Buyer gives an offer and realizes seller is bankrupt

The Chua family wanted to buy their first matrimonial home.

They could not decide between a

I met this young couple through a referral and at that time they were looking to buy their first matrimonial home. Their first choice was a private property, if they couldn’t find one they like, they will then look into to a DBSS flat.

I remembered when i first met them, it was at a café at Paya Lebar Mall. During our discussion, they told me that they actually seen one unit that they really like. The condition of the unit was good and price was also attractive – a price that is 10-15% below market value.

However, as this is their first purchase and it’s going to be their matrimonial home, they will prefer an agent to represent them to have a peace of mind. We then went through their finances, what’s the things to look out for, and some comparable units they can take reference on.

While we are still doing some finance checks and negotiating, we were told that the seller has received his insolvency letter from the law firm. It was then, we realized the reason of why the unit was being sold at such an discounted price. After speaking with our lawyer, we strongly discourage the buyers to proceed with the purchase.


When the seller received the Insolvency letter, its usually at the final stage where a person will be declared bankrupt. And if the official assignee doesn’t approve the sale, they will be stuck. And even though if the sale is approved, there might be complication.

After much discussion, we decided to walk away from the deal.

We then embark into another journey for properties that suits them. We started with neighboring projects of similar quantum and size, which we use initially to compare.

We selected a total of 4-5 different projects that was within their preferred vicinity.

Some was disastrous, some was overpriced.

However, there was one unit where the condition and layout were ace. The only concern we had was that the asking price seems to be a bit high when compared to the past transactions. After some analysis, I actually felt the price was not as high as they perceived. In fact, it was one unit that the quantum is lower than the surrounding. So, after some viewings on a particular weekend, I sat down with them and went through the listings that we had viewed, took down their feedback. I then made use of this opportunity to share with them my thoughts based on my research. Sadly, they didn’t really agree with me and then we parted saying to view more units.

The next viewing was the following weekend. As usual, we will always sit down and chat over a cup of drinks on the units we viewed. Before, we say our goodbye, the couple pause for a moment and said: “ we went back and have a think through on the things you said, we actually agreed with you, so maybe .. we will like to place an offer?” I was almost dumbfounded but had to bring my thoughts back fast and said: “sure, lets discuss on the next step if we were to place an offer.”  Subsequently, the deal was concluded and the buyers were overjoyed.

With the right planning, with the right attitude.