What to pay attention to when buying an apartment on the secondary market

What to pay attention to when buying an apartment on the secondary market

Buying an apartment on the secondary market requires special attention from the buyer. If the recommendations of experts are ignored, problems may arise in the future, both with documents and with the condition of the property itself. Let's take a closer look at what to pay attention to when buying housing on the secondary market.

1. Check the title deeds

If a property is bought without intermediaries, it is important to be especially careful and be sure to check the document that confirms ownership. If there are problems with the documents, there is a high probability that the owner will seek to sell the apartment without realtors in the hope that the buyer will not check all the papers.

It is quite easy to check the ownership documents in Ukraine on the official website of the Ministry of Justice or through Diya. A potential buyer of an apartment needs to obtain the necessary data from the seller and pay an administrative fee. If the owner of the apartment refuses to provide personal data, this should alert you and make you wonder whether you should buy the property.

2. Find out the history of the apartment

You can also see the history of the apartment in an extract from the State Register of Real Property Rights. Such an extract shows the history of the object since 1998. What the buyer needs to pay attention to:

  • how many times the apartment of interest has been sold recently;
  • what is the reason for selling the apartment more than 2 times, if there is such a moment in the history;
  • whether there is a dispute between heirs for the right of ownership, if the previous owner has died;
  • whether the residential property has passed into the ownership of the bank.

It is best if the statement will be studied not only by the buyer, but also by a lawyer representing his interests. It is easier for an experienced specialist to find problematic points, to which an ordinary person may not pay attention or consider them unimportant.

It also does not hurt to take into account the value of the property. If the buyer has studied the offers on the market and knows that this apartment is sold much cheaper, it is necessary to ask the seller why the price is reduced?

3. Check the presence of other claimants for housing

To avoid the situation when the apartment is bought, but suddenly there are legitimate claimants to the real estate, you should make sure that they are absent even before the transaction. Who can claim to the apartment:

  • Former spouse. If the apartment was bought during the marriage, then after divorce, each of the couple gets his or her share of the real estate. To understand whether there will be no problems in this situation when buying a home, you should ask the seller to show the written consent of the spouse to the sale, certified by a notary. If the couple concluded a prenuptial agreement, which states that the spouse can not claim the property, it is worth asking for a copy of it.
  • Bank. If the owner wants to sell a property that is still under mortgage, it is necessary to obtain permission to alienate the property from the lender, i.e. from the bank.
  • People registered in the apartment. To find out who is registered in the apartment, except for the owner, you need to obtain the relevant certificate. If there are other people registered in the apartment, the seller must sign them out before the deal is finalized. The new owner can also sign them out on his/her own by presenting the title deed to the CCAP, but it is best to do so before signing the purchase agreement. It is especially important to make sure that no children are registered in the apartment.

4. Make sure there are no encumbrances

Since encumbrances limit the ability to dispose of and use the property, it is important to make sure that there are no encumbrances when buying a property. You can also check whether or not they exist in the State Register of Rights in Rem on Immovable Property. On the website https://diia.gov.ua you can apply in 10 minutes, paying from 40 UAH. The certificate will be ready in about an hour.

On the Diya website, you should also obtain certificates on the absence of encumbrances in the Register of Real Estate Ownership Rights, the Unified Register of Prohibitions on Alienation of Real Estate Objects and the State Register of Mortgages. 

5. Pay attention to the owner and check his documents

It is important for the buyer to evaluate the seller's appearance and behavior. The task is to determine if the owner is in a risk group. These are drug addicts, alcohol addicts and mentally unhealthy people. Concluding a deal with such a person may lead to its termination in the future.

The buyer should also check the owner's documents: passport and certificate of assignment of an individual tax number. If the seller presents an old passport, it is necessary to make sure that all the necessary photographs are pasted in it, taking into account the age of the owner of the document.

6. Check if there are any legal disputes

When buying an apartment on the secondary market, you need to make sure that the property and the seller are not involved in court cases. You can find out the necessary information in the Unified State Register of Court Decisions. This is important because if there are pending title disputes, the new sales contract may be canceled.

7. Examine the BTI documents

The buyer should not neglect the opportunity to study the BTI documents and check them against the technical passport of the apartment. If the apartment has been remodeled, all changes must be legalized and documented.

The technical passport also allows you to find out the exact area of the property. This is important when the total cost of housing is calculated on a cost per square meter basis.

8. Check the payment of utility bills

To avoid buying an apartment with large debts for gas, water or electricity, you should ask the seller to provide a certificate of absence of debts for utilities with the package of documents. If it turns out that there are debts, but the seller at the moment can not repay them, you can agree to reduce the value of the apartment on account of payment of debts for utilities by the buyer.

9. Conduct a thorough inspection of the apartment

Buyers often focus on the square footage, layout, and recent renovations in an apartment, but overlook other important aspects. When inspecting the housing, it is important to examine what may require serious financial investments in the future in case of problems. This is the condition of communications, the quality of the walls and ceilings. Fresh cosmetic repairs can mask the shortcomings of a particular dwelling, so it is important to make sure that there is no dampness or other hidden problems.

If a buyer is planning to purchase housing on the secondary market for the first time, it is best to seek help from professionals. The specialists of the real estate agency "Mayak" know how to check the condition of the apartment, the documents and the seller in order to avoid any problems in the future. The team includes realtors, lawyers and a notary, so the interests of the buyer will be protected comprehensively.