Making the purchase

Read our guide for first-time home buyers – Step 4

How to submit an offer for a share in a housing company

When you visit showings of homes, you might come across the right one and you may want to submit an offer for it. At this stage, the home-buying fever is usually at its highest. As a buyer, you now need to either be patient or act quickly. Make your offer with care in order to avoid any minefields and to succeed in a making good buy.

A verbal offer is binding

You should always remember that in buying a share in a housing company, a verbal offer is also considered binding. However, it is always sensible to submit the offer in writing. If the home is being sold through a real estate agent, you can draw up the offer together with the agent. Be careful not to lose the down payment, for example.

A checklist for the offer

What kind of an offer should you make?

If the home has been on the market for some time, you can offer a price below the asking price. The seller can always submit a counteroffer. If the home is in demand and its price/quality ratio is in order, it may be sold at the asking price or even at a price exceeding it.

Don't rush, but be quick when necessary.

Consider the sale carefully and maintain your sense of proportion, so that you don't exceed your budget. Make a quick decision if you notice that this is your chance. It is good idea to get a loan promise in advance from the bank.

Complete the bid with care

Check the details before you sign. Check that the amount, dates and your personal details are correct. When you submit a bid, keep the validity of the bid short.

Down payment before the transaction

If the seller accepts your offer, the offer will be confirmed with a down payment. The sum is 4% of the sales price at the most. If the seller withdraws from the sale, they must pay compensation. If you withdraw from the sale, you can lose part of your down payment. Make a written agreement on the payment of the down payment and the conditions concerning it. A condition may be, for example, that the down payment is returned if the bank does not for some reason grant you a loan, or if a water/moisture damage is detected in the condition inspection, which will cause you to withdraw from the sale. You should also remember that the regulations concerning property transactions are different from those concerning buying a share in a housing company.

Open bidding

The majority of homes sold in Finland are sold in the traditional manner: the seller sets a bidding price and prospective buyers submit their own counteroffers. Some homes, especially one-room flats and other small flats can be subject to ‘open bidding’. In open bidding, the flat is given a base price and the prospective buyers start to increase their bids. The best bid wins. The final sales price may be considerably higher than the base price. The advertisement for homes for sale will indicate if the home is subject to open bidding.

Conclusion of the sale

If the seller accepts your offer, the preparation of the home purchase transaction begins. Before the actual sale, book an appointment with your bank so we can put your loan papers in order. If a real estate agent is involved in the home purchase transaction, give them your bank adviser's information.

The real estate agent will provide the bank with the necessary information and the drafts of the deed of sale to you and the seller.

Reserve enough time for the home purchase transaction: at least a week from the acceptance of the bid. If a condition inspection has been carried out in the flat or property, the report must be delivered to you well in advance before the sale is concluded so that you have time to study it. If the condition inspection reveals something which has been a condition for the sale, the sale can still be annulled or you can ask for a reduction in price.

The sale is usually concluded at the buyer's bank. The real estate agent, the buyer, the seller, and the representatives of both parties’ banks are present at the conclusion of the sale. If you are buying a property, a notary will also be present. Both parties to the sale must have identification documents with them.

The contents of the deed of sale are reviewed and possible remarks or any unclear parts are settled. If you are buying a share in a housing company, the real estate agent’s duty is to ensure that the endorsements in the share documents are correct and that the right of ownership is assigned correctly. Practical matters like surrendering of keys and the assignment of the right possession are also agreed at the conclusion of the sale. Both parties sign the deed of sale.

Asset transfer tax

If you are a first-time home buyer between 18 and 39 years of age, you are exempt from the tax on certain conditions. Read more at www.vero.fiOpens new window

Congratulations on your new home!

When the documents have been read and signed and the practical matters have been dealt with, it is time to celebrate the successful purchase of a new home. Congratulations on your new home!

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Ask us about buying your first home

Call Nordea’s Customer Service

0200 70 000

Go through the steps of the buyer's guide