Buying Property in Bulgaria – Step by Step Guide
How to make your property enquiry trouble free and successful?
The process of buying a new property in Bulgaria can be easier, more enjoyable, less time-consuming and less expensive if you keep to the following simple steps. We will help you prepare so that sellers perceive you as a preferred buyer, help you locate and assess Bulgarian properties for sale that match your specifications, and help you through the myriad details attending the actual purchase.
We have the best possible resources and communication systems available today to help you locate the homes on the market that match your specifications.
Look at each step of the buying process in more detail.
Step 1 – Define the need of your perfect home
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! Your first step toward buying your new home will be to analyze your needs in order to get a clear picture of exactly what you want your new home to look like and how it should function for you and your family.
You can run property searches at our Website, save your search criteria and results for use at a later date, compare listings, and request to be notified by email when new listings that match your criteria arrive.
We will inform you about newly listed homes in your category and range the moment they hit the market.
First, you should write down why you are looking for a new home. For example, are you currently looking for a retirement home where you can relax and enjoy sunshine all year round? Maybe you recently married and have outgrown your current residence. Or, maybe you have just gotten a promotion, which requires you to move to a new city. These factors will all have a bearing on how you approach your Bulgarian property search.
Second, establish a time frame that you would like to stay within for buying your home. Depending on your reasons for wanting a new home and the current state of the market in the area you are looking to buy, you should be able to come up with a rough guideline, which you can finalize at a later time.
Last, you most likely have a mental picture of what you would like your house to look like and what features it should have. It's very important to write these ideas down to avoid any ambiguity later in your home search. You should make at least two lists: one should be a list describing your dream home and the other should list the features of the home that are an absolute must have in order to buy it. In a perfect world, your new home would fulfil both lists 100 percent. It is more likely that you will end up blending the two lists into a schedule of prioritized items as you progress through the buying process. This is a natural and evolutionary process as you get clearer about what you want and what Bulgarian property is available.
Step 2 – Finance your home?
Now that you have your list of features you want in your new home, you are ready to start looking! Well, not just yet. You are going to need to know in what price range to look.
Shopping for a mortgage for Bulgarian property used to be a time consuming, full time job. Now you need not look any further than Theodoros-Buy-Sell.
The loan amount usually ranges from 30%-40% of the value of the property with a repayment period up to 25 years. Easy terms of payments and long-term in-house finance schemes are also available.
Contact your local Theodoros-Buy-Sell office for more information or to speak with a finance executive.
Step 3 – Area information
Now that you have your list of needs and wants and you know how much you can afford to spend, it's time to look at some houses! An important consideration is the area in which you want to live. People don't only buy the house; they buy the area the house is in too.
So, you will need to make another list of what type of area you want to live in. You will most likely want to consider things like what amenities are offered (shops, restaurants, tennis courts, parks, etc.), whether the Bulgarian property is by the beach or maybe in a quiet suburb or village and, if you have children who are attending school or soon will be, what school district you will be in and how close the schools are.
The information from your list of needs and wants for your home and neighbourhood can be incorporated into a broad search profile, which will then be narrowed down to specific areas dictated by the market in which you will be looking. Our computer information systems fed through our vast databanks will be an invaluable resource during this step.
Step 4 – Check for listings here
You can start your search for Bulgarian properties in Theodoros-Buy-Sell’s Magazine or www.theodoros-buy-sell.com.
On www.theodoros-buy-sell.com Bulgarian properties are displayed with multiple external & internal photographs, floor plans, prices, locations, detailed features, 360° virtual tours and much more!
You can search thousands of Bulgarian property listings, compare homes side by side, set alerts, schedule appointments, personally make offers to the owners or estate agents directly, online and more!
Step 5 – Make an appointment
Searching online or in the Theodoros-Buy-Sell magazine for Bulgarian property is a good start and it will give you a good idea of the real estate market in Bulgaria. Now it is time to meet with property owners and estate agents to discuss in detail and get any further assistance as needed.
If you are not familiar with the areas, no need to worry. Our advertising executives will give you a tour of different locations highlighting each one’s pros and cons so that you can familiarise yourself with the area.
