Ivan Vasilev

Buying an apartment in Sofia, Bulgaria – Part 3

Part 3 – THE BUY

As you saw in the last part of the odyssey it is very hard task to find the perfect apartment  in Sofia if not impossible.

1000€ or 2000€ just to reserve it

There are many candidates for this property and have to be sure, that you will buy it!

In many cases you will have to pay to the real estate broker 1000€ or 2000€ to ensure that you are serious and will buy the apartment. Be sure that you do this via bank transfer and have a contract with precise period in which you will sign final contract.

Preliminary contract

This is the official way of saying that you want the apartment. If you have a broker he will ask you after signing this contract to pay him or her 3% of hole price.

IMPORTANT: The contract should contain:

  • Total price of the property (you may write less money to save taxes, but I don’t recommend that)
  • Amount of what percentage of the total price
  • End date by which both sides must sign the final contract
  • Precise address and current owners of the property

 As I recommend for every contract: READ before SIGN.

There are 3 main cases that you will find yourself in:

Buy with bank credit (you have some money, but not enough)

Your budget will cover some percentage (normal case 10% to 20%) of the entire prise, but you have to negotiate with the bank about total value of the property. This is the safest case, because the bank checks all documents needed. But be sure check them again for your convenience, also your broker is responsible for this (included in the tax you are paying)

You have all the money (lucky you 🙂 )

Here there are also some well hidden hurdles. Before signing anything you and your broker have to verify all the documents needed. Also there should be a lawyer involved. Checking for former owners, unpaid debts is critical. This is valid for all three cases. 

You don’t have real estate broker

In this case you save 3% or more tax, that the broker will charge you, but first it is very difficult to find an apartment without broker and second you have to check all the paperwork around the deal.

Final contract

There is usually 4 weeks period between preliminary and the final contract in which the seller has to provide all required documents for the deal (if they are not already provided). After double and triple checking all the documents you, the broker and the sellers go to the notary. 

You read together the contract and both sides sign it. After this you or the bank transfer the rest of the money.

IMPORTANT: The notary is not responsible for almost anything. He or she just signs the contract.

At that point you have to pay 3% local taxes and notary taxes which varies. It is common practice in Bulgaria that the buyer and the seller cut this taxes in half.

Taking the keys

If everything goes well it may take another 2 to 3 week to take the keys. This period should be explicitly written in the final contract. 

Congratulations! You are an owner!

There are some more things to do after taking the keys, but this will be a part of the next chapter.

Category: Blog, Business, Dream home, Houses and apartments, Lifestyle

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