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

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
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.

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 HittaMäklare.com (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 

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Measurements

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.

Hemnet

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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