You can personally see and inspect several Bulgarian properties that match your requirements and you will have the opportunity discuss and analyse each one, receive additional information on a house you like and revisit properties if needed.
Step 6 – Negotiate the offer
Now that you have found the home you would like to purchase, it's time to make an offer. Taking into account the recent sales of homes in that area which are similar in size, quality, conveniences, and amenities, what are you willing to pay for the home?
Keep in mind that almost everything is negotiable when you are buying a house. This can give you a great deal of leverage in the buying process -- that is, if you have adequate information and you use it in an appropriate manner.
Some of the things that you may have to negotiate are:
• The price
• Terms of Payment
• Repairs that need to be done
• Appliances and fixtures
• Occupancy time frame
The key to successful negotiating is keeping in mind that the end result must make both of you, the buyer and the seller happy. Otherwise, negative feelings will persist throughout the remainder of the process and someone may walk away feeling that they were not treated fairly.
Step 7 – Pre-close preparation
Once the negotiation process is over and a price has been agreed, you will need to pay the reservation fee which is about 1% of the sale price. The reservation fee will enable the owner or estate agent to take the property off the market so no one else can put an offer on it. It shows to the owner that you are committed and this way you avoid gazumping. The reservation fee is not refedable.
You will also need to contact your solicitor to make sure that all the necessary documents are being prepared, and that they are complete and accurate.
Step 8 - Closing
The contract is then drawn up by your solicitor, and though the items below are not an exhaustive list, it should include the following 7 points in order for it to be a valid contract of sale:
• Reference to the vendor
• Reference to the purchaser
• The subject matter has to be described as accurately as possible. If it does not exist at the stage of signing the contract, for example if it’s a Bulgarian property to be built in the future, reference to subject specifications must be determined accurately
• The purchase price
• The terms of payment
• The delivery date and
• The transfer date for the title deeds
Remember that the legalities of this phase are very important. If you have any questions or concerns, they need to be addressed right away.
Step 9 – After Sales activity
Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now that you have bought a Bulgarian property, you will need to have your local services such as electricity, water, and telephone set up. The estate agent can help you coordinate the set-up of these local services.
Also, you should already be aware of the expenses that are typically associated with owning a home. Management committee fees, landscaping costs, and annual communal expenses should be budgeted for throughout the year.
Step 10 – Moving in
When it is time to take delivery of your new home you will most likely need to shop for furniture, appliance and other relevant goods.
Theodoros-Buy-Sell advertises several quality companies that can provide you with everything you need at great discounts.
Ask our advertising executives for more information.
Legal and tax guidelines on buying and selling property in Bulgaria
1. ACQUISITION OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN BULGARIA
Bulgarians & persons without Bulgarian citizenship
Under Bulgarian Law, persons with Bulgarian citizenship are allowed to acquire any property without restrictions.
Persons without Bulgarian citizenship
Persons without Bulgarian citizenship, wishing to purchase immovable property in Bulgaria are obliged to adhere to special formalities and are restricted by certain regulations.
Only a restriction to the type of the property is applied. Foreign private and legal entities are given permission to acquire right of ownership over buildings and limited property rights over immovable property within the country, without any restrictions. Foreign private and legal entities are allowed to acquire right of ownership over land under the conditions of an international contract, ratified by virtue of art.22, par.2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated and become effective.
No restrictions are applied to the type and number of purchased apartments or houses.
If you establish your own company in Bulgaria, all restrictions concerning the property type shall be lifted, provided that the property has been purchased in the name of your newly-registered company.
2. MAKING AN OFFER
Buying a property in Bulgaria is very similar to buying property in the UK. You make an offer and if it is accepted, it is normal to give a nominal deposit (between €1,000 and € 3,500)in order to have the property taken off the market. To secure it at that day's price, it is necessary to sign a preliminary sales contract and the buyer must pay at least 10%-20% of the property value. The remaining sum is to be paid according to the terms agreed with the seller which usually include periodic installments until delivery.
