Buying property in Bulgaria can be a very wise decision. At the moment the average price is good and you can expect some raise over the next few years and everybody can find what they are looking for, no matter if it is a second home, investment, vacation villa or a combination of the above. On the other hand, the process of looking for the right property can be long, exhausting and sometimes more expensive then you thought, so it is best to be patient and to have in mind a few important tips when buying real estate in Bulgaria.
There are many websites offering properties for sale in every part of the country. The first task when you start looking is to go through those sites and see what's on the market. Take it as preparing your homework, thus when you go to Bulgaria things will be a lot easier and you will not get lost in the real estate ocean. Although there are people buying properties based only on the online information and pictures, who now own a property in Bulgaria without ever visited the country, this is not advisable. As you probably know very well nowadays there might be a huge difference between the reality and the pictures. It is best if you pick 5-8 even 10 properties and visit them with the real estate agent that you chose.
When visiting a property for sale in Bulgaria there are a few important questions that you need to ask. How many potential buyers visited the property before you? Are there any offers made for the property at the moment? Has the electric system been checked in the last year? What kind of repairs have been done to the property? What are the annual taxes for the property? For how long does the seller owns the property and have they been living there?
Another important thing is to take a quick look around the neighborhood and see what the neighbors are like.
In Bulgaria when looking at a real estate people usually bring their camera with them or use their phone to make some pictures. After visiting 5-8 properties you might forget some of the specifics, that's why the pictures are very useful. It is also good to take a tape measure with you. Don't be afraid to use it. After all, you are about to buy a property and you have to know the exact measures. Don't count on what is written on the property ad, sometimes the size of the property is a lot smaller than the announced.
When you find a property that suits you, make an offer. Don't be afraid to negotiate a better price than the announced. Usually the seller can cut the price by 10%, sometimes even 20%, depending for how long the real estate is on the market. Of course there are sellers that don't want to step back at all, but there are other important expenses that need to be negotiated. All the taxes and fees that follow a real estate deal can be 4-5% of the property market value. They include the notary fee, the tax on the acquisition of the property, the deal registration fee, etc. Usually in Bulgaria those taxes and fees are equally split between the buyer and the seller, but this should be discussed and settled in advance.
When everything is negotiated between the buyer and the seller, a preliminary contract is signed. This contract that has all the basic features of the final contract for the purchase: the seller and the buyer, the property, the price, the terms etc. This preliminary contract does not transfer the ownership of the property. It is only a promise that a final agreement will be signed in the future. After signing the preliminary contract the buyer should pay 10% of the property market value while the seller should present all the necessary documents for the purchase. These documents include the sketch of the property, certificate of encumbrances, etc. If everything goes according to the plans, the day of the real deal comes very quickly. Before that the notary has previously collected all the documents required for the deal and sets an appointment with the seller and the buyer. When both parties are present, the notary reads the deed of sale and asks both the seller and the buyer whether they agree to this transaction. If the parties agree, a new deed is written and signed in six copies. Then comes the moment of the payment. In Bulgaria if the amount is greater than 5000 euro, a bank transfer should be used. After the transfer is made, the notary will request from the buyer a bank document that proves the transfer and then he can sign the new title deed, which makes the deal legal.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.