Stages in the purchase and sale of Property in Bulgaria - Including Expected costs. Previous to April 2012 everyone had to set up a Company in Bulgaria in order to purchase property (regulated land) this is no longer the case if you are an EU citizen, you can now just buy a house with land privately in your own name or joint names (with your passports and/or marriage certificate if applicable). If however you are a non EU citizen, just want to purchase un-regulated land or multiple properties you may still need to set up a company (at a cost of 500 BGN Lev). Select Reputable/Recommended Agent/ Desired Location / Type of Property & Land Area / Seller Select the area (what the area has to offer, amenities and what is important to you, schools, hospitals) type of property and land area you would like or provide us with your critieria and we can make recommendations to you and we will do our best to cater only to your requirements, Ie. budgets (cost of property, plus separate renovation budget if needed), house and land size needed, no. of rooms (minimum/maximum) state of repair (un-renovated, part renovated or fully renovated) type of property (Villa, Bungalow, Two Storey, Town or Village House, Business Opportunity, Commercial Property) etc, we always try to show you only the properties which we think will be of interest to you. So not to draw out the process or give false hope to the vendors. We can also act on your behalf with your consent and signed power of attorney if required this does incur an additional charge of 60 BGN Leva and is drawn up by our legal representative. If you are unsure always seek recommendations for your agent from third parties or read their reviews/testimonials from previous clients. Deposit / Preliminary Contract / Monthly Payment Plan You can make a deposit on a property to secure it, and we will mark it as under offer for an agreed period of time, and then have a preliminary contract drawn up to state when you will be able to make full-payment, the cost of this contract is around 60-70 BGN lev, the securing deposit amount required is usually 1,000 BGN Lev. This is non-refundable upon default of the buyer (you), but if the vendor defaults on sale agreed, then you are within your rights to receive the deposit back. At this stage the lawyer conducts a report, ensuring there are no outstanding bills, fines or taxes relating to the property itself. If all is clear then the process can continue. If the property you have selected is offered on a monthly payment plan then the amount of deposit and monthly payments varies and is negotiatiated by us between the vendor and the buyer. Normally the first down payment / deposit required is between 1/4 and 1/2 of the asking price, then the remaining amount can be paid monthly at an mutually agreed amount over a mutually agreed period of time. This is also done under a legally binding and recognised in a court of law contract beteen the seller and buyer and protects both parties involved, the content of which varies in each different situation. Ordering Skitsa(s) - Official Property Plan(s) - These cost 8 Leva each (1 or more may be needed) Order Government Evaluation - Costing 10 Lev for each individual property or properties. Once these have been received then the next step in the process can be undetaken. Although all properties have an asking price, they are not set in stone and many are open to offers in that region, we will negotiate on your behalf and endeavour to get you the best deal possible. Documents Needed for the Purpoose of buying a property These will be drawn up by a professional advocat (Lawyer) on your behalf all other documents will be supplied by the Vendor, We have a qualified colleague in Popovo town who we work with, who deals with all the legalities (he is English speaking). We ensure that we are with you throughout the whole process to explain any part of the process to you. All you need is your passport and copy of marriage certifiate if buying the property in joint names. All documents required from the seller will be thoroughly checked and made present by the lawyer. The lawyer also checks at the local courts to ensure there are no outstanding fines related to that particular property. All utilities are checked and made sure they have been paid up to date. After these documents are in place we are ready to go to the Notary to have the property signed over into your name. Official Notary Act Reading and Finalisation of Sale. In order to perform the formalities related to deal at the notary’s office, the parties must appear before the notary to sign the title deed unless the agent or third party has power of attorney to act on behalf of buyer. The notary public acting in the area where the property is located will have jurisdiction. The seller must submit to the notary the original documents evidencing the ownership right over the property. The notary will verify whether the property is located of the area of their jurisdiction: The notary public verifies the identity, capacity and representative power of the persons appeared to him/her The notary verifies that there are no legal impediments to the transfer of the property The notary ensures that the presented draft title deed meets the legal requirements The notary verifies that the seller is the actual owner of the property The notary reads to the parties the contents of the draft title deed and the parties confirm their wills before the notary public, as reflected in the draft title deed (The translator present will read the outlining points to you in English). The title deed is signed by the parties and by the notary public The notary provides the parties with a copy of the title deed on the next working day, please