The property buying process in Bulgaria typically involves several steps. Here is a general list of the process involved:
- Find a Property: Begin by searching for properties that meet your requirements. You can consult real estate websites, work with real estate agents, and check local listings to find suitable properties.
- Conduct Due Diligence: Once you find a property of interest, conduct thorough due diligence. Review property documents, obtain surveys, and assess the property’s condition. Consider engaging a lawyer or legal advisor to assist with the due diligence process.
- Preliminary Agreement (Преки договор): If you decide to proceed with a property, you may sign a preliminary agreement with the seller. This agreement outlines the key terms and conditions of the purchase, including the purchase price and payment terms. A deposit, usually a percentage of the purchase price, is paid at this stage.
- Title Deed Verification: Verify the property’s title deed with the relevant authorities, such as the local Land Registry or Cadaster Agency, to ensure the seller has legal ownership and the property is free of any encumbrances.
- Sales Contract (Покупопродажбена договора): Engage a notary or lawyer to prepare the sales contract (покупопродажбена договора). The contract outlines the terms and conditions of the purchase, including the purchase price, payment terms, and any contingencies.
- Obtain Financing (if applicable): If you require financing, you can explore your options with Bulgarian banks or other financial institutions. Complete the necessary paperwork and fulfill the loan requirements.
- Notary Public and Deed Transfer: The sales contract must be notarized in Bulgaria. The notary ensures the legality of the transaction, verifies the identities of the parties involved, and witnesses the signing of the contract. The property’s ownership is officially transferred to the buyer through the signing of the final deed.
- Payment and Completion: On the agreed-upon completion date, the remaining balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller. The property’s ownership is officially transferred to the buyer, and the keys are handed over.
- Registration and Taxes: After completion, the property’s transfer is registered with the local Land Registry or Cadaster Agency. The buyer is responsible for paying the applicable taxes, such as the property transfer tax and any notary fees.
- Post-Purchase Obligations: Arrange for property insurance, set up utility accounts, and update relevant authorities and service providers with the change of ownership information.
The total purchase costs for buying a property in Bulgaria can vary depending on several factors, including the purchase price of the property and the specific services required. Here is a breakdown of the typical costs involved:
- Property Transfer Tax: In Bulgaria, the property transfer tax is known as the “Notary Deed Tax” or “Title Deed Tax.” It is calculated based on the purchase price of the property and is typically paid by the buyer. The current rate is 0.1% of the purchase price.
- Notary Fees: Notary fees in Bulgaria are regulated by law and are calculated based on the property value or the transaction value. The fees are typically shared between the buyer and the seller. The notary fees can range from approximately 0.1% to 0.2% of the property value or transaction value.
- Legal Fees: While not mandatory, many buyers choose to engage a lawyer to handle the legal aspects of the property purchase. The legal fees can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and the specific services required. It is common for legal fees to range from 0.5% to 2% of the purchase price.
- Property Valuation Fees: In some cases, a property valuation may be required by the bank or the buyer for mortgage purposes. The cost of property valuation can vary depending on the property’s size and location, typically ranging from €100 to €300.
- Real Estate Agent Fees: Real estate agent fees in Bulgaria are typically paid by the seller, not the buyer. The standard commission rate for real estate agents is around 3% to 6% of the purchase price.
- Land Registry Fees: The cost of registering the property in the land registry in Bulgaria is relatively low and depends on the property’s value. The fees can range from approximately 0.1% to 0.2% of the property value.
Specific state by state costs are below, accurate from 2021 so are subject to change:
In Bulgaria, there is no specific property purchase tax imposed by individual states or regions. The main tax related to property purchases in Bulgaria is the Notary Deed Tax, also known as the Title Deed Tax. This tax is imposed at the national level and is calculated based on the purchase price of the property.
The current rate for the Notary Deed Tax in Bulgaria is 0.1% of the purchase price of the property. This tax is typically paid by the buyer.