How to sell an apartment without the help of an agency

A transaction with or without the participation of a real estate agency is carried out practically according to the same scheme. So let’s start over.


Let’s say you have an apartment that you decide to sell. The bulk of transactions on the real estate market – about 80% – are so-called alternative, selling your apartment to buy another. But today we will only talk about the sale of housing in order to receive money, since this procedure is included in any combined transaction.

Opportunity assessment, consultations

The first thing to start with when selling an apartment is to at least roughly evaluate the property, that is, to obtain information about the cost. The easiest way is to study Moscow real estate publications that promptly submit such information, for example, the Iz Ruk v Ruki newspaper. Be sure to keep in mind that the prices for apartments listed in the newspaper are not a fact, but the wishes of the sellers.


The next important point is the supply of the apartment to the market. It is necessary to make sure that as many potential buyers as possible learn about it. Today, there are about a thousand small and medium-sized real estate agencies in Moscow, where information about your apartment will be accepted for free, entered into the database and will be offered to all potential buyers. Large real estate agencies do not accept such information, preferring to conclude an exclusive contract, which involves shifting all worries about advertising, registration and collection of a package of necessary documents to their company.

Another way is to submit an advertisement in the Iz Ruk v Ruki newspaper or on the Internet with your contact phone number (usually home). This has its pros and cons. By specifying your home phone number, you have direct contact with the buyer or real estate agency. But keep in mind that when communicating with these people directly, you cannot predict how decent a particular caller is and what his real intentions are..

Much depends on the regularity of the ad submission. If the apartment is offered at a liquid price, the ad must be published at least twice a week. If the apartment needs to be sold very quickly – three times a week. Posting an ad every day is pointless.

Show, bargaining

Callbacks begin, you negotiate, communicate, agree on the time of views. This must be treated very carefully. You do not know the people entering your apartment, so it is better to remove valuables and objects from prominent places. But you still have to show all the nooks and crannies (for example, is there wallpaper behind the closet). Experience shows that a potential buyer is only interested in the condition of the rooms and the height of the ceiling. He can look at rooms for more than five minutes only if it is supposed to sell an apartment with furniture or redevelopment. If there is no such agreement, but interest in furniture has arisen, this is abnormal and should alert you.

Let’s say a person has agreed to buy an apartment and is ready to discuss the terms of its sale. Bargaining begins. There is a special expression – to withstand bargaining. By agreeing immediately to the buyer’s terms, you will show that you can move in price further than will be used immediately. This is elementary psychology, and it happens often..

Advice: the first client who decides to immediately buy your apartment at the first offered price, we recommend it … not to sell. There is reason to believe that you have underestimated the apartment and are selling it cheaply. Although, maybe you were just lucky, and this is exactly the person who needs an apartment in this particular place, for this price. This happens too.

If the buyer came to the viewing with a representative of some real estate agency, you have a chance to get some of the services almost free. An agent may try to solve your problems within one real estate agency, so, willingly or not, you find yourself in the service of a certain company, which can … bill for this very service. For example, to say that “… the situation is more than serious, we undertake to solve it, and it costs so much”. You have the right to accept or not accept the proposed conditions, you can refuse services and start selling yourself.

Another tip: if an apartment is sold without the participation of an agency, it is better for sellers to negotiate at home or in the office, and for buyers at home. In such cases, there is an element of “their” territory, where a person feels more comfortable, calmer, more confident.

Agreement with the seller (buyer)

Many sellers, after a seemingly positive decision expressed in words, remove an advertisement for an apartment, not assuming that the buyer can continue looking for a more profitable option. Therefore, having reached an agreement, sellers should raise the issue of some advance payment in order to secure the obligation to buy your apartment..

We advise buyers not to raise this question, to leave it in order to be free in their further actions. True, in this case there is a risk of “missing out” the apartment you like if the seller finds a more profitable client.

What follows is a rather delicate moment. Let’s say you have agreed that the buyer gives a certain amount of money to secure the purchase of your apartment. How to carry out this, how to transfer money so that in the future there are no problems?

There are legal concepts: a deposit agreement and an advance agreement. If you, as the seller of the apartment, have signed a deposit agreement, then you must understand that termination of the agreement of intent, that is, refusal to sell the apartment to this buyer, may entail certain sanctions. Because, from a legal point of view, it reads as “default of the seller and the return of the amount in double the amount.” Thus, an experienced and competent buyer with his lawyer will easily put you in financial dependence..

