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Buying an apartment – the purchasing process and what we should know for buying

As many situations – as many questions, especially, if you are going to buy housing on the secondary real estate market safer and cheaper… 

You should know at what to pay attention for buying an apartment correctly:

Where to find the secondary real estate prices?

  • When asking your acquaintances, who bought an apartment earlier, remember that the prices can change every month.
  • You may find the information on approximate prices on the photo advertisements on the Internet (starting prices may significantly differ from the actual prices, therefore the picture will be not objective enough).
  • You may receive more exact prices in a real estate agency, on the websites of the agencies or on other analytical websites.

What are the risks for buying an apartment without an intermediary’s assistance?

At what to pay attention to avoid risks for buying an apartment without real estate agency:

  • The most common and significant risks which you may face on the real estate market as the following: considering the real estate purchase contract invalid, registered persons in an apartment, whom you may not dispossess,third-party claims and satisfaction of their claims as the cost of the bought housing, the problems with the advance payment.

Checking the history of an apartment – it is necessary for your safety.

  • For example, the current owner has purchased it from the citizen considered legally incapable. A careful purchaser (who buys an apartment, within the legal framework and not knowing of the circumstances preventing a contract) may count on some compensation from the state, but the practice of its receiving is not well-tested, the amount will be still less by several fold than the price of the purchased apartment. The necessary documents: one should verify the entitlement documents for an apartment (in search of possible encumbrances and to study the conditions of purchase of an apartment by its current owner); statements from the Unified State Register of Rights to Immovable Property and Related Transactions; information on the citizens registered in an apartment; the availability of resolutions of boards of trustees; legal capacity of the participants of the preliminary contracts for the apartment; history of the preliminary contracts, especially if an apartment was sold a few times for short period of time.

Adequacy on the purchase and sales contract in a notary’s office.

  • Thus, this is also one of the risks in the purchasing process of an apartment, as the majority of buyers and sellers on the purchase and sales contract bother and worry by adding emotions to the process of registration of the purchase. Often, under the influence of emotions people forget important points and may not concentrate on the questions, which may have crucial consequences. Often, people take friends, relatives, incompetent specialists to a notary (without practice of re-issue of documents on the real estate purchase and sales contract), who sometimes complicate the process, by focusing on unimportant points instead of the important ones. 

Where to start purchasing process of apartment?

  • If you buy an apartment without intermediaries – firstly, you should decide on the districts. Finally, you may realize your dream and buy an apartment in a district, where you have spent your whole life or get rid of your memories and begin your life in a new place. You should analyze the pricing policy of real estate in a desired district and compare it with a family budget. Remember that usually the closer to the centre, the more expensive the housing. Remote districts – cheaper. Of course, you will find the cheapest offers in very remote districts. If you consider real estate as investment, it is also important to decide on the investment into which district(s) will become the most profitable.

Advertisement on selling an apartment: information concealed by the owners and intermediaries: 

"Intermediaries please do not disturb."

  • it still does not mean that this is an owner. Often intermediaries (you will encounter them in 90% while calling on the advertisements) may write such text, to sort out other intermediaries as they explain.


  • Signature under an advertisement “I am the owner” still does not mean that there are no intermediaries. Often, the owners, who wants to work with a known realtor include his fees in the price of an apartment. Therefore, the apartment costs more. The buyer pays "hidden" fees, but does not receive any services instead. All the services receives the owner accompanied byan invisible realtor.

"In a good condition."

  • Every owner of the apartment interprets the words “in a good condition” in its own way. It is preferable to clarify this because many people call this way any apartment the walls of which have not fallen down yet.

"Bargaining possible."

  • If you find the words “ bargaining possible”, start to bargain directly over the phone. As a rule, people expect that after you arrive and have a look at the apartment, you will regret for spending your time and you will make a concession. And over the phone it is immediately understandable by what amount they may reduce the price. 

How to save money and buy an apartment cheaply?

Bargaining – you should bargain to buy housing cheaper. 

  • The majority of advertisements contain the text information "bargaining". This is a sign that the owners understand that the offered price for per square meters is high. In this case, bargaining is necessary. Also, you should pay attention to the advertisements without these "sacred" words. Usually, bargaining is always possible. How you gain benefit from it and how much you may change the price depends on your skills and persistence.

The smaller the area – the less price of an apartment.

  • This is the golden rule to comply with the planned budget.

To buy an inexpensive housing note that the apartments without an elevator above the 4th floor.

  • Are harder to sell, therefore, they cost less.

The apartments in panel houses cost less.

  • Also, a design of the house matters in pricing.

Every big city has its own elite districts and cheap districts.

  • The cheaper districts have cheaper offers.

Do not place too much requirements, if you want to buy an inexpensive apartment.

  • Do not place too much requirements, if you have a small amount of money at your disposal. You risk delaying the search for a long time by sorting out many advertisements right a way.

You have found an apartment - what comes next? You are signing a contract of advance payment.

  • On behalf of the owner – advance payment is required to put in order and prepare documents, to prepare evaluation, to refuse all previous potential buyers, who have already seen the real estate, or to cancel all visits in the next few days.
  • f you found the apartment, which will become your future property, an advance payment in the amount of 500-1500 standard units may be enough to confirm your serious intentions. In some cases, an advance payment is made, and the amounts appear to be more substantive – from 3000 standard units and higher, usually – about 5% of the apartment price. Before the conclusion of a contract the parties have to make agree all conditions of the future purchase and sales contract. In theory, a contract of advance payment may be closed within a day, by signing purchase and sales master contract. Then, the most important is the submission of a package documents for registration of an ownership transfer.

We should know how to avoid scams when buying an apartment. The popular fraudulent scheme to coax you out of your money:

  • the so-called “information agencies”: you are offered to choose a few addresses and asked to pay a certain amount in advance, even a small amount. Nobody will appear at the addresses, as no one sells apartments there, and you will not be given your money back (nothing is said about returning in a contract). It is the most popular fraudulent scheme to coax you out of your money.

Who pays what on the purchase and sales contract: for what does the buyer pay and for what does the owner pay?

  • Please note that usually this question between the buyer and the seller is discussed through negotiation on the contract of advance payment. 

Getting acquainted with the owner of an apartment (real estate):

  • As a rule, when arriving to have a look at an apartment, you have to initiate a dialogue with owner. Remember that you are going to buy an apartment, and not to make friends and fellows. If you are going to buy this apartment, remember that you will have enough opportunities to test your abilities to negotiate, the ability to agree and assert your own interests, to compromise or stand by principles.
  • Do not delay time on decision-making

  • If an apartment is sold cheaper than the market price and youare pleased with this apartment, do not take time. By showing doubts and promising to think and call back, you risk hearing that an apartment has been sold. 

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