What is the difference between a digital and a traditional home buying and selling process?

A digital process makes home buying and selling quicker and easier. You can handle the sale or purchase of a home in the Property Transaction Service, which is an online service offered by the National Land Survey of Finland and available to everyone.

The biggest difference compared to a traditional process is that you don’t need to finalise the property transaction at your bank. This saves time and effort for both the buyer and the seller, as there’s no longer a need to schedule a meeting in person.

Whether you’re buying or selling a single-family house or some other property, you can make and sign almost all contracts and applications related to the transaction digitally. As an example, you don’t need to apply for a title registration separately. The title registration process will be initiated automatically when you use the National Land Survey of Finland’s online service for your property transaction.

All other documents needed for finalising the transaction, such as loan documents, will also be signed digitally, saving you a visit to the bank.

Digital property transaction

  • A digital deed of sale in the Property Transaction Service
  • No notary required
  • Documents can be signed anywhere, anytime
  • An automatic title registration process

In-person property transaction

  • A physical deed of sale
  • A notary required
  • A scheduled meeting at your bank to sign the documents
  • Your bank will apply for the title registration

Preparing for a property transaction

Whether you want to finalise a property transaction digitally or in person, fill in our contact form to let us know you have found a home you want to buy and the seller has accepted your offer.

We will book you for an online meeting to go through the loan details and other related matters and services together with you. At this meeting, we will check that your loan agreements, collateral and other documents are in order.

Contact us through the “I have found my new home” form

Signing loan documents

You will receive all documents related to your loan in Nordea Mobile and Netbank. There you will be able to read the documents and sign them using your online banking credentials. 

All documents to be signed digitally should be signed at least 24 hours before the transaction is finalised. Please make sure that any other people included in the transaction, such as your co-borrower or someone providing additional collateral, also sign the documents in time. 

Read our instructions for signing the documents and agreements sent by Nordea digitallyOpens new window.

If you have arranged to sign your loan documents in person when the transaction is finalised, you will have time to do this before the other parties arrive.

Steps of buying or selling a home

The process is slightly different depending on whether you want to finalise the property transaction digitally or at your bank.

Digital property transaction
In-person property transaction

Deed of sale, contracts and signing

Drafting a deed of sale in the National Land Survey’s online service

The deed of sale will be drafted in the Property Transaction Service offered by the National Land Survey either by the real estate agent or the seller. Check the deed of sale carefully as soon as possible.

  • Remember to authorise your bank to view the deed of sale in the service.
  • If you are the buyer, add Nordea as an agent to the application for the registration of title.
  • If you are the buyer, you can also request us to apply for a transfer of the mortgage deed.

You can involve us in parts of the transaction process, including in reviewing the deed of sale and in accepting the undertaking to transfer the mortgage deed on your behalf. We can also draft the mortgage application, which you will then sign digitally. 

Signing the deed of sale digitally

When you have agreed on and finalised all the necessary business with your bank, you can sign the deed of sale. Also let your real estate agent know that you are ready to sign. You will sign the deed of sale in the Property Transaction Service offered by the National Land Survey.

The registration of title in the buyer’s name will be initiated after the deed of sale has been signed through supplementing the application for the registration of title.

If the mortgage deed is in the seller’s bank’s custody, the seller’s bank accepts the undertaking to transfer the mortgage deed electronically as part of the deed of sale in connection with the signing of the deed of sale. The undertaking is required for transferring the mortgage deed to the buyer or their bank.

Finalising the deal

Once you have signed the deed of sale, we will handle all the rest with you, such as draw down the loan and pay the purchase price, the real estate agent’s commission and the asset transfer tax. 

Traditional property transaction

Drafting the deed of sale

As a rule, the seller or the real estate agent drafts a physical deed of sale for the property transaction. 

Contacting a notary to check the deed of sale

When a property transaction is finalised in person at the bank, a notary must also be present to certify the transfer of the property. The notary charges a fee, which is split by the buyer and the seller.

Once the purchase is certified, the bank will submit an application for the title registration. A title registration means the registration of the ownership of a property in the National Land Survey of Finland’s title and mortgage register.

Signing the deed of sale and paying the transaction fee

When you have agreed and finalised all the necessary business with your bank, the deed of sale can be signed. Also let your real estate agent know that you are ready to sign.

The parties to the transaction, the notary and the real estate agent, if present, go through the terms and conditions of the deed of sale and sign it.

Asset transfer tax and other things to note after the transaction

You need to pay asset transfer tax on the property as soon as you have pledged it as collateral for your loan but no later than within 6 months of the property transaction. You must file a transfer tax return in the Finnish Tax Administration’s MyTax online service.

Read more about asset transfer tax and how much you have to pay.

No notary needed for digital property transactions

When you use the National Land Survey of Finland’s online service to finalise a property transaction, there’s no need for a notary to certify the purchase. The parties to the transaction will certify the transaction by providing their signatures in the online service, and the service will run all necessary checks in relevant registers.

The property is officially transferred to the new owner at a meeting where all signatories of the deed of transfer are present.

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