January 26, 2022

Condominium Turnover Day: A New Home Owner’s Field Manual

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If there’s one unforgettable memory that homebuyers can relive over and over again, it’s the day when they set foot in their new home for the first time. Their journey as a homeowner has just started, that’s why. And we’re pretty sure you’ll remember your move-in day for a lifetime, too!

There’s just one more step you need to go through before finally getting the keys to your property: the turnover process.

In a nutshell, the turnover process refers to the preparations done by the developer before officially handing over the unit to you. This phase also requires you to be hands-on in making the necessary arrangements as the future owner of a particular property.

Read on to know what to expect from the turnover process and how to prepare for it, so there will be a smooth handover of responsibilities between you and your developer.

An Overview of the Condo Turnover Process

The series of steps that a real estate company does to prepare your unit—provided, of course, that you’ve already decided condo living is right for you—comprises the turnover process.

Condo turnovers typically begin once you’ve paid at least a 20% down payment of the property price. Settling this requirement means you’ve reached a milestone of initiating the unit transfer from the developer’s hands into yours.

At the same time, the turnover process serves as a guarantee for the developer that a bank loan or some other form of financing will take care of the remaining 80% balance to fully pay for the property.

Besides making a down payment and securing a housing loan from a financing institution, the unit turnover also covers everything else that deals with the physical development and legal aspects of your condo property. Here’s a brief outline of the turnover process.

  • Issuance of the turnover clearance – This document confirms the turnover process has commenced.
  • Unit inspection – Here, you’ll have an opportunity to check the standard fixtures in your condo before signifying your acceptance of the unit.
  • Rectification of inspected items – At this point, you should raise any changes and fixes that you deem are necessary for your unit.
  • Homeowner orientation – A representative from the condo building’s administration office will discuss property rules and regulations with you.
  • Final handover – The keys to your unit are officially issued and delivered to you.

Nowadays, you can arrange for a contactless turnover with Federal Land as part of the new normal in real estate property buying. The same steps apply, but the difference is you won’t have to do on-site visits while your unit is being prepared for the final turnover day.

Requirements to Start the Turnover Process

After the turnover process, you’ll formally gain possession of the physical unit of your condo unit. But first, you must execute several action items for your developer to begin the turnover process formally. These requirements are specified by the developer in the contract signed during the initial stages of the sale. Here’s a summary of those conditions.

Full payment of the contract price, which can be in the form of postdated checks (for buyers availing of in-house financing) or a Letter of Guarantee (for buyers availing of bank financing)

  • Full payment of pertinent fees—processing fee, registration fee, real estate tax for two years, transfer tax, documentary stamp tax (equal to 1.5% of the property’s selling price), electric meter and service deposit, and association membership fee
  • Signing and submission of the Contract to Sell, a legal document containing the agreement between the seller (promising to develop and sell a particular piece of property) and the buyer (promising to purchase the said property)
  • Once you’ve complied with the aforementioned requirements, the next step for the developer is to release the clearance for the turnover document. You will then be contacted via phone, email, or local courier services by a company representative handling the turnover process with a notice of unit turnover (NOUT), indicating the tentative date of the handover.

What to Prepare Before the Turnover Day

At this point, you’re probably counting the days until the turnover process culminates with the keys to your condo firmly in your hands. Just be mindful and look into every important detail with your developer to ensure that everything is in order once the big day finally arrives.
Here’s an ideal strategy to help you prepare for the turnover day.

  • Revisit the contract

You’ll receive a copy of the turnover contract as part of the turnover process. Take the time to read it in its entirety, paying attention to the terms and conditions set out for you.

You may want to consult an attorney as you check for turnover charges or fees that may be included in the fine print. However, this should not be something to be concerned about if you have a reputable developer on your side, such as Federal Land, who is straightforward and transparent with these fees.

  • Polish the schedule with your interior designer

Except for the standard furnishings, everything else in your condo is bare. This is the perfect time to sit down with an interior designer to create a plan for beautifying your condo. Discuss your vision, timeframe, and budget with your designer partner to ensure your unit is ready in time for your move-in.

  • Know the exact details of the day

As an incoming unit owner, you’ll be finding your way around on your first day as a member of the condo community. There are things you can do to make it more manageable for you.

For starters, you should request the developer to secure authorization for you to enter the premises of the condo property. With this document, the security staff will let you in without any delay.

If you bring a private car to the site, ask if there will be a parking space reserved for you for your initial visit. Last but not least, make sure you get the contact details of the person who will facilitate your unit’s turnover and confirm the details of your meeting.

For contactless turnovers, it should be worth revisiting the details of the online meeting. Save the schedule in your calendar and bookmark the meeting link so that you’ll have quick access to it later.

