Real Estate

Should You Buy a Ready For Occupancy Unit?

Make the right decision with the help of these expert tips

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela

Deciding to purchase your own condo unit is a huge decision. The next question is: should you buy a pre-sold unit or a ready for occupancy (RFO) one? Licensed broker Marc Ilagan answers four important questions and shares a couple of helpful tips before you make your next move.

Read the original article in the April 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living AppLog on to for more details.

What is the difference between “pre-selling stage” and “ready for occupancy (RFO)”? 

Pre-selling properties are those that are currently under construction. “The difference of pre-selling and Ready-for-Occupancy (RFO) properties are in their current availability to be used,” licensed broker Marc Ilagan shares.

“Ready-for-occupancy properties are those that have already been completely constructed and can immediately be used for their intended purpose upon purchase.” 

What are the pros and cons of buying pre-sold units?

“Pre-selling properties are generally lower priced and are easier to purchase because of the payment terms offered. The downside is that these properties cannot be used right away, and the turned over units may differ from the original look presented to the buyer.”

What are the pros and cons of opting for RFO units?

“RFO properties are already complete. This means that what you see is what you get. Because the buyer can use it right away, you can expect that prices are higher.”

How do I earn from buying my pre-sold or RFO unit? 

“A purchaser of a property can be an ‘end-user’ or an ‘investor.’ An end-user of a property uses it for his or her own use, while an investor purchases a property without the intention of using it. An investor can either rent it out or sell it for a profit. By renting out a property, the owner gets a steady stream of income as long as there’s a tenant.”

Got your own Real Estate questions? Send us a message or e-mail us at reallivingonline[at] We'd love to help!

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