An introduction to buying property in Russia


Foreign property investment is now possible in Russia due to legislation introduced in 2001. Currently, locals and foreigners are entitled to private ownership of land and property.

After choosing the property, the seller and buyer are required to provide the necessary documents to formalize the agreement. The documents that are required for a real estate agreement are normally:

  • passport
  • title documents of the asset
  • urban registration forms
  • floor plan
  • psychiatry and neurology references for all participants

After providing all the necessary documents, both the buyer and the seller execute the preliminary agreement. The preliminary agreement details all the conditions of the future deal. If all the agreement conditions are met, the buyer and the seller will meet at a public notary office to sign the final contract.

The Payment Procedure

In Russia, many real estate transactions are conducted in cash. When the buyer is paying in cash, the money will usually be placed in a bank safe deposit box. The deposit box will be released to the seller only when all the registered paper work and documents have been presented.

Wire transfers in Russia are considered to have more risk involved in comparison with cash purchases. The main reason is that escrow accounts in the country are not well established.

The real estate agreement needs to go through state registration. This process normally takes 30 days. The registration fee is approximately USD$50 if you hire someone to fill the paperwork. Once the contract is signed and notarized all the relevant documents and paperwork are presented to the state for registration.

This bureaucratic process can take up to two weeks, the expedited registration fee is approximately USD$200. As soon as the registration process is complete, documented evidence will be available to prove that the investor is now the owner of the real estate property.

Further reading

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