For members


What fees do you need to budget for when selling your Swedish apartment?

Whether you're moving on from Sweden or simply relocating within the country, selling a property is a big step – and comes with a price tag. Here are the costs to be aware of so you're not caught off guard.

What fees do you need to budget for when selling your Swedish apartment?
Ready to sell your Swedish apartment? Here are the fees to expect, and the tax deductions you can receive on them. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Note that fees vary depending on whether you are selling a bostadsrätt (a condominium apartment) or a house; the following applies to apartments, and you can expect extra fees if you are selling a house, with the property survey one of the key differences.

Estate agent fee

The biggest cost for most apartment-owners is hiring a broker (mäklare) to take care of the selling.

This isn’t compulsory, and you can choose to handle the sale independently — but that means finding a buyer, showing them the apartment, and completing the paperwork. Most people enlist the services of a broker in the hope of getting the property seen by more potential buyers, and to simplify the process.

It’s most common for an estate agent to charge a flat fee (which varies depending on the property value) as well as an extra percentage-based commission on any money above an agreed target sale price.

When choosing an estate agent, find out exactly what’s included in the fee, for example how they will market your home and whether there are any options that cost extra. 

You can compare different estate agents’ sales history and customer ratings on websites like HittaMä (linked to the bank SBAB, and only available in Swedish) or MäklarOfferter (also only available in Swedish). HittaMäklare also offers a calculator so you can get a rough idea of how much the fee will be, and you can find similar tools (in Swedish) on the websites Boupplysningen and EkonomiFokus

Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT 


You may need to get a certified professional to carry out a measurement of your home, so that it is marketed at the right size.

This isn’t essential and you might already have the relevant document (mätbevis) from when you bought your home, but having this document protects you from the buyer later accusing you of falsely describing the apartment, which can be very costly. 

Be aware that if the official size changes, your property’s value could also change significantly.


Sometimes, your property will be sold very quickly before it is even advertised. This might happen if your estate agent already has a list of interest buyers (spekulanter) and persuades one of them to make you an offer to take your home off the market.

But in most cases, your home will be advertised on property portal Hemnet – which you probably remember from when you bought it.

The fee depends on which package you choose (Basic, Plus or Premium), and the location and value of your home, but you can expect to pay a few thousand kronor for an apartment in a big city. You can calculate an estimate on the website.

Home stylist

Home-styling is a big thing in Sweden; some home-owners choose to pay a professional to make the property look its best, both for the photos in the advertising brochure and for the viewings themselves.

This service could range from being given advice on how to rearrange your furniture to make optimum of the space, to renting extra items; your broker may include some home-styling help in the fee. Typical costs can vary from 5,000 to 30,000 kronor or even more, depending on the size of your home and how many items the stylist provides.

This is very much an optional expense. If you’re happy with the way your home looks, preparing for the photos and viewings could just be a case of tidying up. Which brings us to…

Professional cleaning

Another optional expense is hiring a professional to clean the home, either before the viewings and/or before you leave.

One thing to know about this cost is that cleaning costs are eligible for the 50 percent tax deduction on home maintenance services (called RUT deduction or RUT-avdrag). It’s the person carrying out the work who makes the deduction, so you will only pay half the ‘total’ cost.

Photo: Erda Estremera/Unsplash

Transfer of ownership

When a bostadsrätt is sold, there is fee for transferring ownership from the seller to the buyer called an överlåtelseavgift, which is around 1,190 kronor as of 2021.

Either the buyer or seller will pay this, depending on the housing association’s rules, so if you paid it when you bought the apartment you won’t pay this fee again when you sell.

Capital gains tax on any profits

This isn’t exactly a fee, but when you sell property in Sweden, you are liable to pay 22 percent tax on any profits.

