When Is An Offer Not An Offer? – Understanding Estonian Real Estate Jargon

Here at Tallinn Property we make it our mission to ensure you understand the Estonian property market fully, regardless of whether you speak any Estonian or not!

It has been brought to our attention that there may be some confusion about what is meant by ‘offers‘ in the real estate context here.

The word ‘offer’ in Estonian is pakkumine, or plural pakkumised (though this can change – Estonian is a notoriously complex language with 14 case endings, but no words for articles (a/the) or prepositions (in,on, at etc.) meaning that nouns will change their endings depending on where they are in the sentence – a function provided by articles and prepositions in English).

In any event, translated as ‘offer’, what pakkumine actually means is quite different from the English meaning in the context of real estate, at least in the UK.

Whereas in Britain, making an ‘offer’ is that process by which a buyer or potential buyer will suggest a price for a house or flat which is usually somewhat lower than the asking price as listed by the estate agent. The vendor can accept or reject this offer, but the most common practice would be to make a counter-offer, and this negotiation would go on until either a price acceptable to both parties was met or an impasse was met.

Thus the offer price of property in the UK and indeed, in this sense, Estonia and everywhere else, will generally be lower than the asking price.

However in Estonia, ‘offer’ actually means an item on the market. In other words offers are the supply of items, most usually apartments. Thus ‘offer price’ (pakkumishind) actually means ‘asking price’. This explains why ‘offer prices’ in Estonia are invariably higher than transaction prices (tehinguhinnad) since vendors here are no more or less generous, and buyers no more or less parsimonious, than anywhere else!

In other words pakkumishind really means ‘asking price’ i.e. what the vendor hopes to receive. And ‘offers’ in general means the supply of flats and house on the market, not the volume of people offering to buy an item.

We hope that clears everything up for all our readers, and rest assured that we will blog about any other things which might get lost in translation – or if you have your own query, just ask us!

Goodson & Red Tallinn Property Consultancy is a premier real estate service in Estonia, specialising in residential and commercial Tallinn real estate, with a strong focus on consultancy services for overseas property investors in Estonia. Our recent media accolades include mentions in both the UK quality newspaper the Daily Telegraph, and the New York Times.