Specific Steps to Buying Property in Estonia
The process of buying real estate in the
Republic of Estonia can seem a bit complicated on the surface. With that
said, the government of the Republic of Estonia has worked rather diligently to
liberalize and modernize the laws governing the buying and selling of real estate
in that country. In this regard, a good deal of effort has been expended making
it a bit easier for foreign nationals to buy real estate in Estonia.
There are two primary contracts involved in the sale of real estate in Estonia.
Both documents are prepared by a notary. Indeed, in Estonia it is mandatory that
a notary be involved in the real estate sales process, that a notary prepare these
primary documents. (As an aside, in some instances the notary does not need to prepare
these documents his or her self. But, if someone else drafts these documents, the
notary is legally required to review them in detail to make sure that they meet
the requirements of Estonian law and reflect exactly the agreement that has been
made between the parties.)
The initial agreement in the Estonian real estate sales process is the sales-purchase
agreement. This agreement is prepared by the notary and is executed by the buyer
and the seller once the seller makes an offer on the property that is for sale.
Generally speaking, once the oral offer is made by the buyer to the seller, the
sales-purchase agreement can be prepared and executed with a period of ten to thirty
days (depending on what needs to be included in the agreement itself).
During the period of time between the execution of the sales-purchase agreement
and the final agreement in the sales process, the buyer obtains financing and the
seller makes certain that the property physically and legally is in a position to
be conveyed and transferred to the buyer. In addition, during this interim period,
the buyer must pay to the government what is known as a state fee -- which is in
the amount of 0.4% of the value of the real estate being sold and purchased.
The final agreement in the real estate sales process in Estonia is entitled the
transfer of ownership in real estate agreement or document. When this document is
duly executed by the parties, an application is made to the Land Register Office
to transfer the ownership of the real estate from the seller to the buyer. In addition,
following the filing of this application, a public notice of the change in ownership
of the real estate is published in the Official State Gazette, the official publication
in Estonia that publishes legal notices of this nature.
In summary, the process of buying real estate in Estonia does include a number of
hurdles that seem confusing and complicated on the surface. But, as has been noted,
the laws have been modernized and liberalized in recent years. Chances are quite
good that the government of Estonia will continue to work to make the real estate
laws in that country a bit more "user friendly" and less cumbersome in the future.
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