REN did not help me source the property. I responded to a property ad on online.

    • Ernest

      Hi, I wonder if you can help me with this query. I am keen to buy a subsale and the agent wants to collect 2percent plus GST. Why am I paying GST on this? Shouldnt the seller be paying the agent’s commision plus GST?

      • KCLau

        If the REN helped you to source for property, they do wish to get compensated. However, it is negotiable.

    • Bong


      I’m the buyer, both buyer and seller had signed my SPA in May 2016.

      However till today I still can’t get the property.

      The reason given by the lawyer was the property I bought keep changing the liquidator.

      Now what can I do if I withdraw this purchase and get back my 10% down payment?


      • KCLau

        Hi Bong, so sorry to hear about your situation. You will need to seek a qualified legal advisor (lawyer) for advice. Unfortunately, I am not one.

    • David

      Do I need to read all the documents they want me to sign on or just specific papers like SPA? And is it my right as a purchaser to be given 1 copy of the documents I signed? My agent said it is not necessary to have a copy, if I want to I can make a copy myself.


    • EC

      Hi KC,
      I am curious to know if a sub sale unit is preferable to a unit directly from the developer. Sub sale cost 480k, developer cost 580k but there is 10% discount and warranty period of 2 yrs fm developer.
      Subsale maybe left a few months of defect cover… and I believe as 2nd owner I will forfeit this defect cover fm developer.
      But all in all… SPA + legal fees and loan agreement stamp duties and loan agreement + legal fees will not be equal to the price difference of about 40k? Even agency fee added in still there will be savings left based on my estimate. But I could be wrong.
      Just worried if the sale is genuine. Would you think it is possible or owner could just break even as the original purchase price could be with a bigger discount and owner willing to sell quickly?

    • Tom

      Hi, I am totally a newbie in property and I am still a student. May I know is there any ways to get my first property during this age? I am just 22 years old this year and any suggestion from all property experts to get my first house before 25?

      • KCLau

        You need a job as proof of income, and also the capital for down payment and transaction.

    • Yuganes

      Dear Sir, I’m a PMO staff. I would like to know on this situation process “unit A, holding a defaulting amount of RM52 162.16. They did not do any subsale with the management but have already change the ownership from owner A to owner B. Understand that the lawyer didn’t follow the proper steps and now the second owner claims that he don’t want to pay the arrears amount. Can I advise the second owner to liaise back to the lawyer. And is there any chance for the second owner to sue the lawyer for this issue? If yes do we have any black and white for that? Please advise.

    • Aida

      Hi KC Lau,

      My husband just buy a sub-sale apartment in which the SPA do not mention about warranty for the balcony glass sliding door, water leakage, tiles warranty, oven and fridge (which come free). How do we know our right us buyer and is it common this warranty is pass on to the second owner ? And how do we know how long of each warranty are there.
      Kindly advice.


    • Aldan

      Hi KC Lau,

      Being a first time house buyer here. After buying a service apartment then only I got to know upon completion I will need to sign for MOT and make extra legal fees.

      Can I know any extra hidden cost upon Vacant Possession (VP)?

      • KCLau

        You might need to settle some maintenance fee before you get the keys

    • KIEW

      Hi KC Lau,

      Thank you for this article. It’s really helps me/us as beginner.

    • Yong Wan Kwai

      Dear Sir,

      I already applying a double story house loan sharing with my wife. When my lawyer advise release money from my banker but failed due no house valuation report. After we check with our banker, they said missed the house valuer procedure. Then the banker nominated they valuer firm for valuation report. Now the valuer firm ask me to pay the valuation report fee for amount RM1,250.
      May I know the valuation report fee is bear by my self or banker.
      Very appreciated for your advise.
      Thank you sir.

      Best Regards,
      Mr.Yong WK

      • KCLau

        Valuation report fee is normally paid by mortgage applicants.

    • HO

      hi KC

      I intend to buy a resale flat at the moment. But I do not have much cash on hand, therefore wonderhow much “fees” will be expected in this purchase which cost me ard 80k? As i am a single mother, n i hv no one beside to advise.. therefore really need ur advice.


    • Ghsya

      Can the bank release the lawyer fee and pay vendor the balance

    • Charlez

      Hi… Thanks for your article.
      But, my case is the seller doesn’t manage to provide the sufficient documents to change the properties name. We have paid all the necessary payment for more then a year. May i have your advise what can we do in this case?
      Thanks in advance.

      • KCLau

        Better get legal advice. Isn’t your lawyer helping you on this matter?

    • L H

      Thank you for your article. It has been a great help to me!
      Hope to seek your services, if possible.

      God bless you!

    • Chandran


      I have a house which I would like to refinance.

      Currently the house has been mortgage with a bank.

      I am 60 and finding it difficult to refinance.

      A friend told me I can use the “sub sale” method of refinancing.

      I am blurry on this.

      Need your advise.

      Thank you.


      • KCLau

        Hi Chandran, bankers need proof of income in order to loan you money.
        And the mortgage term is up to 70 years old only, for most banks. There is another way which is to joint-loan with another applicants who is younger and have the income (e.g. your children).

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    • Ahmad Kamal Ahmad Razman

      Dear KC,
      Liked your webinar very much. It has helped my sister during the purchasing of her 2nd house. I would suggest to the real estate agents to prepare a complete detail of payments/fees that buyers would have to put aside on the purchase instead of giving them a shock of payment they should anticipate during the process.

      Again, thanks for the useful info.

      • KCLau

        I think agents has too much to deal with especially a property purchase. There are so many things involved unlike buying a gadget. So it is best that buyer ask a lot of questions and learn up the knowledge before put down the money to book a unit.

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