The Buying Process
Find out how to go about buying a property in Denmark, with details on the property report and the role of Danish estate agents…
The majority of Danish property purchases are made through estate agents. Around 94 percent of all estate agents in the country are members of the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents. Properties for sale are also advertised in newspapers and on the Internet.
The role of the estate agent is primarily to represent the seller, although they also provide the buyer with advice on their purchasing rights. Estate agents oversee much of the process involved in buying a property and have a much greater involvement in the process than in many other European countries. The industry is tightly regulated and many sales go through smoothly with no other professional involvement.
The association has a property website, Boligsiden.dk (in Danish only) which advertises properties for sale throughout Denmark.
It is often advisable to use the services of a lawyer or solicitor when purchasing a property. They can inspect surveys, check the details of the final sale agreement, perform checks with the local council and manage the contracts. Most buyers use a solicitor to do the legal work involved in buying a property.
Once a buyer has found a suitable property they should request a property report from the seller.
A property report is written by a building expert and details the general condition of the property including any defects. It is not a legal requirement but most sellers do provide one.
Without a property report, the buyer can hold the seller responsible for 20 years after the deal is made for any defects or damages that were not mentioned by the seller before the purchase was made.
The estate agent should also supply the buyer with a brochure outlining the costs of owning the property.
When a buyer is satisfied with the details of their chosen property, a purchase agreement is entered into with the seller. This is a legally binding document. Any negotiation over the price of the house usually takes place between the buyer's lawyer or solicitor and the estate agent.
When the purchase agreement is signed, the buyer is expected to pay a five percent deposit to the estate agent. In the six days after the agreement is signed, a buyer can pull out of the deal, although they may have to compensate the seller with a fee of one percent of the purchase price of the property.
During the next stage, the buyer is given the following property documents:
- Land certificate - outlines the rights and obligations concerning the property
- Cadastral maps - detail the property number and location
- Tax note for the property - outlines the expected rate of property tax for the following year
- Energy rating and plan - includes the current heating, electricity and water consumption, and guidance on how to reduce them
- BBR-owner information - provided by the local council, which gives information on the property such as its history, dimensions, location and technical condition
The final stage of the process is the drawing up of the deeds, which must be signed by both the buyer and the seller. This legally binds the sale.
The completed deeds are forwarded to the Land Registry to prove that a change of ownership has occurred. Once this paperwork is complete, the buyer transfers the rest of the money to pay for the property to the seller. Once notification is received that the payment has been made the keys are given to the buyer.
Most sellers in Denmark employ an estate agent to market the property and manage the sale. For this service, the seller can expect to pay estate agent's fees of around six percent of the property's value.
The sale of property is exempt from capital gains tax on the proceeds, unless the sale takes place within three years of the property being purchased, or if it is being sold for professional or commercial purposes.