ACQUISITION OF REAL ESTATE PROPERTY INCLUDES:
Transfer of real estate through a title deed.
The acquisition of shares in a company that owns immovable property.
Court resolution for ownership acknowledgment.
3. SAFEGUARD FOR THE BUYER
After the completion of the property sale, the Notary Public shall immediately inscribe the change of ownership in the Property Register kept at each Regional Court.
4. FEES, CHARGES AND PROPERTY TAXES
The transfer of immovable property into a purchaser’s name can be effected once the Notary Public has all type of fees and due property taxes calculated and collected.
Market Value of Property (€ Transfer Fee Rate (%)
Up to €10000 4.5%
From €10000 to €20000 4%
From €20000 to €30000 3.8%
From €30000 to €40000 3.7%
From €40000 to €50000 3.6%
From €50000 to €60000 3.5%
Over €60000 3.4%
IMMOVABLE PROPERTY TAX
1. REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION TAX
Upon purchasing a property in Bulgaria, the company shall be liable to pay fees for the property acquisition ranging between 2% and 4% of the property value. These fees are to be determined by each separate municipality in Bulgaria. Their amount is included in the amount of the transfer fees from the above described table.
2. REAL PROPERTY TAX
The registered owner of immovable property shall be obliged to pay annual real estate tax, the latter being calculated for each separate year by the relevant municipality, it belongs to.
Agricultural land is not subject to taxation and taxes are not due for it.
3. CORPORATION TAX
Upon performance of business activity in Bulgaria, a certain result is registered and it could be either profit or loss. The profit tax rate is 10%. It is to be paid by 31st March of the next year. The tax is also accrued in case of sale of immovable property. As a general rule, the profit is calculated as the difference between the sales proceeds and the original cost of the property.
4. TAX ACCURED IN CASE OF DIVIDEND YIELD
Upon financial year balancing and provided that there is corporate profit and after 10% corporation tax is levied on it, the balance can be distributed to the company owner as a dividend. The dividend tax is a final one, it is deducted from the owner and is amounting to 5 %.
The Selling Process – Step by Step Guide
Your home is more than an architectural structure. Through the years, it has become an extension of who you are, representing your personality, style and values. That's why selling it can be both an emotional and intimidating experience. But it can also be an exciting, rewarding time as you look forward to new experiences.
Theodoros-Buy-Sell in association with the best real estate professionals (chartered surveyors, estate agents) will help you transition from the emotional decision to the objective planning phase by providing you with key information about the home selling process. The Theodoros-Buy-Sell Sellers Guide is designed to help you understand the selling process beforehand. This inside know-how will help you make smart decisions every step of the way — and set aside any worries you may have from the beginning.
Of course, this guide cannot answer all your questions. For specific answers to your specific situation, we encourage you to consult a listing’s executive at any one of our offices island wide.
Step 1 – Meet with a listings executive
The first step toward putting your house up for sale is to meet with a Theodoros-Buy-Sell listings executive who can discuss the current market conditions, explain thoroughly the advertising process for successfully selling your property in Bulgaria and answer your questions.
You’ll need to have a copy of the title deeds or original contract of, the plans of the property and an accurate description of where the property is located.
Step 2 - Setting the right price
Setting the list price for your home involves evaluating various market conditions and financial factors.
During this phase of the home selling process, Theodoros-Buy-Sell supported by real estate professionals (chartered surveyors, estate agents ) will help you set your list price which you will decide based on:
• Pricing considerations
• Market value
• Comparable sales
• Market conditions
• Offering incentives
• Estimating net proceeds
When deciding the list price for your home, you should be aware of a buyer’s frame of mind. Consider the following pricing factors: If you decide to set the price too high, your house won’t be picked for viewing, even though it may be much nicer than other homes on the street. Compared to other houses for sale, your home simply looks too expensive to be considered. If you price too low, you'll short-change yourself. Your house will sell promptly, yes, but you may make less on the sale than if you had decided set a higher price and waited for a buyer who was willing to pay for it.
TIP: Never say "asking" price, which implies you don't expect to get it.
