How to buy an apartment

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The procedure for buying a home in the secondary market may seem rather complicated and not entirely logical, but in fact, it has been worked out for years and exists in order to ensure the maximum security of transactions in the Russian market..


Anton ILYIN, a lawyer of the Moscow Association – the Guild of Realtors, told our correspondent about how such a purchase occurs in general terms. The whole process can be conditionally divided into five stages..

1. Conclusion of an agreement with a real estate agency

It is, of course, possible to find an apartment without a real estate agency, but … One thing must be taken into account – in Moscow the demand for housing greatly exceeds the supply. Not to mention the fact that in the conditions of Russian legislation and market realities it is much more convenient to blame all the problems on the shoulders of the realtor who will be assigned to you – he is paid for this.

Finding an apartment and accompanying a transaction is a service for which agencies charge a certain fee. This can be either a fixed price – usually starting from $ 1000, or a percentage of the transaction, or all the same $ 1000 for finding a suitable apartment plus a percentage of its cost.

If the agency charges a fee for finding an apartment, then the money will have to be paid in advance. In this case, the agreement that you conclude with the agency should contain as detailed a description of the apartment you need as possible. The contract also indicates how many options corresponding to the specified parameters will be provided to you to choose from.

2. Finding suitable accommodation

After an agreement is concluded with the agency, the latter begins the selection of an apartment. The ideal option is an apartment, the owner of which has signed a sales contract with your agency. In this case, the agency, as a rule, immediately checks the documents and history of the apartment. If the agency does not have such an apartment, it searches through all available sources.

When a more or less suitable apartment is found, your agent invites you to view it. During the viewing, the client usually signs the Apartment Inspection Certificate. If the apartment does not meet the parameters that you declared and which are spelled out in your agreement with the agency, then this should be indicated in the Inspection Certificate. In this case, the option does not count..

If the apartment suits you, then you proceed to the next stage.

3. Checking the cleanliness of the apartment and preparing the deal

Collecting documents for a housing transaction requires a certain amount of time and money. Moreover, all the necessary certificates have a limited – expiration date, i.e. they cannot be prepared for future use. Therefore, the whole process begins when the buyer confirms his intention to purchase this apartment. Such confirmation is a certain amount, which in common parlance can be called a deposit or an advance..

It often happens that several potential buyers come to view an apartment at once. If several people like the apartment at once, then the winner will be the one who makes the first prepayment. There are, however, cases of auctions when a greedy (pardon, very calculating) buyer directly declares that he will give the apartment to the one who offers the most. What to do in this case is up to you, but it is worth noting that if, as a result of the auction, the price of an apartment exceeds that specified in your search agreement, then this option is also not counted.

If everything is in order and you have made the required amount, then the most, perhaps, crucial stage begins – the collection of documents and their verification. Let us recall that today, of all the participants in the real estate market, the buyer is the most defenseless from a legal point of view. Legal practice is such that in case of recognition of the transaction as invalid, the parties return to their original position and return to each other everything received under the transaction. If we remember that the overwhelming majority of apartments on the secondary market are sold at the assessed value of the BTI, then it is easy to guess that this is the amount the buyer will receive as a return of everything received under the transaction. Even a revolutionary step in Russian legislation – protection by the state of the rights of a bona fide acquirer – is carried out in the amount of a maximum of one million rubles.

Extended extract from the house book (taken from the PRUE or DEZ). This statement lists everyone who has lived in this apartment since the house was built, as well as on what grounds they left there.

Extract from the Unified State Register of Rights to Real Estate and Transactions with It. It indicates the owner or owners of the apartment, the grounds for the emergence of ownership. The presence or absence of restrictions or encumbrances of the right.

Floor plan and explication of the BTI. What you saw when inspecting the apartment should correspond to what you see on the plan. According to the Housing Code of the Russian Federation, if an illegal redevelopment is detected in an apartment, then the owner of the apartment is obliged to bring the apartment back to its original state at his own expense. There is, however, the opportunity to register the redevelopment after the fact.

These are the main points to consider. An entire newspaper is not enough to describe all possible situations. Therefore, we will dwell on only a few typical cases..

If the seller of the apartment is an elderly or heavily drinking person, then it is worth getting certificates from the district psycho-neurological and narcological dispensaries. Moreover, if earlier a person was registered at a different address, then you need to visit the dispensaries of that area. Too many transactions were subsequently contested by the seller’s relatives on the basis that the latter allegedly could not understand the consequences of his actions. Therefore, in especially suspicious cases, you can conduct a medical examination on the day of the transaction.

If the transaction is carried out by power of attorney and the seller lives within the country, it is better to require the seller’s personal presence and his signature on the sales contract. Excuses by being busy with work, etc. should make you wary.

If the extract from the home book indicates that minors lived in the apartment who did not participate in the privatization of the apartment, know that in this way their rights were violated and upon reaching the age of majority they may try to restore these rights.

And finally, the last rule is the indication in the contract of sale of an apartment exactly the amount for which you buy it..

4. Conclusion of a contract of sale and purchase of an apartment and cash settlements

So. The documents were collected and checked, no obstacles to the transaction were found. You set the day for the deal. Get ready for a very busy day. First, you will need to go to a depository or a bank that provides safe deposit boxes for rent. Such a cell is leased, and in addition to the main lease agreement for the cell, so-called additional conditions are attached. These additional conditions indicate who, when and on what grounds has access to the cell after the money was laid. In the case of a deal with an apartment, the seller first has the right of access, but only upon presentation of a registered apartment sale and purchase agreement. If the seller with such an agreement does not come within the appointed time (the transaction did not pass state registration, i.e. did not take place), then he is deprived of the right to access the cell, and such a right is given to the buyer, who comes and takes his money back. The initial admission to the cell (in order to put money into it) is usually all interested persons (seller, buyer, agents). Thus, the money is recalculated in the presence of the seller..

After the money is counted, checked and put into the cell, you go to the Rosregistratsiya branch or to the notary to conclude an agreement. In Rosregistratsiya your contract is drawn up and certified by the state registrar. From this moment on, the transaction is considered completed.

5. State registration of the transaction and transfer of ownership of housing

The term for state registration is now one month.

A month later, the parties to the transaction receive their copies of the contract. The seller’s agreement has one seal confirming the registration of the transaction. With this agreement, the seller goes to the bank (depository), gains access to the cell and takes his money. There are two seals on the buyer’s agreement: one confirms the registration of the transaction, the second – the registration of ownership. In addition, the buyer receives a certificate of state registration of ownership of the real estate object – an apartment. From that moment on, he becomes a full owner.

Also, the parties must sign the Act of acceptance and transfer of the property. For the state registration of the transaction, this act is not needed, but without it, the transaction is also considered not concluded. From this moment on, we can really say that the deal took place.

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