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Sweden - Buying Property

To be an estate agent in Sweden by law the individual must be registered with the National Real Estate Board (Fastighetsmäklarnämnden) as well as having the required Swedish education and having undertaken supervised work by a registered estate agent. The agent must also be registered with the Swedish Estate Agents Inspectorate whereby their registration can be checked as official. The agent should be a member of Mäklarsamfundet, the Swedish Association of Estate Agents. There are two kinds of agent, one who is fully registered and another who is registered only to lease rentals. Ensure your agent is fully registered. Swedish estate agents’ fees are 3-5% of the price of the property sale price.

Research is also done in the form of scanning through property websites, reading classified ads in national and local newspapers, and reviewing expat forums. Buyers more often than not look at estate agents websites for properties of interest and go into the estate’s agent office. It’s less common for buyers to opt for a buyer’s agent (köparmäklare), who will provide extensive service above and beyond that of an estate agent. They must retain the same qualifications as an estate agent, and although fees can vary, expect upwards of the estate agent’s 5%.

Good places to look for properties include:

Dagens Nyheter
A Swedish newspaper

The Local
Online newspaper with listings of properties to buy all over the country.

Sweden Realigro
Website with range of property listings for sale all over the country.

International property website listing a small range of Swedish properties for sale.

Luxury real estate property site.

Bovision Estate Agents
Address: BoVision AB, Helsinginkatu 43, 8 tr, 11331 Stockholm
Tel: + (46)08-684198 26

Address: Drottninggatan 36, 411 14 Göteborg

Lundin Fastighetsbyrå
Address: Vasagatan 26, 411 24 Gothenburg
Tel: + (46)08 031-17 22 60

The typical house buying procedure is fast and efficient. Currently, there are no restrictions that prevent foreigners from buying property in Sweden so it is possible to get the ball rolling as soon as you see a property you like, just like a native. Agents say that November is the best time with regards to value for money and summer is the most expensive.

First, the viewing of the property takes place with the estate agent. You can register interest straight away or wait for them to call you for feedback. When putting in a bid for the house you are entered into a bidding system where you make an offer via the agent. Other interested parties also bid with the agent and, as informal as it seems, it is generally undertaken via SMS. Bidding normally takes a few days, though occasionally longer. It is worth noting that if you are buying an apartment in an apartment building you will need to be approved as new tenants, which sometimes involves an interview. After you have been contacted to say that you have been successful, the purchase agreement must be agreed upon and alongside this the deed verification by the solicitor and property survey occurs by an independent surveyor.

Once the property has been surveyed, with the buyers seeing the report and the deed being validated, the representatives of the buyer and seller, along with the buyer and seller themselves, will meet to pass over the ownership of the property. The subjects raised will be interest, insurance premiums, service charges and if there are loans or debts attached to the property. If all is deemed ok, the deposit is paid by the buyer of at least 15% of the sale price. During this time the agreement / contract is signed by both seller and buyer. The seller issues a bill of sale which lists that the property has been transferred from their title to the buyers and that the payment has been made.

The bill of sale / purchase agreement must then be forwarded to the Land Registration Authority along with the application of ownership within 3 months of the purchase. The transfer is registered, made public and it is then officially acknowledged by the state.

To practice law in Sweden the individual must have a university law degree and be a member of the Swedish Bar Association. Only if the individual is registered with the SBA may they assume the professional title ‘advokat’. To contact the institution, find a lawyer or check one is registered follow their official details below:

Sveriges advokatsamfund
Address: Box 27321, SE-102 54 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: +46 8 459 03 00

Lawyer aggregator for lawyers practicing in Sweden.

List of lawyers and law firms in Sweden with contact details and areas of expertise.

When it comes to fees, mortgage interest rates are around 2%-2.5%, stamp duty comes in at 1% of the purchase price and lawyers’ / solicitors’ fees are 1%-4% of the purchase price. If your property is a new one, then tax needn’t be paid during the first 5 years, after this it is 0.75% of the periodically assessed value of the property. Properties which are not new pay 1.5%. The registration fee for the land registry is 825 SEK.

There are a few common pitfalls which buyers make in Sweden. In recent times, many properties have been bought through private viewings rather than public viewings. Always check with the estate agent if there are any private viewings in the pipeline so that you know where you stand with relation to seeing the house fairly. Also, if you have bought an apartment which is part of a housing association you need to pay monthly fees to service and maintain the block so do check how much these will be before purchasing because they can make a dent in your disposable income. Additionally, it is important to ensure that pressure from a pushy estate agent during the bidding process doesn’t mean that you end up placing a bid you cannot really afford.

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