Profits are defined as the difference between the price you paid for the apartment and the price you sell it for, but you can deduct the amount you spent on any home improvements (as long as they were carried out in the five years before the sale) as well as the costs of purchase and selling. That includes the fee for the broker, Hemnet, the överlåtelseavgift and any home-styling, but not cleaning (because this is eligible for the RUT tax deduction). 

If you use the money from the sale to buy another property in Sweden or the EU/EEA, you can postpone paying this tax.

And in the event that you make a loss on your property sale, some of the loss is tax deductible. 

This all happens when you file your taxes in the year after the sale, so if you sell in 2021, you’ll need to keep a record of all the details to add to your 2022 tax return. Your mäklare should help you with this, and it should be included in their basic fee.

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For members


EXPLAINED: What happens when a foreigner gets arrested in Sweden?

It’s a situation nobody ever wants to be in, but what happens if you’re arrested in Sweden? What should you do, and what are your rights?

EXPLAINED: What happens when a foreigner gets arrested in Sweden?

Most of the people who come to Sweden to work, join a Swedish partner, or start a new life are law-abiding folk. Hardly anyone comes with the intention of breaking the law.  But from time to time, due to an accident of fortune or poor decision-making, foreigners end up on the wrong end of the law. 

Pray it never happens but if you are arrested in Sweden, what are your rights? What happens next, and who can help you? 

Whether it’s a traffic accident, misunderstanding, or murder charge, Swedish law follows certain processes upon arrest. 

The first stages 

The first stage of a police investigation is the anmälan, or report. Anyone can report you for committing a crime, regardless of whether they are the victim. The tax agency, for instance, can report you for fraud. If the police catch you doing something illegal, the officer can file a report themselves. 

After the report is registered, someone is appointed to lead the preliminary investigation — a so-called förundersökningsledare or “investigation leader”. The förundersökningsledare can be either a police officer or a prosecutor, depending on how serious the crime is. 

The förundersökningsledare then decides if there is sufficient reason to suspect that you have committed a crime.

There are two grades of suspicion. The lowest level is skäligen misstänkt or “reasonable suspicion”, which means that there are “circumstances which with a certain strength indicate that you has committed the act.  The next level up is på sannolika skäl, or “on probable cause”, that you have committed the act. 

When can you get arrested? 

If the förundersökningsledare has declared you a suspect, a police officer might be sent to arrest you. A police officer can also arrest you on their own initiative if they think that there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. 

All it takes to arrest someone in Sweden is for the officer to say “du är gripen“, meaning “you are under arrest”. If you resist,  the officer is permitted to employ as much violence as necessary to get you to the police station. 

If a member of the public observes you committing a crime serious enough to warrant a prison sentence, they are also allowed to arrest you, either while you are committing the crime or fleeing the scene. A member of the public is also allowed to arrest anyone wanted by the police for a crime. 

Not everyone suspected of committing a crime is necessarily arrested. If there is no danger to the public, no risk of you tampering with evidence, and no risk that you might flee, then police can decide to leave you free until you are asked to appear for interview or in court. 

When you are arrested, police will search you for any weapons, drugs or suspicious goods, and may take your telephone if it could contain evidence of a crime, but they will otherwise leave you with your belongings. 

What happens after your arrest? 

If you have been arrested by a police officer who had a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, you need to be have a formal interview or förhör at the police station as soon as possible. Police may also interview the person who reported you, your alleged victim (the målsägande, which literally means “case owner”), and any witnesses. 

You can only be held at the police station for a maximum of 12 hours before a prosecutor decides whether there is sufficient reason for you to be anhållan, or “held”.  If they decide there is not, then you need to be released. 

If you are held, then you are taken to a cell, where you can be held for a maximum of three days, before which the prosecutor needs to either release you or request that you be häktad, or placed in pre-trial custody. 

When the decision is made to “hold” you, your personal belongings — phone, wallet, keys, etc — are taken from you and stored.

To be placed in pre-trial custody, you have to have committed a crime that can potentially lead to at least one year in prison. The prosecutor must also demonstrate that there is a risk you will tamper with the evidence or flee.