A common definition of market value is: "What a ready, willing and able buyer will pay, at a price a seller will accept." Bear in mind that potential buyers have already been shopping around, and when they see your home they'll be comparing features and financing.
The "right" price is a balance between the maximum amount the current housing market will allow, similar properties for sale in the same area (your “competition”) and your own time limits in selling.
Although you with the support of real estate professionals will decide where set the price, the buyer’s will determine the value. They will compare your home and your listing price to similar homes on the marketplace. If your price is not competitive, they'll quickly reject it and move on to the next listing.
There's a rule of thumb that says a house priced more than 10% over market value discourages offers and limits the number of potential buyers up to 60%. Buyers who can afford the price can get "more house" for their money elsewhere. Buyers who cannot afford the price simply won’t look. This is why real estate professionals say, 'A house priced right is half sold." A fair market value will be determined by comparing the property with similar properties which have recently sold and (in some cases) with similar properties currently on the market. Experience in the industry has proven this "market analysis" approach is the most accurate of all approaches.
Using comparable sales
No matter how attractive and polished your house, buyers will be comparing its price with everything else on the market. Real experts agree that the best guide is a record of what the buying public has been willing to pay in the past few months for property in your neighborhood like yours. Theodoros-Buy-Sell can furnish data on sales figures for those "comps" through its advertising databank, which you can analyze to determine listing price. The decision about how much to ask, is always yours.
The list of comparable sales Theodoros-Buy-Sell brings to you, along with data about other houses in your neighborhood presently on the market, may be used for a comparison. To help in estimating a possible sales price for your house, the analysis will also include data on nearby houses that failed to sell in the past few months, along with their list prices. This report differs from a formal appraisal in several ways. One major difference is that an appraisal will be based only on past sales. In addition, an appraisal is done for a fee while this report is provided FREE by Theodoros-Buy-Sell and may include properties currently listed for sale and those currently pending sale.
A formal written appraisal (which may cost a few hundred pounds) can be useful if you have unique property, if there hasn't been much activity in your area recently, if co-owners disagree about price, or if there is any other circumstance that makes it difficult to put a value on your home.
Consider market conditions
When real estate is booming and prices are rising, houses may sell in a few days. Conversely, when the market slows down, average DOM (Days on Market) can run into many months. Theodoros-Buy-Sell can tell you whether your area is currently a buyer's market or a seller's market. In a seller's market, you can price a bit beyond what you really expect, just to see what the reaction will be. In a buyer's market, if you really need to sell promptly, offer an attractive bargain price.
Studies show that the longer a property sits on the market the lower the price at which it is finally sold. Although the greatest amount of buyer activity typically occurs during the first three to four weeks after putting your property on the market, a reasonable time frame for selling a house may be between 30 and 90 days. If a house is on the market too long, potential buyers may avoid the house, wondering if something is wrong with it.
Some sellers list at the rock-bottom price they'd really take, because they hate bargaining. Others add on thousands to the estimated market value "just to see what happens." If you want to try that, and if you have the luxury of enough time to feel out the market, sit down and work out a schedule in advance. If there haven't been many prospects viewing your home after three weeks, you may need to lower your list price. If that doesn't bring any prospective buyers, you may need to lower your list price again. Plan on doing that regularly until you find a level that attracts buyers. Make a written schedule in advance, before emotion takes over and you're tempted to dig your heels in.
Estimating net proceeds
Once you’ve estimated a market value, you can get a rough idea of how much cash you might walk away with when the sale is completed. This can be particularly useful as you start looking for another home to buy. From the estimated sales price, subtract:
• Payoff figure on your present loan(s)
• Any prepayment penalty on your mortgage
• Attorney's fees, if any
• Unpaid property taxes
• Cancellation fees (if any)
• Capital Gains Tax
As far as closing costs are concerned, you and your eventual buyer may agree on any arrangement that suits you, no matter what local practice dictates.
When you are ready to put the house on the market, the listing agreement is filled out indicating a specific period of time the agreement is in effect ("advertising period") and the terms and conditions.