ask us to ask for a copy(ies) of the property plan if you wish to have one as the original is sent back and filed in the local office. Incurs Notary Fees. Registration After the formalities of the Notary have taken place, the notary then presents the title deed in the registry office. The Judge of Registration orders the registration of the title deed with the Property Registry at the Registry Agency, which ensures the rights of the buyer in case of possible claims of third parties. Since then the buyer has every right to dispose with mortgages, rentals, sale etc. Declaration of Purchase in the local municipality office According to the Local Taxes and Fees Act, any person who has acquired a new property, whether new or old construction, or whether a replacement, is required within two months of the notary act ageement before a notary and the registration of the transaction with the Registry Agency to file a tax declaration, levying an annual tax. If this is not done correctly then there can be fines incurred from 100 - 1000 BGN Lev, This is normally completed by us and/or the lawyer on the next working day after the sale has been completed at the notary, you can be present also if you wish, a receipt will be issued and attached to the new notary deed, there is no extra charge for this service it is done within the fees already paid to the lawyer and agent, but it is a very important part of the process, as we do not wish any buyer to receive any fines, due to our failure to carry out a simple task. Taxes and fees for buying and selling The following fees must be paid upon the formalities of the deal at the notary’s office: 1. Notary fee, calculated as per the Notary Fees Tariff on the certified material interest (in case of difference between the tax evaluation and the sale price - on the higher amount) + 20% VAT. 2. Fee for the registration of the title deed with the Property Register at the Registry Agency, amounting to 0.1% of the certified material interest. 3. Government Evaluation Tax of property, amounting to 0.1 to 3 %. The tax rate for each municipality is determined by the municipal council. The tax is calculated on the basis representing the higher of the two values - the tax evaluation of the property. The total of these amounts is paid to the notary and the latter performs the registration of the title deed and pays the fees due. 4. Lawyer / Translation / Representation - Charged between 150 and 170 BGN lev, dependant on amount of work involved in the process. 5 Payment to the real estate agent/agency - Standard Agent Fee of 1,000 BGN Lev by the buyer is payable at this stage. 6. Any agreed commission amount payable to the agent by the vendor (normally 3% of the final sale price) is also payable at this stage. The total costs of purchasing a property in Bulgaria should be between 1,500 Lev (without company set-up) and up to 2,000 BGN Lev with company set-up if required per property transaction. After The Sale Has Been Finalised Your new notary deeds will be available for collection on the next working day. The Electricity and Water contracts will now need to be registered into the new owners name(s), we have the forms to fill out from the water company, these need to be given to the water company agent in the village or handed back to the main office. For the Electricity to be changed, the owner needs to be present, this is carried out in Targovishte at the main office, unless power of attorney (incurs charge) has been given to the agent or lawyer, and the electricity board will then need to have access to the meter or put new meter in for you. This is done as part of the agent fee, we only ask that if the lawyer needs to attend that you cover his fuel bill. The equivalent of council tax needs to be paid annually. The bill will be sent to the address that you registered, when you/we declared your property to the municipality, you will sometimes need to collect this from the nearest post office . The charge for this is based on the total property area purchased and location, but is usually between 10-100 Leva for the 12 month period. You will need to keep check on when electricity bills are due, The bills are paid a month in lieu and sometimes estimated if access to the meter has not been able to take place, you can view your bills online at www.energo-pro.bg or you can pay online using e-pay with your client number. If you are late in paying your bills, the company are within their rights to come and disconnect your electricity supply, dependant on the amount of time the bill has been unpaid, you may just have to pay outstanding bill to stop your supply being disconnected or if disconnected you can incur a re-connection charge, it may take up to 24 hours to be reconnected. You can pay your bills in your village post office between certain dates in the month, after this time they will be sent to the main post office in the nearest city or town or you can pay via e-pay online if you are not in Bulgaria at the time. You will also need to keep tabs on water bills that are .The price charged is percubic of water used, and is also charged a month in lieu This can be paid durectly to the water company agent in your village, or in the post office with your client number or online using e-pay If you opened a company in order to purchase your property then you are required to pay an accountant to be submitted each year. There are two separate declarations/submissions to be aware of One before the end of March and the second before the end of June. We can put you in contact with our reputable accountant or we can collate and drop off documents for you (incurs fuel charge), she asks that all relevant documents to be presented at her office as early as possible.