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Sale of a Property in Russia

Sale of a Property in Russia

Updated on Thursday 14th February 2019

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The sale and purchase of real estate in Russia are governed by the Civil Code. Under this law, foreign citizens are subject to certain restrictions related to the ownership of certain types of properties, however, if they decide to sell property in Russia, there are no such restrictions.

In Russia, there are two main types of rights on real estate: the ownership right (possessing, using and selling of the property) and the lease right (possessing and using the estate according to the terms agreed with the landlord). 
 
Should you need legal guidance, counseling and further details on how to sell a property in this countryour Russian lawyers can help you with all the documents and procedures needed to complete the transaction.

 

Foreign or Russian citizens deciding to sell real estate property in this country can benefit from legal assistance offered by our law firm in preparing the documents related to such a transaction. Our lawyers in Russia are specialized in offering a wide variety of legal services, including guidance in starting a business for foreign entrepreneurs.

Real estate ownership rights in Russia

According to the Civil Code, there are several ways in which ownership over real estate can be acquired. When selling a property in Russia, it is important for the owner to know their rights over the property. The following types of ownership right are acknowledged in Russia:

  • -          land plots or real estate properties which have been inherited by the current owners, which can be sold without any legal problem;
  • -          mortgaged properties which cannot be sold without prior notification to the bank and the person to buy the real estate.

 

In the latter situation, the buyer will be required to assume the mortgage over the property. However, it is good to know that mortgaged property sales are very rare in Russia.

Preparing the Russian property for sale

The selection criteria in Russia does not usually include a property's physical condition, as in most cases buyers prefer doing their own renovations and arrangements. Other sale conditions, however, are seen as more important, namely the legal aspects of the property and the completeness of the paperwork (done by the seller). For example, if you have inherited the estate, you should register the title before trying to sell it. If you have Russian relatives registered on your property, it is recommended to register them at some other address, thus putting it on the market free of third party rights.

The main steps for selling a property in Russia

The owner of a Russian property is not required to complete any specific steps when selling unless he or she wants to. One can advertise the sale of the respective property on specialized websites or with real estate agencies.

When preparing the sale of a real estate, the proprietor must ensure that:

  • -          they have all the documents which need to be presented during the transaction;
  • -          they are the owners of the properties – the property deed must bear their name;
  • -          they draft a pre-sale or directly a sale-purchase agreement with the buyer;
  • -          they have paid all the taxes related to owning a property, according to the Russian law;
  • -          they provide all the documents the buyer will need to register the property on their own name.

 

It is also important to know that the seller of a property has the right of verifying the person or company when selling real estate in Russia. The real estate due diligence procedure can be ensured by our law firm in Russia on behalf of both sellers and buyers.

Selling commercial real estate in Russia

The sale of commercial properties in Russia is quite common, as many foreign companies setting up operations here are also interested in acquiring office buildings or land plots in order to carry out their operations. While, there are certain restrictions related to the purchase of land plots in certain areas, the purchase of private-owned commercial real estate is permitted.

It is important to note that the sale of commercial real estate will imply a thorough verification of the buyer and assistance from a law firm in Russia.

Another aspect to consider is that commercial real estate sales can be part of an acquisition deal for an entire business, case in which specific clauses apply. Our attorneys in Russia can guide local companies interested in selling real estate as part of an acquisition deal by complying with the legislation in this sense.

Documents needed when selling real estate in Russia

Both the seller and the buyer need to prepare a set of documents when completing a real estate transaction. This set of documents must comprise:

  • -          the identification papers (ID or valid passports) of both the seller and the buyer;
  • -          the sale-purchase agreement which must be signed by both the seller and buyer;
  • -          the property title which must be brought by the seller upon the completion of the transaction;
  • -          the power of attorney, if one of the parties has enabled a third person to complete the transaction on their behalf;
  • -          the mortgage holder’s consent, if the property is subject to a mortgage.

 

Our Russian lawyers can help the seller prepare the documents when such a transaction is completed. We can also offer representation during the transaction if the property owner is not the country at that moment. We only need a power of attorney to represent them.

Once the transaction is completed, we can also make sure the former owner no longer appears in the Land Register’s records in order to avoid paying any additional taxes.

The video below presents the main steps required to sell real estate property in Russia:

 

Fees and taxes for selling properties in Russia

The sale-purchase contract has to be registered with the State Registrar for the Property Rights and Deals. There are two kinds of registration in Russia:
 
  • - the expedited registration (which can take up to two weeks); a fee has to be paid per entry and if the purchased property is a building that has land, a separate fee is necessary for registering the land as well;
  • - the usual registration (which takes up to four weeks). 
 
The seller and the buyer execute a preliminary contract, describing all the conditions of the deal that is about to be closed and states the list of documents that have to be provided by the seller. The sale transaction usually takes place in a bank. After the payment, both of them have to sign the agreement in front of a notary or realtor. You can ask our attorneys in Russia for more information or advice on issues related to selling a property or other legal matters.
 
The tax rates depend on the tax residency of the vendor. Typically, persons who exceed 183 days per year in the Russian Federation are seen as tax residents and the tax rate for them is of 13%. These sellers have to pay the taxes on the capital gains. In the case of owning a property for more than three years, the vendor is exempt from all taxes. For non-residents, there are no tax exemptions and they have to pay 30% on the sale proceeds.
 
 
In case you are in search of professional legal assistance, feel free to contact our lawyers in Russia. We can help both the seller and the buyer to complete any residential or commercial real estate-related transaction, however, you can also rely on us for assistance in other legal matters, such starting a company in Russia.