How the property closing process works in Malaysia

The property closing process works in Malaysia


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What is the property closing process

The property closing process, also known as settlement or escrow in some regions, is the final stage in the home buying journey, where the ownership of the property is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. This process involves several key steps: finalising the mortgage and loan documents (if applicable), conducting a last walkthrough of the property, and signing the closing documents, which typically include the deed of transfer, mortgage papers, and other legal paperwork. Prior to closing, the buyer must also arrange for the payment of any closing costs, which can include attorney fees, title insurance, and property taxes.

The exact details and requirements can vary based on local laws and regulations. On the closing day, both parties meet, often with their respective attorneys and real estate agents, to review and sign all necessary documents. Once everything is signed and the funds are transferred, the buyer officially becomes the owner of the property, and the keys are handed over. The closing process is crucial as it finalises all agreements and ensures the legal and secure transfer of property ownership.


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realestatemy professionalHow the property closing process works

You’ve finally found a property to purchase! Before you pop open the champagne though, there’s one thing left to do – the closing. It is a somewhat complicated and rigid process involving the transaction of documents and money so that you as the buyer can get the ownership transferred and possession of the property with no strings attached to the seller. In Malaysia, it typically takes around three months and ranges from a property inspection to paperwork signing. Check out our painless guide on what to look out for when you buy a property.



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Work closely with your real estate agent

There are multiple steps in the closing process and it’s your real estate agent’s job to smooth the way for you. He or she will inform you about the payments you have to make and the documents you must sign such as:

  • Sale & Purchase Agreement and Loan Agreement/Title
  • Current year assessment receipt (cukai pintu)
  • Current year quit rent receipt (cukai tanah)


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Costs in the closing process

There are several costs you have to bear when you buy a property. Some of them are:

  • Legal fee for Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA): This is calculated based on your property’s selling price.
  • Other miscellaneous fees: stamp duty, valuation fees, disbursement fees, lender fees, settlement fees, and processing fees, etc


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Earnest Deposit

This is basically a deposit that you pay to show that you are indeed serious about purchasing your property. It is usually 1% – 3% of the sale price and held by the real estate agency. Under no circumstances should this money be paid to an individual and there should be a clear and legal paper trail to avoid any risk of fraud. If you back out of the sale for anything not covered by a contingency, you will most likely have to forfeit your earnest deposit.


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Contingencies are conditions in an offer that must be fulfilled to keep the sale moving forward. It gives you options if the conditions are not met. The standard contingencies that you will encounter during the closing process are appraisal, inspection, title, and financing contingencies. For example, if you submit an offer with an inspection contingency, you have no obligation to continue with the sale if anything is found during the house inspection that needs serious repair.


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Title and financing

If you have a title contingency, they will verify that the house’s title is clear of any issues before buying the house. For example, a property under master title for more than ten years is a red flag. As for the financing contingency, if you are not able to secure a loan, you can reclaim your earnest deposit.


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Title Insurance

Even with a title contingency in place, problems with the property title can crop up after the purchase is completed. There have been several cases in Malaysia where the property was turned back to the state or original owner because the courts decided it shouldn’t have changed its title name, to begin with. A title insurance protects against loses if this happens and usually, two parties require it – the lender and the buyer.


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Home Valuation

If you are getting a mortgage for the house, your mortgage lender (the bank) will order a home valuation. If the house doesn’t appraise, meaning the bank thinks you are offering more than the house is worth, then you will have to decide on your next step. If you have a home appraisal contingency, you may renegotiate a new price.


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Home Inspection

Unless you have done an inspection before making an offer or waived the home inspection contingency, you have to arrange for a home inspection during the closing process. You can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional inspector to provide a report on any issues with the house.



Final walk-through

The final walk-through is one of the last things you will do before the property officially belongs to you. It should confirm that:

  • The house is in the same state as when the offer was accepted
  • All the required repairs have been completed
  • Everything that was included as part of the sale is still in the house
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In conclusion, the property closing process in Malaysia is a structured procedure that solidifies the transfer of property ownership. It begins with the signing of the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), followed by the payment of a deposit. Subsequent steps include securing financing, complying with the terms stated in the SPA, and settling remaining payments, such as the balance purchase price, stamp duty, and legal fees. The buyer also needs to perform due diligence, ensuring that the property is free of encumbrances and outstanding liabilities.

The final stage involves the official transfer of the title and registration of the property in the buyer’s name, which is conducted at the Land Office or Registry. This process ensures a legal and smooth transition of property ownership, culminating in the buyer receiving the keys to their new home. Understanding and adhering to this process is essential for a successful property transaction in Malaysia.


Ben Liau

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