The decision to hold someone in pre-trial custody needs to be made by a judge at a so-called häktningsförhandling, or “detention hearing”. Unlike a full trial, this hearing is decided by a single judge. 

When can you get a defence lawyer? 

You can ask for a defence lawyer as soon as you are arrested. You can request one by name, or request a specific law firm, or, if you don’t know of any specific defence lawyers, just ask the court to appoint one for you. The court can normally contact the lawyer within a few hours, meaning you should ideally have a defence lawyer with you in your first police interview. 

When can you contact your embassy or family? 

The Swedish authorities are legally obliged to inform national embassies of the arrest of one of their citizens, and will normally do so themselves automatically, according to the British Embassy’s guideIf they do not do so, you can request that they do. 

You can ask the police at any time if you want to make a telephone call, but unlike in the UK or US, you have no right to make a phone call. It is up to the discretion of the prosecutor whether to allow you one, and very often they deny it. 

Most embassies have an urgent number people who are arrested can call. The UK’s line is +46 (0) 8 671 30 00 / +44 1908 51 6666, France’s is 0851992349, Germany’s is +46708529420. 

In practice, it is much better to ask your defence lawyer to contact your embassy, or to request that you can make a phone call. 

Friends and relatives of people who have been arrested can also contact their embassy for them, so that the embassy can find out where they are being held and any details of the suspicions against them. 

What can your embassy do? 

Most European embassies will work with defence lawyers to ensure that their citizens are treated well. 

“The Embassy provides impartial, non-judgemental assistance to British citizens who have been arrested or are in jail in Sweden,” a UK embassy spokesperson told The Local. We aim to make sure they are treated properly in line with Swedish regulations, and no less favourably than other prisoners.”

The first stage of this is a consular visit, which most European embassies generally aim to make within about 24 hours of being notified of your arrest. 

If you request it, your embassy will normally be able to inform your next-of-kin in your home country of your arrest. 

Unless you request otherwise, most embassies will also keep the fact that you have been detained and what the charges are confidential. 

How long can I be held before my trial? 

Perhaps the most criticised aspect of the Swedish justice system is the length that suspects can be held in pretrial detention, while the police and prosecutor carry out their investigations. The system has been criticised by the  United Nations Committee Against Torture, the Council of Europe.

The only limit is that Sweden’s Supreme Court has held that the detention must be reasonably proportional in relation to what may be gained from it (NJA 2015 s. 261) and the injury to the defendant.

In theory, there is no limit to the length of time a suspect can be held in pre-trial detention, so long as the custody is extended by a judge every 14 days. So far the record is a little over four years or being held without trial, and suspects are frequently held for over a year before a court rules on their case. 

There is no bail system in Sweden. 

What restrictions can I be under while in pre-trial detention? 

Prosecutors in Sweden often impose restrictions on those in pre-trial detention on the grounds that otherwise the defendant might change their story or tamper with the evidence. Critics often accuse police of imposing excessive restrictions to break suspects, pushing them to give details of the crime to reduce the time until their trial. 

Restrictions might include stopping suspects from being able to: 

  • receive or send letters without them first being inspected by the prosecutor
  • receive visits without special permission from the prosecutor
  • receive or make phone calls without special permission from the prosecutor
  • watch TV, listen to the radio and read newspapers
  • interact with other inmates

You always have the right to contact your lawyer, a member of consular staff (in special circumstances you may be allowed contact with family). You can also see a priest or other representative of a religious order.  

When will I go to trial? 

When the prosecutor has amassed enough evidence that they feel that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, they will issue an åtal, or prosecution document, after which the court will set a date for the trial. 

Prosecutors will only do this if they judge that there is tillräckliga skäl för att väcka åtal, “sufficient cause for laying charges”. If they do not, the will end the investigation without laying charges, at which point you must be released.