The Listing Agreement
A listing agreement is a personal service agreement between you and Theodoros-Buy-Sell describing the property to be marketed and the terms under which it is to be marketed. You are appointing Theodoros-Buy-Sell to advertise the property and the advertising fee along with the responsibilities of each party is agreed.
Step 3 – Advertising your property
Theodoros-Buy-Sell uses a unique multichannel promotion that includes advanced communication technology, printed media and the internet to advertise your property to hundreds of thousands of potential buyers every week.
Our listings executives enter the full details of your property on our website, www.theodoros-buy-sell.com. This profile includes everything from the location and price of your home, to multiple internal and external pictures, floor plans, virtual tours and any special features it may have.
More than 50,000 unique visitors access our website monthly.
Theodoros-Buy-Sell Bulgaria Magazine
Theodoros-Buy-Sell Bulgaria magazine is a full property listing publication. More than 5000 properties are listed and more than 10 000 copies are sold each WEEK through our offices, supermarkets and kiosks.
Once your property has been listed in Theodoros-Buy-Sell, the information about it will reach ten thousands of potential buyers in our database, who are looking for a property similar to yours.
Theodoros-Buy-Sell works with hundreds of reputable international companies including financial services corporations and real estate organizations which introduce thousands of qualified enquiries from potential buyers to Theodoros-Buy-Sell every month.
Theodoros-Buy-Sell operates the most advanced contact centre in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a world class, 50-seat contact centre that uses the latest communication technology to service customers around the globe by telephone, email and live chat.
Specially trained staff will advertise your property around the clock to thousands of prospective buyers every week.
For Sale Signs
The ‘For Sale Sign’ we place on your property provides additional exposure to the neighbourhood and prospects touring the area. Signs often create high quality inquiries because prospects like the area and the house and want to get a closer look inside.
Direct and other means of Marketing
Theodoros-Buy-Sell is present at international property exhibitions and allocates a significant amount of money to advertise in local and international property magazines and newspapers.
Step 4 – Home Staging
Today a home that stands out among similarly priced, competitively financed houses is the home that sells. Why? Because it makes a good first impression that lasts right through to when the agreements are signed.
You may not be able to improve the market value of your house (finish basement, remodel kitchen, etc), but you can improve its marketability. The key is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes.
First impressions are hard to break, and the way your home looks from the street is the first impression a prospective buyer will get. This can make or break the sale. Does it look a little dingy or dull? Give it a face-lift with a good old-fashioned paint job or power wash. Keep the grass mowed and the weeds pulled. Trim trees and bushes. Plant flowers to add a touch of colour. Replace a weather-beaten mailbox, and add visual interest by positioning rocks and potted plants around it!
Once you get the potential buyer out of the car, continue the allure them with a friendly front door. Restore its lustre with a few coats of varnish or spiff it up with a rich, new accent colour. In other words, make your house a showpiece from the curb to the front door. Here are a few pointers:
• Trim your lawn,
• Make sure your shrubs are well-proportioned.
• Remove garden hoses, lawn tools, dog house, and toys from the yard.
• Clear windows that give a glimpse of something nice inside.
• Clean, or even paint the front door.
• Keep walks and steps free of any dry leaves etc
They're ready to open the door. Is your home in order? Start by getting rid of the clutter (don't forget the garage), leaving a blank canvas for buyers to fill in with their own ideas.
Clear out closets and cupboards. Remove knickknacks from tables, countertops and bookshelves. Remove all unnecessary furniture to make your rooms seem more spacious. Brighten rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Choose neutral shades of white, off-white, beige or light pastels that will coordinate with most decors.
Here are some general pointers:
• Give your home an open, airy feel by opening the curtains and pulling up the blinds.
• Turn on as many lights as possible.
• Kitchens should be absolutely spotless. Pack up all excess kitchen appliances.
• Clean the oven inside and out.
• Run a lemon through the garbage disposal for a fresh smell.
• Bathrooms are just as important. Remove stains from bathroom fixtures, repair dripping faucets and polish mirrors.