  • Prepare a turnover checklist

Making a checklist of what to inspect can help ensure you’ll cover every area of your condo unit. Remember, once you accept the turnover papers, it’s assumed you agree that the unit is in excellent condition and that you are taking the property as is, with no modifications necessary from the developer or contractor.

What Should Be in the Turnover Checklist?

Use the turnover checklist below as a guide and reminder for inspecting vital aspects in your condo to ensure you have a livable, safe, and comfortable space.

  • Floor Area and Floor Plan

Start with the basics, such as the floor area. Measure it to see if it’s consistent with what you signed up for. If necessary, hire a professional or tap someone from your network to help you take the measurements.

  • Ceiling, Walls, and Flooring

The flooring has to be even while sticking to the agreed specifications regarding the materials and finish. Besides the aesthetics like the paint color and the absence of scratches, the ceiling and walls must be structurally sound.

  • Countertops and Cabinetry

These elements are part of the standard fixtures in condo units, so you must see them properly installed in the kitchen and free from damages. Ideally, they should be placed not too far away from each other for efficient storage of kitchen equipment and preparation of food items.

  • Electrical Outlets

Electrical wirings must be neat and complete. Most importantly, they should be safely installed. It would be best to have an electrician tag along to survey and test your unit’s electrical outlets and switches. Any issues, whether minor or otherwise, must be directly reported to the developer so they can be immediately addressed or fixed.

  • Plumbing System

This is another vital aspect of condo living. You want to ensure the plumbing system works throughout your unit, including the kitchen, toilet and bathroom, laundry area, and the like. Don’t leave any leakage unattended, as it has the potential to cause unsightly marks or structural damage to your condo property.

  • Parking Lot

Parking slots can be purchased as a separate piece of land or space, so ask your developer how to get this done. Terms and conditions can vary from one condo management to another, but be ready to make arrangements for either monthly rentals or one-time payments if you’re buying a space.

Once you’ve settled this, you may also inspect its location, size, and other relevant details regarding its use and maintenance. Communicate with your developer any concerns about your parking space before signing on the dotted line.

7 Tips to Make the Condo Turnover Day Easier

It’s D-Day, the turnover day you’ve been waiting for! It won’t be long before you hold the keys to your condo—literally and figuratively. Make the most of this moment by showing up fully prepared with these tips.

  • Wear comfortable clothes

Dress appropriately for the event—in this case, casual wear like jeans and a shirt goes well with the bare environment of your condo unit. Since there’s no furniture or appliances in it, you should be ready to sit on the floor or use a paper or portable fan while inspecting the property. You can also bring an extra pair of clothes to change into to freshen you up afterward.

  • Document everything

You can’t afford to overlook any detail regarding your property since, as mentioned, approving a turnover eliminates any unsettled matter on the end of the developer.

So, whether it concerns you or your developer, make sure to keep a physical or digital record of your observations, requests, and other relevant information during the turnover. It would help to bring a pen and paper, a camera, measuring tools, and legal documents like the contract, floor plan, and turnover checklist for cross-checking.

  • Take note of the access points to your unit

As a unit owner, you may have designated access to specific elevators, parking levels, and so on. Find out the exact location of these access points to avoid using facilities that may be reserved for other tenants.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Rules and regulations from the condo’s property management office are designed to protect the entire community, but this doesn’t mean you can’t raise clarifications about your specific situation.

  • Don’t be afraid to point out defects either

Whether it’s a crack on the wall or a loose door hinge, these are valid concerns that you need to bring to the developer’s attention. A reputable real estate company knows how important it is for you to get your money’s worth through a defect-free unit, so you shouldn’t hesitate to communicate the changes you wish to be made in your property.

  • Don’t rush the inspection

Again, your developer won’t take it against you if you spend hours touring and inspecting the property that’s about to be turned over to you. Then again, being organized won’t hurt either, helping you avoid going back and forth and consuming more time than what’s necessary to get everything done.

  • Consider contactless turnover

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, your developer knows you may have logistical issues that may prevent you from physically inspecting the site of your unit. Not to worry, as it’s possible to conduct the turnover process virtually. From property inspection to the processing of documents, the procedure can be done in real-time through advanced video conferencing technologies, email communication, phone calls, and the like.

A New Home, A New Life Chapter

Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a new home! Credit goes to you for setting a major milestone and reaching it. Stay on track by getting your duties and responsibilities sorted out, starting with the turnover process of your condo unit.

Hopefully, you’ve chosen the right property and real estate developer. We at Federal Land take pride in our well-built residential developments. Our facilities and amenities are tailor-fit to the people and communities we serve. And our turnover process is a breeze with the option for a contactless turnover process.

As such, we have a wide array of high-quality pre-selling and RFO properties located in prime spots with high investment potential in the Philippines. Feel free to consult Federal Land’s knowledgeable real estate professionals about your home buying journey. Contact our team to get started.