When you sell an apartment in a housing company on your own, you are not only selling the apartment, but also a share in the housing company. Because of this, you must acquire up-to-date information regarding the financial position of the housing company to be prepared for the sales situation.
Acquire the relevant documents from the housing company
- the house manager's certificate with the required details of current repair needs. Check that the information on the certificate is up to date and accurate. The seller is liable for any incorrect information listed on the house manager's certificate. Jos isännöitsijäntodistuksessa on virhe, ja tästä aiheutuu myyjälle vahinkoa, myyjä voi kuitenkin hakea korvausta isännöitsijältä.
- the articles of association of the housing company, the minutes of the most recent general meeting of shareholders and any financial documents reviewed in the meeting such as financial statements, balance sheet and the financial plan
The seller must be familiar with what matters were discussed at the general meeting of shareholders, even if he did not personally attend it. Disputes between the parties to the transaction are often over whether the buyer was informed of upcoming renovation work, such as plumbing or roofing renovation, or even if the buyer was informed, was the information provided clearly enough.
Remember to disclose to the buyer
- information on renovation work that has already been decided on as well as any work that you know is being planned by the housing company
- information pertaining to the apartment, services in the residential area and its surrounding environment that may influence the transaction
- any defects or deficiencies regarding the apartment
- the zoning status of the residential area
If the building is several decades old and its plumbing has not been renovated, such work is generally to be expected. If the matter has not been discussed in the housing company's shareholder meetings or it has been only brought up on a general level without going into specifics, the buyer does not need to be informed. It is assumed that the buyer would understand the situation without being told.
Advertising and showing the apartment
If you are selling your apartment on your own, stick to facts in your advertising, brochures and when showing the apartment to prospective buyers.
• Advertise the apartment e.g. in the classified pages of newspapers and on Internet websites.
• Prepare a brochure for showing the apartment and include the floor plan in it.
• Be prepared to give viewers the opportunity to review the housing company's documents. When showing the apartment, give viewers time and space to look around at their own pace, just like real estate agents do. Tutustu alueesi asuntojen hintoihin ja arvioi asunnon hinta realistisesti.
If you are selling your apartment on your own, bids may be made orally or in writing. When real estate agents are used, bids are always made in writing. A written bid is preferable even when you sell the apartment on your own, as it helps both parties be aware of their rights and obligations.
The bid may include provisions regarding the extent to which it is binding.
- A bid should include a provision on the cancellation of an accepted bid, stating that the party who wishes to back out is liable to pay the down payment or a contractual penalty as specified in the bid. These are limited to 4% of the total sales price of the apartment.
- The buyer may want to include a so-called resolutive condition in the bid, which specifies the circumstances in which the bid shall not be considered binding. A resolutive condition may be used e.g. when the buyer is uncertain of securing a housing loan.
If the first bid at a price below the asking price is not acceptable to you,
- you may decline to respond to the bid, in which case it will become void
- you may make a counter offer, in which case the original bid will become void. The prospective buyer must respond to your counter offer within the time frame you have specified.
Bids should not be made out to have excessively long validity. A couple of days are usually enough. Go through all phases of the bidding process in writing, or at least by e-mail.
The seller decides whom to sell the apartment to
You don't have to sell the apartment even if you have accepted a bid. If you withdraw from a bid you have already accepted, you have to compensate the buyer by paying the contractual penalty that may be specified in the bid.
The deed of sale should be prepared in writing
The deed of sale for a share in a housing company should always be prepared in writing, and in at least two copies, one for the buyer and one for the seller.
Templates for deeds of sale are available e.g. on the Internet. You may also purchase the service of preparing the deed of sale from e.g. a real estate agent, a bank or a law firm.
The deed of sale must specify all the terms of sale agreed upon, such as
- the seller's and buyer's personal information
- the name and address of the housing company
- the numbers and quantity of shares and the number of the apartment
- information regarding the apartment (building, entrance, apartment number, number of rooms and area)
- price and terms of payment
- date of handing over the share documents
- dates of transferring ownership and possession and the date from which the maintenance fee will be payable by the buyer
- a note regarding payment of transfer tax
Defects and upcoming renovation work should be mentioned in the deed of sale. Don't rely on mentioning obvious defects in the apartment only orally.
The deed of sale should include notes on
- significant defects in the apartment, which the buyer has been previously informed of
- a list of housing company documents which the buyer has had the chance to review prior to concluding the transaction
- significant renovation work to be done at the housing company or the planning thereof
For example: ”The buyer is aware that the dishwashing machine has leaked into the kitchen floor structures and the humidity damage has been fixed(year). The buyer is also aware that the housing company, in its general meeting of shareholders on (date), has decided to order planning work for roofing renovation…”.