Thinking of selling a property in Bulgaria ? Some things below you need to take note of:
- Agreement on pricing with a buyer is the first step in the sale process and in the conveyancing process.
- Pay the deposit.
- For the sale of your property in Bulgaria, you should appoint an agent or a lawyer to represent you.
- Make copies of important papers, such as deeds, marriage and divorce dates, addresses, and passports; mail them to your agent or lawyer.
- There is no need for you to go to Bulgaria to sign the sales paperwork because your agent or solicitor will utilise the information provided above to prepare them for signing in your own country. These documents prove that you are the legal owner of the property and that you have given your agreement to the sale.
- Local Notary Publics in your hometown (most high street solicitors provide a Notary Public service) or the Bulgarian Notary at your nearest Bulgarian Embassy can be used to sign the sales documentation. Apostille stamping by your Foreign Office is required even if you choose the Notary Public method. Every single document must be couriered back to the country of origin.
- Your Agent or Solicitor will then apply for a variety of property-related paperwork. Takes 14-21 days to complete.
- When a sale is completed, buyers may or may not travel to Bulgaria to represent themselves or they may choose a representative to attend.
- It’s time for the purchasers to pay the notary. Notary permission is required for each transaction to be completed.
- Using escrow or the vendor’s Bulgarian bank account, the purchaser pays the seller.
- A new title deed is issued in the new owner’s name by the notary. Three to four working days are required to register it with the courts.
- Banks can be informed of the new deeds as soon as they are received by your Agent or Solicitor so that monies can be paid to you. The money is then made available.
- Your payment can be deposited into any bank account you like.
- At this point, the Bulgarian bank account is shut down, and the transaction is considered complete.
- The entire procedure can take up to six weeks, depending on whether or not you use an Apostille instead of a visit to the embassy.
In order to legally finalise the transfer of ownership to the new owner, the vendor must undertake a number of bureaucratic formalities when selling Bulgarian property. As soon as a deposit is paid and an offer is approved, the conveyancing process must begin.
Because foreign sellers aren’t usually present during the transaction, they hire a lawyer or an agent to act on their behalf in Bulgaria and execute the transfer. So that the agent or lawyer can write appropriate paperwork, you’ll need to provide them many copies of your documents by email (passport, deeds, address, marriage details etc). An further ‘Power of Attorney’ (PoA) will be given to you to confirm your approval to the sale of your home through a third-party agent. Signing this document gives another person full authority to act on your behalf, therefore it must be read carefully. Click here for additional information about PoAs and the dangers they pose.
An Irish or British Notary Public (often located at high street lawyers) can be used to witness the signature of the vendor on these three papers, which must then be delivered to the vendor’s Foreign Office for Apostille stamping (we can recommend agencies for this task who will deal with this for you).
Sending these papers to your agent or solicitor can be costly, therefore please use a professional courier service like FedEx or DHL instead of the standard postal service, which is frequently lost and cannot be tracked after the point of arrival (despite advertisements to the contrary). For an extra 40 Euros, we strongly recommend using a courier service to ensure the sale.
The property transfer process can commence as soon as these documents are in the hands of your Bulgarian representative. The first step is to get a ‘tax estimated price document,’ which includes the property’s registered drawings, from the municipality. These two papers must be provided upon request within 14 days, although in practise, it is not uncommon for this timeframe to be exceeded.
The deposit is usually used to pay any back taxes that are owed on the property. All utility costs, such as power, water, and maintenance fees, must be paid on time. Conveyancing Agents and Solicitors should handle them for you. It’s fairly uncommon for notaries to request an encumbrances certificate, a declaration that the property is free of any outstanding mortgages or other obligations that may invalidate the transfer.
Many people acquired their cars before the law required them to register with Bulstat, thus this must be done prior to the sale as well. The property cannot be sold without the Bulstat, which is a tax identification number akin to the British National Insurance number. It’s possible that your developer didn’t register your property with the Cadastre agency if you acquired before the legislation changed to require it. This procedure can take as long as 30 days, but it can be sped up by finding and submitting the Cadastre’s official architectural drawings.
A new Bulgarian bank account for the sale of the property will be set up by your representative at this time. This account is used to accept cash from the buyer and to transfer the outstanding amount to the vendor at the conclusion of the project. It is crucial that the vendor’s name appears on the account that the notary uses to verify payment.
You should anticipate to pay around 250-300 euros for all of the aforementioned paperwork and chores, regardless of who represents you. No legal or solicitor costs include this, therefore do not be misled by legal service or conveyancing charges.
As long as all of the necessary paperwork is in order, a Bulgarian notary close to your property can verify your ownership rights and intent to sell using a Power of Attorney without you being present. It’s arranged that all parties, or at least one of them, show up for a Notary appointment. Once the notary has verified and authorised the documents, the purchasers transfer the funds to the vendor’s bank account or, if they paid an additional fee, to the solicitor’s escrow account (normally 3 percent cost).
To finish the process, the notary will issue fresh deeds to be recorded with courts, which might take up to 3-4 days. Deeds can be used as confirmation of money’ existence, and the bank will sanction their transfer from Bulgaria to whatever account the buyer chooses, once they’ve been completed.
After that, the bank account will be shut off. Done and dusted!