Process of Registration

The normal transaction for buying a house in Sweden is that a real estate agent is employed by the sellers. The buyers, A and B, who are looking for a house, find a property they like through contacts with a real estate agent. The agent, whose services are enlisted by the sellers, has to prepare a description of the property. The description has to contain certain types of information according to legislation governing the real estate business. The information is compiled mainly from searches in the Register and discussions with the owner. The agent has to brief A and B about this information.

A and B offer to buy the property through the real estate agent. The agent will, although hired by the sellers, act as a negotiator between the parties. A price is finally agreed upon and a sales contract is drawn up by the real estate agent. This document regulates the acquisition in detail, for example the day of taking possession (day of completion), matters of responsibility and payment. This contract is often made dependent on certain conditions, typically that A and B can finance the deal.

Next A and B will go to a provider of housing finance and borrow all the money required. The financial institution will of course be interested in making sure that the legal situation is correct (checking the Register on-line). This includes the seller and the existing mortgages. The bank will also check the value of the property and the ability of A and B to fulfill their engagements to the bank. The existing mortgages follow the property and remain after the conveyance has been completed and the buyers, A and B, have also the possibility to take out a new mortgage.

Once the financial arrangements have been agreed upon the bank will take over most of the handling of documents. On the day of completion, the bank with the assistance of the real estate agent has completed all necessary paperwork. A transfer document (deed of sale) has been drawn up, and is to be signed by both parties, who normally meet at the bank for the signing. The rights to the property pass upon signing of this document, which has to fulfill the following requirements:  (a) be in written form, (b) correct price must be stated, (c) description of the property, (d) declaration of transfer, and (e) signatures of seller and buyer. When it comes to the financial arrangements, the buyer, the debtor, will sign three documents: a promissory note (expressing the loan), a pledge (mortgaging the property) and an (if necessary) application to Lantmäteriet for a new mortgage.

The bank will now hand in all the relevant documents to Lantmäteriet for registration, that is the transfer document (original) and the application for mortgage registration (if needed). The employees of the Lantmäteriet match the information in the application with the contents of the register. In nearly all cases the application is granted. The decisions over an application are then entered in the Register. The content of the decision is deemed to be that is shown by the Register. There is no time frame in law in which all applications must be processed. All decisions by the Lantmäteriet can be appealed.

The fees and stamp duty are collected by the bank from the bank account of A and B when the bank gets a notice that registration has taken place and the fees and duty are due. Lantmäteriet dispatches a notice of title registration and the new mortgage certificate to the applicant (the bank).