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- Non-Russian nationals have every legal right to purchase property in St.
Petersburg. While foreign corporations also may legally purchase property,
registration is more complex for corporations than for individuals, particularly
in terms of services.
- Property taxes are minimal and are not paid for immediately by the buyer.
However, tax issues do enter in for long term ownership and sale, as capital
gains are heavily taxed, especially for absentee owners (30%) versus "tax
residents" who reside more than 6 months of the year in St. Petersburg.
- Broker fees are paid by both seller and buyer to their broker, usually as
a percentage of the sale price. This fee for a buyer's broker includes crucial
services such as finding properties, tracking down documents, arranging for
closing, transfer of property, and other legal issues. The seller's broker
fee includes assessment, marketing, arranging for showing the property, negotiating
with potential buyers and preparing the final set of documents.
- The key service which a real estate agent provides for a buyer includes
the assessment of public information concerning apartments for sale, selecting
attractive properties and arranging with their owner for showing, and making
sure that all documents are in order, including registration and final transfer
of clean and empty property.
- If you require assistance for checking legal history and making final arrangements
for a purchase of a property which you have already located, we can provide
this for roughly half of our usual fee.
- Checking the history of a property is crucial prior to any purchase since
laws have changed several times over the past twenty years. All property need
to be clear of any legal challenges by previous owners.
- In addition to broker's fees, the buyer ordinarily covers the final closing
costs, which include notary fees, registration and bank expenses. Your agent
will give you an estimate of these costs in advance. Notarizing of the sale-purchase
agreement is not required by law but is highly recommended, providing essential
insurance since by law a notary must check the precision of all documents
notarized and will bear the financial cost for any errors. Notary fees range
from .7% to 1.5% of the sale value of a property.
- Registration of the sale of a property must be completed with the Federal
Registration Service in St. Petersburg within 30 days ( plus fees for
courier) with expedited registration in seven days time for .
- Bank fees are required for the rental of safe deposit boxes in banks for
the deposit of escrow funds of the buyer, even though most purchases are done
in cash. Such funds are released to the seller upon completion of required
registered documents. Although some high-end apartments are sold through wire
transfers of funds, the use of cash and safe deposit boxes is safer and more
- The key steps for negotiating a sale in St. Petersburg include securing
a property, negotiation of purchase price, signing of preliminary agreement,
researching the property history and preparation of documents, closing of
purchase including payment, registration, and transfer of property.
- A preliminary agreement is necessary because any real estate transaction
requires a complete set of documents concerning the property, its value, its
previous registration and taxation. Thus a preliminary agreement is signed
which indicates a promise to purchase subject to the provision of the documents.
- An agreed upon price may be changed during the period before a final agreement
is signed, since by law in Russia there is no requirement for the seller to
finalize a sale based upon the listed price, and considerable time sometimes
elapses between preliminary agreement and final sale. Deposit in cash is made
by the buyer to the seller, for some percentage of the sale price, after which
the seller removes the property from the market. Legally in the Russian Federation
there are two possible deposits: advance payment (Avans) and property deposit
(Zadatok). STN Ltd. will help you determine which is most appropriate in your
- Closing takes place after the full amount of sale is deposited in a bank
safe deposit box, the sale purchase agreement is signed either at the bank
or at a notary. The signed agreement is then submitted for registration, after
which the actual transfer of ownership takes place. Once the actual transfer
is accomplished, a final "acceptance act" is signed by both parties certifying
that the property has changed hands in acceptable condition.