September 26, 2023

Improve Our Home

What’s a fireplace sale and the place to seek out them?

5 min read

Occasionally, picks a chunk of property jargon to demystify. Right now we take a look at the time period “hearth sale”.

What’s a fireplace sale?

The time period “hearth sale” used to seek advice from the sale of products broken by hearth. After somebody’s home burned down, for instance, they’d normally unload any partially surviving furnishings at steep reductions.

However right this moment, hearth sale is a standard time period utilized in many industries together with property. A hearth sale refers to an pressing sale, typically at a steep low cost, by a distressed vendor.

Frequent conditions that trigger hearth gross sales are:

  • A property proprietor is unable to service the mortgage past the following month (and even shorter)
  • Somebody is about to be declared bankrupt, and urgently must sell the property to stop this
  • The vendor is going through some type of litigation or divorce proceedings, and have to liquidate quick
  • The property proprietor foresees the unit goes to be a significant legal responsibility (e.g. an costly luxurious unit that may’t be rented out for some cause) and needs to minimise losses by eliminating it rapidly, somewhat than ready for a greater worth

One instance of a hearth sale was in 2020, when Actress Hong Ling snagged a freehold Balestier condominium in a fireplace sale.

Property Jargon: Fire Sale
A hearth sale refers to an pressing sale, typically at a steep low cost, by a distressed vendor.

The place to seek out hearth gross sales?


The most typical supply of fireside gross sales is mortgagee gross sales. That is when a financial institution forecloses on a property, and auctions it off. 

However there are additionally auctions which are initiated by the property house owners. One frequent cause for an owner-auction is because of divorce, when the regulation could compel somebody to promote their property.

A number of actual property companies, equivalent to Knight Frank, JLL, Edmund Tie @ Co and Colliers, conduct these auctions. However observe that not all properties at auctions are mortgagee gross sales, nor are they essentially hearth gross sales.

In contrast to many different nations, Singapore doesn’t require any pre-registration to attend these auctions and scout for hearth gross sales. You’ll be able to simply stroll in to attend them. 

Public sale instances will normally be introduced on the varied actual property companies’ web sites, so examine frequently for those who’re looking for a fireplace sale. Usually, you should have one to 2 weeks to view the properties earlier than they go below the hammer.

Property jargon: fire sale
Be sure to have money ready earlier than you go to a mortgagee sale.

Notice that, at these auctions, a profitable bid can require you to place down as much as 10% of the acquisition worth on the spot. Be sure to have money ready earlier than you go.

Additionally, just remember to meet all the necessities to personal the property. As an illustration, for those who’re a foreigner, you may’t purchase an HDB flat or a landed house (besides these in Sentosa Cove).

Learn extra: 6-step information to purchasing a property on mortgagee sale. 

Property portals

One other manner of discovering hearth gross sales is to go on a property portal equivalent to

Click on the Filters button and enter key phrases equivalent to “hearth sale”, “mortgagee sale” and “financial institution sale”, and also you’ll get listings of pressing gross sales with reductions.

filter by "fire sale" keyword on
Discover hearth gross sales on by filtering utilizing the key phrase.

You’ll be able to then contact the agent by way of the itemizing to rearrange a viewing.


Non-public contracts and hearth gross sales

A good variety of hearth gross sales find yourself being purchased by way of non-public contracts. That is when a purchaser and vendor agree on their very own phrases, and a regulation agency is employed to be the third social gathering.

For instance, somewhat than use a financial institution, the customer may signal a contract promising to pay the vendor a specific amount per thirty days. In return, the vendor agrees to switch possession to the customer, with all the same old prices and paperwork it could entail.

A purchaser could resort to this type of contract if they’re very , however can’t safe financing as rapidly as the vendor desires (e.g. when the vendor urgently wants the money in a month, and the customer can’t safe a financial institution mortgage in time).

Property Jargon of the Day: Fire Sale
A good variety of hearth gross sales find yourself being purchased by way of non-public contracts.

These type of offers are unfavourable to the vendor, because of the added danger (if the customer decides to interrupt the contract, the vendor is in deep trouble). Nevertheless, some sellers undergo with it anyway, if the customer’s supply is the perfect they’ll get.

Is a fireplace sale at all times a great deal?

No. Simply because the vendor is determined and promoting a property for affordable, that doesn’t mechanically imply you’re getting a price purchase.

Property Jargon: Fire Sale
Fireplace gross sales aren’t at all times a great deal.

The elemental points stay the identical: take into account the situation, the longer term developments (examine the URA Grasp Plan for the realm), and the facilities.

It’s fairly potential to purchase a property at an inexpensive worth, however later discover that it’s arduous to lease it out as a result of the MRT station is 20 minutes away. Or that it’s so poorly maintained, the restore prices exceed any preliminary financial savings.

You additionally want to concentrate to the explanations for a fireplace sale. Some traders will level out that, if a property is sweet, it gained’t have to be so closely discounted to draw a quick purchase.

Whether or not the hearth sale is carried out by way of an public sale or not, make sure you examine the transaction historical past of the venture and the realm earlier than you go for the public sale or viewing.

Right here’s a tip: Scroll down the itemizing web page on to get worth insights and the transaction historical past of the venture.

price insights of a listing on
On a itemizing, you may see how the worth of a property compares to comparable properties within the district.

You may as well see the worth pattern of the event, together with the common worth psf.

price insights of a listing on
You may as well regulate the common worth of items within the improvement by month and yr.

Doing so lets you get a way of the market worth of the property, which is particularly essential for those who’re going to an public sale. It’s because biddings at auctions can get aggressive, negating any potential financial savings.

There have been mortgagee gross sales the place the competitors for a property is so fierce, it’s nearly as good as shopping for at a non-discounted worth — and even larger.

[Additional reporting by Virginia Tanggono]

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