The Costs of Buying or Selling a House in Slovakia

Patricia Holikova,  Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Slovak Countryside

Even though property prices in Slovakia experienced noticeable increase after the country joined the EU in 2004, overall costs of properties in the country is still considered to be among lowest in the EU. Naturally, prices of properties vary depending on the location. On the other hand, costs of either buying or selling a home in Slovakia remain globally very reasonable.

Getting Professional Assistance

Before buying or selling a property in Slovakia, it is good to know that properties are usually referred by the number of rooms, not only bedrooms (for example, a 4-room flat means a flat with three bedrooms and a living room). In general, there is possibility of buying a real estate property in Slovakia on one’s own, without using services of professional real estate service. However, the whole process becomes more convenient when you have such professional assistance. Nowadays, the offer from which to choose is quite extensive. Moreover, all of the major players are experienced in handling with foreign clients and there should be no language barrier for clients speaking some of the world languages. A serious real estate service usually offers full legal service to its clients, including the paperwork needed for transfer of the ownership. It is, however, possible to hire a lawyer for preparing legal documents, too. Furthermore, the costs of real estate agent usually mount to 3% to 6% of the property price, while cheaper properties usually sttract higher fees. Often, the sum is fixed while percentage portion applies to more lucrative real estate service. In many cases, this amount of money is required to be paid in cash and is often equal to deposit. The fee varies between the regions of the countries and is naturally proportional to the portfolio of services done by the agency.

Administrative Costs

The administrative costs of buying or selling a real estate property in Slovakia are rather low. Sales contract should cost no more than 700 EUR, while administrative fees (including the documents required by the Cadastre) are approximately 300 EUR. After 2005, there is no real estate transfer tax in Slovakia, thus the purchase/sale of home in Slovakia is not burdened by any tax. However, the transaction is subject to the income tax of 19% which applies to the income acquired by selling the home. Original sum for this tax is counted as the difference between acquisition property price and selling price. There are some cases when the owner can avoid paying this amount, such as when the person has permanent residence in the given property for at least 2 years.

Paying the Deposit

After choosing the property one wants to buy, he is expected to pay a deposit (5% and higher) in advance. This serves for securing the property, as well as budget for initial administrative costs. In case the potential buyer decides not to buy the property, the agent is obliged to give him the original sum back. If any costs already occurred, the exact sum is deducted from original amount. If no such expenses incurred, the agent is bound to return the deposit in its full amount. Afterwards, the paperwork begins. It is important to say that the bureaucracy in Slovakia connected with operations on real estate market is relatively low in comparison with many other EU countries. This is a consequence successful reforms country managed to accomplish a decade ago. What makes whole process convenient is also the fact there is no notary required for establishment of real estate rights. However, a notary public or local municipality authority is commonly used to certify signatures of transferors in the property report and the final contract. Still, the cost for these services counts in few euro. Afterwards final contract is prepared and the amount of money is paid by the new owner. Consequently, the official documentation required by the Cadastre is submitted. This step includes some administration fees, generally under 100 EUR.

Prices of Real Estates in Slovakia

The prices of real estate property are currently reaching their long-term bottoms (as of November 2013). Comparing to the highest level 5 years ago, residential real estate in the country totals to four fifth of the peak sum. The prices of real estate in Slovakia dropped under the influence of global economic crisis, as well as due to increase in unemployment. There are no sudden turnarounds expected in the near future and the price market seems stabilised. On average, the price of houses and flats in Slovakia was 1,220 EUR per square metre in the third quarter of 2013.

Real estate in the major regions of Slovakia is regarded well in the world market. Its prices and conditions are in reasonable ration. The country offers numerous possibilities for recreation throughout the year, being one of the reasons why many foreigners consider buying their real estate property in Slovakia. Also, the costs involved seem acceptable and this often means added value for its potential residents.

Village in the Slovak countryside
Property for sale in Slovakia by private sellers and estate agents.  
very useful for beginners!!

Slovak landscape Since 2004, when Slovakia entered the European Union, its market with real estate begun to flourish and attracts foreigners as well. Currently, there are practically no obstacles to buy a property in Slovakia and local banks offer mortgage to the foreign nationals under standard conditions. Whole process is not complicated and bureaucracy involved is often below the levels of many Western European countries. 
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