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Selling an Apartment or House in Finland

Primary source of information for this page: Finnish Consumer Agency - KKV
This is a brief guide only, and does not constitute legal advice

This page deals with selling property in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kotka, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Oulu, Pori, Rauma, Riihimäki, Rovaniemi, Savonlinna, Seinäjoki, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa

General Information for Sellers

Selling a house or apartment on your own is possible if you are familiar with the steps and responsibilities involved. If you are unsure, it is probably best to engage the services of a real estate agent.

Finnish law sets a broad disclosure obligation on the seller. Of primary importance is the seller's liability for provision of information that may affect the buyer's decision to purchase. The information provided becomes extremely important if a dispute arises after completion of the transaction. For example, in the case that a buyer notifies a seller of a defect and seeks compensation, the information provided during the sale can determine financial responsibility.

The seller's liability for providing information to the buyer is not affected by hiring a real estate agent or commissioning a formal condition inspection. The real estate agent and the condition inspector are only liable for performing their work in a professional manner.

Selling an Apartment

Shares in Housing Companies

In Finland when you sell an apartment, it is usually part of a housing company (asunto-osakeyhtiö), so you are not only selling the apartment but your shares in the housing company. Therefore, in preparation for provision to prospective buyers, you must acquire up-to-date information regarding the financial position of the housing company.

Documentation from Housing Company

Acquire copies of:

The seller must be familiar with the matters discussed at shareholders meetings, even if they did not attend the meetings. Disputes are often over whether the buyer was informed, or informed clearly enough, about upcoming work such as plumbing or roofing renovations.

Additional Information
Sellers should protect themselves by remembering to disclose information which may affect the buyer's decision:

If a matter has not been discussed in housing company meetings, or has only been brought up on a general level, the buyer does not need to be informed. It is assumed that a buyer would understand, for example, that plumbing renovation work may be required in a building several decades old.

The Importance of Information
A used apartment can be considered as having a defect, possibly rendering the seller liable for compensation, if:

In assessing defects in used apartments, key considerations are the contents of the agreement, the information provided by the seller and the buyer's liability to inspect the property. The seller of a used apartment usually remains liable for defects for a period of two years, but this may be extended in certain cases.

Further Information on Sale of Apartments
The Finnish Consumer Agency (Kuluttajavirasto) provides information in English, Swedish, Sami and Finnish on:

Selling a House

It is important to provide accurate information about the type and condition of the house, age and defects of the building, and what types of repairs and maintenance have been done. Further, Finnish law sets a broad disclosure obligation on the seller regarding the plot of land and the area in which the property is located.

Information and Documentation
If you are selling your single-family house on your own, find out the following information and acquire the relevant documents:

Further Information: Seller's Responsibilities & Requirements for Sale
The Finnish Consumer Agency (Kuluttajavirasto) provides information in English, Swedish, Sami and Finnish on:

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