Buying Property with land

1. You find the property you want to buy on our website and send us the reference numbers. Please note that it is not usually feasible to view more than 4 or 5 properties in one day. Our website shows all current property for sale and is updated constantly.

We recommend that you arrange your visit so that you leave your last one or two days for legal works such as check ups and preparation of Power of Attorney.

Sometimes the properties we find are so cheap that an immediate decision is required. To enable our clients to secure such bargains, we offer a way for buying quickly without visiting Bulgaria which is called Remote Purchase. You can find further information on this way here…

2. Reserve the property by paying a reservation fee. In order to reserve the property which has ticked all the boxes for you, you’ll need to sign a Reservation Form and pay a reservation fee amounting to 10% of the purchase price. Then the property will be reserved for you. A preliminary contract will be instructed to be prepared. Its terms are normally agreed within 10 days and the contract has to be signed within this period too and respectively funds organized.

Please note that the reservation fee is non refundable but will be deducted from one of the installments due to be paid on the property. The reservation fee can be paid either via a bank transfer which takes normally 3 to 4 business days or in cash in our office.

In most cases the legal process is dealt with by a lawyer nominated by our agency and known to be an experienced professional. In case that you would like to use his services for a complete check up to be made on the title documents, construction documents, licenses and permissions, debts on the title, terms of contract and etc., a preliminary contract fee will need to be paid together with the reservation fee amounting to 250 Euros so that he can start the preparation of the preliminary contract and respective check ups straight away. After all checks are completed a Letter of confirmation is being issued by the lawyer stating that all check ups have been completed and advising the client how to proceed.

3. Set up a Bulgarian Limited Liability Company (you don’t have to set up a company if you are buying an apartment with no land). According to the Bulgarian Constitution, foreign nationals and foreign legal entities may not directly acquire land ownership rights and will not be able to do so until 2014. However, foreigners are permitted to acquire the ownership of buildings and premises within buildings, as well as some limited property rights. These restrictions, however, do not apply to Bulgarian companies, irrespective of the percentage of foreign participation in such companies. Thus, foreign persons can acquire full land ownership rights by setting up or joining a company incorporated under the Bulgarian legislation (this is inclusive of agricultural land).

The most popular and preferred legal form by both locals and foreigners for carrying out business in Bulgaria is the limited liability company (OOD) as it restricts the liability of the shareholders to the amount of the share in the capital of the company. All companies in Bulgaria have to be registered with the Registry Agency, which is a process that usually takes 3 or 4 weeks. The shares in an OOD are attributed to individuals and can only be transferred with an additional entering in the Commercial Register of the Registry Agency.

This is not as daunting as it might sound and can all be done on the first visit if required. Note that one company can own a number of properties. Please allow one working day for these legal proceedings. The lawyer who we deal with will handle the whole process for you, from choosing the company name to registering the company with the Registry Agency. All this has to be done within strict deadlines and carry hefty fines if they are not adhered to! If the property will be bought by more than one person, the presence of all people involved is required. Each buyer needs to present his/her valid passport. Some of the documents need to be signed in front of a local Notary Public. The setting up of a new company also requires opening a company bank account (small fee applies) with the deposit of the minimum required company capital for a Limited Liability Company of BGN 2 (about EUR 1), which can be withdrawn once the company has been formed. This money remains yours and is only needed to open the account. It can be withdrawn after company is formed (about 21 days). Many clients use it to defray final balance payment on their Bulgarian property purchase. Please note that you will be responsible for submission of company records annually.

The legal fees are quoted as a total for the Registry Agency fees and the lawyer’s fee for handling you. So in total it will cost you EUR 695.00 for the lawyer who we deal with to complete the whole process on your behalf. For this purpose we will need a power of attorney to act on buyer’s behalf.

4. Sign a preliminary contract. The preliminary contract is very important as it sets out all agreed terms and conditions of the deal including property detailed specification, property price, payment terms, delivery date, rights and obligations, penalty terms and etc. You will need to sign the contract in order to proceed with the purchase. This may be done in person or by your duly authorized representative.

No agency commission will be charged!

5. Arrange Payments on time as per the signed preliminary contract.
Usually the final payment is due within one month of paying the deposit on the property and signing the preliminary contract unless otherwise agreed.

Most of our Bulgarian property sales are done within the month, with the odd one taking longer if some legal issue crops up. If a property title isn’t 100% in order, our solicitor will cancel the sale. Fortunately, this is very rare as we try and pre-vet Bulgarian properties and owners before offering for sale.

6. Sign the Notary Deeds. Once final payment is made as per the terms of the contract, the vendor will invite the Buyer to make the final transfer of ownership. The Buyer may either be present in person in Bulgaria for the actual signing or authorize a third person to sign on his behalf. The Buyer is responsible for the payment of all fees applicable upon transfer of ownership such as the local tax, notary tax, court registration fee etc. The exact amounts depend on the different municipality regulations and of course on the value declared in the Notary Deeds, which value may, by mutual agreement, be sometimes different from the price stated in the preliminary contract.

The Land and Notary Fees are to be paid together with the final installment on the property so that the lawyer manages to prepare all needed documents for the deal.

7. You now become the new owner of the property!

8. Registration of the property with the Tax Administration. The Local Taxes and Fees Act applies for every foreign citizen according to which the owner shall inform the municipality on the acquisition of the real estate in writing within 2 months and submit a tax statement for levying an annual property and garbage collection tax.

9. Transfer of the water and electricity accounts under the name of the new property owner.

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