The Costs of Buying or Selling a House in Bulgaria

Maria Plamenova,  Thursday, 7 November 2013


This article is part of a series of 8 articles about buying property in Bulgaria. The other articles in the series cover the following topics:

The fastest and easiest way to get a clear idea of the cost when looking to buy a property is to look at its price. Unfortunately this is not the final price you will have to pay for the real estate. If you are looking to buy a property in Bulgaria it is best to add around 10% of the announced price, and thus you may get a better idea what will be the cost. This is due to the fact that there are numerous taxes and fees that usually pursue the real estate deals.

The first expenses come even before you choose the property. If you decide to work with a real estate agent, and that is usually the case if you don’t know anybody selling what you are looking for, you will have to pay a commission. Its amount varies but in most of the cases it is 3% of the property market value. It is not only the buyer who uses the services of the real estate agents in Bulgaria, in most of the cases the sellers also do and also pay their commission. Since the amount of the commission varies, it is important to negotiate it with the agent before you start looking for properties. Be careful, sometimes the agents charge a fee for every single property they show you even if you don’t buy it, make sure this is not the case with your agent.

If the buyer doesn’t have experience with the Bulgarian real estate market deals and especially if the buyer is a foreigner, it is advisable to use the services of a local lawyer. The lawyer will have all the documents for the purchase ready and this includes the documents for forming a Bulgarian company which will buy the property on the foreigner’s behalf. The lawyers’ fees depend very much on their skills and the amount of work you expect from the lawyer. It is good to calculate at least 500 euro for that.

A foreigner looking to buy property in Bulgaria will also need the help of a local legitimate translator. The translators that are registered by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign affairs and can make legal translations will charge anywhere between 6-10 euro for every page translated. And since there are quite a few documents that will need to be translated, prepare 200-300 euro. The next significant cost comes when the buyer and the seller visit the notary office. It is best of the buyer chooses the notary that he or she wants to work with. In Bulgaria the notaries have legal rates. The fee depends very much on the property market value plus a fixed amount. For properties with price from 5 000 to 25 000 euro, the notary fee is 80 euro plus 0.8% of the 5 000 euro surplus. For properties that cost between 25 000 and 50 000 euro, the fee is 245 euro plus 0.5% of the 25 000 euro surplus. If the property you want to buy costs more than 50 000 euro but less than 250 000, the notary will charge you 375 euro plus 0.2% of the 50 000 euro surplus. And if the property is 250 000 euro or more, the notary fee will be 785 euro plus 0.1% of the 250 000 euro surplus but not more than 3 000. For example if your property costs 100 000 euro, you will have to pay to the notary 425 euro.

One of the most significant taxes that come with buying a property in Bulgaria is the Tax on acquisition of a property which is known as local tax. It is 2.5% of the certified material interest which is the price in deed between the seller and the buyer. According to the Bulgarian law this tax is paid by the buyer unless otherwise agreed which means that the matter is open for negotiations during the deal. The tax must be paid at the notary when signing the deal.

Every real estate deal in Bulgaria has to be registered in order to make it public. The buyer has two months to do that and has to pay for the registration 0.1% of the material interest.

It is an obligation of the seller to pay all the costs for preparing the documents of the real estate for sale. This includes making sketches of the property, its tax evaluation etc.

In Bulgaria at the moment all money transfers for sums over 7 500 euro need to be made through a bank transaction. This means that you should also calculate the bank fees for the payment when buying property.

It is a matter of negotiations how all those costs that come with a real estate deal will be distributed between the buyer and the seller. The practice usually shows that they are equally split.

House in the Bulgarian countryside
All types of property for sale in Bulgaria by private sellers and estate agents. Find your perfect villa, condominium or apartment on the Black Sea coast or in one of the Bulgarian Ski Resorts. 
Essential travel aid to Bulgaria

91082982 There are numerous documents that should be prepared for a real estate deal in Bulgaria. Those documents can be divided in a few groups: identifying the buyer, identifying the property, identifying the seller and identifying the future deal. Every party has to present the documents needed to the notary at the day of the purchase. 
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