Buying real estate in Finland is a straightforward process. Finnish officials have eliminated many of the former restrictions on foreigners buying and owning property, and most of the responsibilities in this process fall on the government departments and banks rather than the buyer and seller.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
It is recommended to hire a lawyer for this procedure, preferably one who is well-versed in Finnish and your native language. This lawyer is helpful in going through with all of the transactions. All of the documents will be in Finnish as well, so it is helpful to have someone explain them.
Real estate agents can be useful in the process of buying real estate in Finland, but are not necessary. People can buy real estate directly from the sellers.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
The only restriction on the foreign ownership of property in Finland is that foreigners need to obtain permission from the government to purchase property in the province of Ahvenanmaa. (Finnish nationals also must obtain permission to purchase property in this area.)
First, the buyer must settle on a property, and make an offer to the seller. A sales contract must then be drawn up, and checked over the the lawyer. The buyer and seller must then sign this contract. The lawyer should inspect the title of the property just to make sure everything is in place.
Once everything clears, all of the documents must be presented in front of a notary. The buyer and seller must also present their personal identifications so that the notary can legally transfer the real estate. The buyer must pay a transfer tax, which is 4% of the value of the property. Once the buyer obtains the title of the property, this must be confirmed legally by submitting the claim of property to the local court of where the property is located. The deed of sale can then be granted to the buyer, who must also transfer the money for the property to the seller.