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Articles about real estate in Estonia » Guide to Buying Real Estate in Estonia: Stay Calm and Protect Your Investments

Guide to Buying Real Estate in Estonia: Stay Calm and Protect Your Investments

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18.01.2024
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Guide to Buying Real Estate in Estonia: Stay Calm and Protect Your Investments

In recent times, the importance of a well-informed approach to legal regulation of real estate in Estonia has become increasingly relevant. Every transaction, whether it's buying an apartment or registering a plot of land, requires careful preparation and understanding of the peculiarities of local legislation. In this article, we will cover the most important aspects related to notarization and registration of real estate transactions in Estonia, so that you can avoid common mistakes and make the right choice. Reading this article will be useful for experienced investors as well as those who are just starting their journey in the real estate field of this country.

Buying real estate in Estonia can be an exciting adventure, but it can also bring a number of legal complexities for first-time buyers. The Estonian real estate market is characterized by specific legal regulations, notary requirements, and transaction registration, which may seem unfamiliar to newcomers. Here, I will provide a detailed analysis of these aspects, focusing on the latest updates over the past three years.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that all real estate transactions in Estonia are regulated by the Law of Property and the Law of Apartments. These laws protect both the buyer and the seller, ensuring fairness, transparency, and legal enforceability of the transaction. Familiarizing yourself with these laws is the first step in ensuring your legal security.

Secondly, the role of notaries in Estonia is of great importance. Unlike some countries where notaries only provide authentication, Estonian notaries play a more significant role. They are responsible for drafting the sales contract, conducting property rights searches to confirm the seller's ownership, and ensuring the absence of encumbrances on the property, such as mortgages or liens. The notary also checks for any restrictions on the property, such as historical protection. In recent years, the Estonian Chamber of Notaries has implemented digital solutions for transactions, providing a secure and convenient option for buyers.

Thirdly, the final step in the process of buying real estate in Estonia is registration of the transaction. The notary submits the sales contract to the Land Register, and the change of ownership rights is officially registered. The Estonian Land Register is a reliable and transparent system that ensures legal certainty and protection of property rights. In 2018, it was further modernized with the introduction of electronic extracts, speeding up the registration process.

However, despite these reliable systems, there are potential pitfalls to be aware of. For example, verifying the physical condition of the property is not a legal requirement in Estonia. It is recommended to request an inspection of the property before concluding the transaction to avoid potential issues in the future. Additionally, while notaries check for legal encumbrances, they do not verify the payment of utility bills or local taxes - it is the buyer's responsibility to confirm that they have been paid.

In conclusion, when buying real estate in Estonia, it is important to understand the legal landscape, utilize the expertise of notaries, and ensure proper registration of the transaction. Be vigilant about potential issues such as the condition of the property and unpaid bills. With these steps, you will be able to navigate the Estonian real estate market with confidence and security.

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