• Add sanitizers to toilet bowls and keep lids down.
• Potpourris and scented soaps add a nice fragrance to the air.
• And as a final touch, appeal to the home buyer's senses by playing soft background music while people tour your home.
Many buyers judge the house keeping by the oven and stove. Appliances must be spotless and make sure everything works perfectly. Replace or repair anything that sticks, squeaks or drips. The counters and cabinets should be kept open and uncluttered without countertop appliances.
The master bedroom
The second-most appealing room to a buyer is the master bedroom. Furnishings should be uncluttered. Try to define sleeping, dressing and sitting areas with furniture arrangements. Show the true size of closets by removing or packing items that can be stored elsewhere like off-season clothes.
Sinks, toilets, bathtubs, tiles, and even shower curtain must be immaculate (no soap film). Fix leaky faucets. If there are rust stains, it indicates faulty plumbing. Lighting must be soft (no harsh fluorescent).
The recreation room
The recreation room should give the ‘feel’ of an open space that accommodates an assortment of activities. Fireplace or wood stove with fresh logs is an ideal extra for this room.
The perfect garage holds only cars. Make sure that the garage is uncluttered. Sell, giveaway or toss unnecessary articles. Clean oily cement floor. If you do use the garage as storage area, make sure it is orderly and tidy.
Organize the basement by hanging tools on pegboards, and putting things on shelves. Cure any damp smell by placing a bag of limestone in the damp area. Try brightening the basement by painting the walls.
The following conditions may require a work order:
• Broken windows.
• Debris in crawl space.
• Dry rotting or deteriorated wood.
• Earth-wood contact.
• Overgrown shrubbery.
• Electrical not in working condition.
• Gutters and downspouts blocked or missing.
• Inadequate foundation ventilation.
• Inadequate attic ventilation.
• Peeling or missing paint.
• Plumbing not in working condition.
• Single oil or gas space heaters to heat entire house.
• Water damage inside the home.
Step 5 – Showing
Theodoros-Buy-Sell advertising strategy will generate enquiries which will document and forward to you. Potential buyers using our online tools will contact you in order to book an appointment to see your house. Before the appointment take your time to tidy up, make beds, light dark areas, perhaps pop something in the oven, like a spicy cake, pie, bread, or even a pan of cinnamon. Make every effort to accept all appointments -you never know when your buyer will walk through the front door.
If you’re Home
If you're home, greet the prospects at the door and politely!
Buying a home may be the largest single purchase a family will make in a lifetime. It is a serious matter for them; therefore, too many distractions could spoil the sale. Real experts recognize through their experience over the years that a number of pointers make things a little easier between sellers and the buyers.
• Too many people present during inspection may make the potential buyer feel like an intruder, which makes it difficult for the buyers to be at ease.
• It's better that you and the kids busy yourselves in one part of the house or outside, rather than tagging along. Leave the buyers to explore your home at their own ease so that they can better emphasize your home's features.
• Noise is distracting, so don't have the radio or TV going. ‘Quiet’ is the ideal condition in this situation.
• It is better to keep pets out of the house. Buyers may be timid around an unfamiliar animal. If asked a question, respond honestly.
• The lived-in appearance makes it a home. There's no need to apologize for its appearance.
If you’re Not Home
Have the house neat and tidy and readily accessible for your estateagent or sales representative.
• Remember, potential buyers usually feel more comfortable when the owners are not present!
Step 6 – The Closing
Your homework and patience has paid off. The offers are now rolling in. When someone prepares an offer, they may contact you directly or put their offer through www.Theodoros-Buy-Sell.com non-human automated computerised system which will be automatically dispatched to you.
Review every offer, comparing the financial qualifications and readiness of each buyer. You may accept an offer as it is, reject it or make changes and present it back to the purchaser to see if they are willing to accept your changes. In turn, the buyer may then accept your changes, reject it or come back with a counter offer. This process continues until a deal between you and the buyer is agreed or negotiations are terminated.
Theodoros-Buy-Sell does not in any way suggest, propose or advises the purchase of all and/or any particular properties or property in question.