For the buyer of an apartment, in addition to the address, price characteristics and terms of sale, one must not forget to negotiate the terms of the legal (extract) and physical release of the apartment. Physical liberation is the removal of things and furniture from it. If the terms are not stipulated, the buyer often insists on vacating the apartment immediately after signing the notary deed.

Checking, preparing a deal, collecting documents

After all the papers have been drawn up and the prepayment for the apartment has been accepted, the procedure for preparing the transaction begins. It is the responsibility of the sellers to collect a complete set of documents. This means the need to run through all instances and achieve, – I emphasize, within a certain time frame – obtaining the necessary papers. This is a rather complicated procedure..

To sell an apartment, you must have the following documents on hand:

1. Documents of title, depending on the method of purchasing the apartment, for example: Transfer agreement, Certificate of ownership of the dwelling, Certificate of the housing cooperative about the paid share, BTI registration certificate, Certificate of the right to inheritance, contracts of sale, donation, exchange, rent, the court’s decision. If the documents for the apartment are lost, then the housing can be sold according to an extract from the register, which is issued by the Registration Committee. True, in this case, one must bear in mind that, theoretically, an extract can be taken at least every day. That is, a situation is possible when the seller, having accepted your advance payment, will sell his apartment to another buyer tomorrow. Therefore, in this case, we advise you to give no more than $ 100-200 as an advance payment in order to minimize your losses..

2. In the BTI it is necessary to obtain: a certificate (form 11-A, valid for 1 month); floor plan, explication (valid for 1 year).

To collect these papers, you will need the originals of the title documents themselves, your passport and about 150 rubles.

3. In the PRUE you need to take:

– an extract from the house book – at the passport office;
– a copy of the financial and personal account and a certificate of the absence of rent arrears – in the accounting department.
All these certificates are valid for 1 month. To collect them, you will need a rental book, passport or power of attorney (if you are not the owner).

4. Notarized consent of the spouse (respectively, the seller or the buyer) to alienate (purchase) an apartment.

5. Permission of the guardianship and guardianship authorities, if minor children are involved in the transaction.

6. Certificates from the tax office, if the apartment was received as a gift or by inheritance, or is located in the Moscow region.

7. The deed of transfer, if the apartment was alienated after 03/01/96.

After all the above documents have been collected, it is imperative to verify them for the correspondence of names, addresses, dates, signatures and their decryptions, the size of all the areas in question. To date, we have counted about 20-22 types of title documents for an apartment, which can only be. I emphasize – not 2, not 5, not 8, but 22! Therefore, we strongly recommend that you get legal advice at this stage. Buyers of an apartment – to understand how these documents comply with the requirements of the law. To the seller – to be sure that it is possible to sell the apartment using them within the specified time frame. Often there is a situation when the seller, believing that he has sufficient documents for the transaction, takes a deposit under the clearly agreed deadlines for registration, but cannot withstand them. Suddenly it turns out that one of the owners died, and the inheritance was not opened, because people thought it was unnecessary. As a result, such an apartment cannot be sold until all the legal formalities are settled..

Bank, notary, registration

But, suppose, all the documents for the apartment are in order and the time comes to discuss issues of mutual settlements, where and how to make them. The most common way is to settle through a safe deposit box under a contract of sale of an apartment registered in the name of the buyer. We advise you to be very careful when choosing a bank. If the buyer offers a specific bank, arguing that his money is kept there, and the chairman of the board is his best friend, we recommend not agreeing to this option. In this situation, all kinds of abuse of the client’s position are quite acceptable. There must be a neutral territory that suits both sides. Therefore, the issue of mutual settlements must be discussed in advance, even at the time of transfer (or receipt) of the deposit.

After laying the money, you will have to notarize (at your request) the execution of contracts or immediately submit documents for state registration.

Legal and physical exemption, acceptance certificate

When you finally receive registered contracts for the sale and purchase of an apartment with certificates of state registration of rights, you will have a legal (deregistration) and physical (removal of things) release of the apartment. And if you have not agreed on the delay of money before the transfer of the apartment under the act (drawn up in simple writing at the time of transfer of the keys to the apartment and books on utility bills), it will be problematic for you to control the process.

These are, in general terms, the basic rules that you need to follow when buying or selling an apartment. If you are serious about our advice and wishes, carefully study the procedure for registration and preparation of the relevant documents, you can safely proceed to the transaction. And if you have any questions, please contact us. Our Company regularly conducts free seminars for the population on real estate issues (see the materials of this issue) and has more than a hundred consulting centers throughout Moscow.

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