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Buying a house in Sweden, have some questions

Would you be so kind as to help?

Luke_M
post 7.Apr.2019, 11:48 AM
Post #1
Joined: 7.Apr.2019

Greetings all:

I’m new here, so if any of these questions had already been asked and answered elsewhere, please don’t snap at me and kindly provide a link to the relevant posts.

I’m an EU citizen looking to buy a detached house in central or northern Sweden (Västerbotten, Norrbotten, Västernorrland or Jämtlands counties). I’ve looked around Hemnet and ran a few Google searches, and I have a few questions that some of you may be able to help me with:

1. Prices: prices there seem ridiculously low. I’ve found many nice detached houses in beautiful locations for under 300,000 SEK. I’ve looked for catches and found none. Are housing prices there really this low, or am I missing something? I understand that these are auctions, but it is my understanding (from Hemnet's closing prices) that these are roughly the prices the houses eventually sell for, and sometimes even for less.

2. Payment: It is my understanding that a down payment of about 15% is required when the contract is signed. Can this down payment be paid in cash? And approximately how long will I be given to pay the other 85%? I will not be needing a mortgage, so it’s simply a matter of moving money around.

3. Payment: Since getting a personnummer seems like a hassle and I’ll need it for a Swedish bank account, will it be possible to pay the for the house with a transfer from an EU bank outside Sweden? My bank allows me to open an account denominated in SEK, so I’m wondering whether I should do that.

4. Existing Mortgages: I see that many homes on Hemnet have mortgages attached to them, in some cases more than one. I’ve already contacted a real estate agent and he told me that the mortgage amount is not going to be added to the price of the house, and that this is not something that I’ll ever have to pay. I’ve also found the same answer on some other websites. Is that really true? I just want to make sure.

Thank you all for your time and help. It is much appreciated.

Best,
Luke


PS:

Dear administrators: it took me about thirty tries to get your captcha right. I know you’re worried about bots, but seriously...
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bonviveur
post 7.Apr.2019, 02:45 PM
Post #2
Location: Värmland
Joined: 12.Oct.2015

1. outside cities prices can be low , there should be no catch.
2.I do not think cash will be accepted, money need to be transfered from bank to bank. estate agents have special accounts for this, so you can transfer all sum to them, thats what I did.
3. yes you can, I did pay for my house bills from another country for a while.
4.estate agents in sweden are licensed to handle fully buying-selling property,I mean there is no other authorities involved directly to seller and buyer ,just listen what estate agent tells you.
good luck
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yet another brit
post 7.Apr.2019, 03:48 PM
Post #3
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Prices outside Stockholm/Gothenburg/Malmo are low by rest-of-EU standards, yes.

If you look on Booli (rather than Hemnet) you can see the actual sale prices. You can also see (if I recall correctly) what the change between advertised price and final price is.

Standard would be 10% due (into the agents escrow account) within a week of signing. Balance transferred simultaneously with the completion. Normally, you tell the estate agent who your bank is, and they will talk to the banks concerned and make sure it happens in real time (you sit drinking coffee with the vendor whilst the estate agent runs around). This might be tricky for you, but you could (for example) transfer the complete sum to the estate agents escrow account before the transaction day.

If you are not getting a mortgage, there is no mortgage registration cost, but there will be stamp duty (1.5% of taxable value). If there are existing mortgages, you take them over (at no cost), and can borrow against them as the formal security.

No lawyers fees here - the agent does the work.

Catches? Sure. If there isn't a survey, you'll have to have one done, and if necessary haggle the price as a result (you can write this as a clause in the contract). You want to end up in the situation where you have fulfilled your duty as a purchaser - to have made yourself aware of any failings in the property. For example - were any renovations involving wet-rooms done, and is so are they signed off and certified? You have a certain protection against hidden faults (things you could not reasonably have known about or expected) but it can be a bit of a grey area. For example, if you buy a new property, you can reasonably expect work to have been done to a modern, approved, standard, and can get compensation if it turns out that it isn't. If you buy an old house, you can't necessarily expect that, so the duty of inspection falls on you.
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Luke_M
post 7.Apr.2019, 04:16 PM
Post #4
Joined: 7.Apr.2019

Thank you, bonviveur and yet another brit.

Do you mind a few follow-ups, yet another brit?

a. What is the approximate timeline between signing and completion? Must I have the deed of ownership in my hand before I get the keys, or will it be mailed at a later date?

b. By survey, do you mean by a professional, with a written report? Is there a Swedish word for that?

Thanks a lot,
Luke
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yet another brit
post 7.Apr.2019, 07:05 PM
Post #5
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (Luke_M @ 7.Apr.2019, 03:16 PM) *
Thank you, bonviveur and yet another brit. Do you mind a few follow-ups, yet another brit?a. What is the approximate timeline between signing and completion? Must I have the d ... (show full quote)


It varies... usually the agent will push for a contract to be signed ASAP (the same day as a bid being accepted is not impossible; certainly the same week). Completion then, well, it varies, but maybe 8 weeks later, plus/minus. But the contract is binding, and the vendor breathes a sigh of relief, so you'll find flexibility on this point.

The deed is registered at completion, not contract; you'll get it through the post some weeks later. It isn't considered an important point.

QUOTE (Luke_M @ 7.Apr.2019, 03:16 PM) *
b. By survey, do you mean by a professional, with a written report? Is there a Swedish word for that?


Survey = besiktning. A survey to support a property transfer is an "överlåtelsebesiktning". This is not actually the most comprehensive survey form, but it is the standard.

Until 10-15 years ago, the survey was nearly always commissioned (and paid for) by the buyer and look place after contract, with a clause that you could pull out if you didn't like the outcome. Almost universally now, the vendor commissions (and pays for) a survey that is part of the offering. There is a clause in it transfers it to the buyer meaning that you, as the buyer can sue the surveyor for negligence as if you had commissioned it yourself.


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Luke_M
post 7.Apr.2019, 07:22 PM
Post #6
Joined: 7.Apr.2019

yet another brit:

Your help is much appreciated. I've learned a lot.

For the benefit of those who may read this thread in the future I'll mention that Hemnet does in fact incorporate booli data on sale prices and percent change. It is available on the "Slutpriser" tab.
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yet another brit
post 7.Apr.2019, 07:36 PM
Post #7
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

You're welcome.

If/when you sign a contract, there should be a "question list" at the end; this is where the vendor has to fess up to questions like "is there planning permission for everything you've done"; "are you aware of any faults", "please detail any improvements you have made"... and so on...pay attention to that list :-)
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Luke_M
post 7.Apr.2019, 08:08 PM
Post #8
Joined: 7.Apr.2019

I've seen these question lists as scanned PDFs on some listings on the realtors' websites, and now I know what they are! Since Google Translate can't read the answers, which are usually handwritten, I ignored them, but I'll know to pay attention to them from now on.

Thanks again.
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yet another brit
post 8.Apr.2019, 09:25 PM
Post #9
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

It's a little bit of a cat and mouse game - the more open the vendor is with the questions, the less his/her potential liability about what the buyer knew if anything turns up. But the more open he/she is, the more likely it is that the buyer will pull out or request a price reduction. Welcome to the mind-games of Swedish real estate!
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