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When buying property in Bulgaria

Hi all,

For those who want to buy property in Bulgaria, you dont need expensive estate agencies, buy direct off of the locals, its much much cheaper.. I am sure a
British expat would spare the time to help show you where there is a Good
Notary ? 

We have lived in Bulgaria for 8yrs now.. loving every minute.. :)

Please don't be fooled into thinking that all agents want is to con people, and that you will save money buying privately, this is not always the case as unfortunately there are as many people (Bulgarians and foreigners) who don't work in real estate who are just as keen to rip you off.

You don't have to buy through an agent to stay safe, but at the very least use your own solicitor not one recommended by the seller.

As a warning to anyone buying resale property, we are finding many properties that were originally Bulgarian owned, and in the property boom were sold to Brits, have many issues with the paperwork, but were put through as most foreigners were too naive/trusting, lacking knowledge or wanted to save money to have it checked properly.

Things like not owning the land the house is sitting on, even the municipality has been the owner of the land in 2 cases we have seen. Boundaries being incorrect, illegal buildings/outbuildings, but if you don't do things correctly, you will end up inheriting this issue so you will potentially be liable for anything untoward.

If you want to save yourself some money at the onset by not checking these things properly with a tried and trusted solicitor/agent then the seller is going to love you for helping them to pass on their problem.

We have lived in Bulgaria for 8 yrs now and would never buy a property from any Estate Agent, there is no need too.  We have our own English speaking Notary in our town and we know a  great Lawyer who is currently doing a case for us against Brit Expats. :)

I must add its not for any Property problem either its something else.. :)

Hi,
It depends if you have a quality agent, or a dodgy Bulgarian agent.
If you go in for a foreigner expect the price for a rural property to double. Unless the lawyer/notary is a close friend of yours, I think it's naive to think they're helping you just to be nice- they will be taking a huge cut of the deal for themselves from the seller- ie. they know a house is worth 30k, they agree with the sellers for a price of say 40k, IF they give them 5k of that price under the table (they split the difference).  Even for locals, a good agent can knock off 10-20% off the price of a rural property, easily. Well worth the 3% commission.

Expat1066 - you're lucky that you have lived here and know people, and many have been ripped off despite believing they have good honest 'friends/helpers' which in reality they don't even know them properly so how could they be?

Any new buyers to the country won't know anyone and could easily get sucked into believing that buying privately is always better, safer and cheaper. Many have been bitten in the past, some of those people have come to us to sort things out for them.

Currently we have a property with issues with the paperwork being incorrect. We get our lawyer to check everything thoroughly to ensure there will be no issues for the buyers when they own it and come to sell on. The owners aren't happy that we want the issues sorted before selling, because their notary would put the sale through regardless - not fair for the new buyers but this is what we are up against time and time again.

We haven't found any quality agencies hahaha...

I'm an estate agent (for Sofia only), I'm certainly not "on the take".

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In my experience, anyone trying the "I buy via locals only and will not consider using agents" and I know this terrific lawyer or notary is kidding himself. Hate them, love them estate agents are on the whole providing a valuable service, know or should know the market much better than anyone and hears things  an  amateur buyer wont know nor may not have access to that information.
Ok, some bought with no issues at all but there are equally many "horror" stories out there.
Worse still, many expats look at property from abroad then come over for a few weeks to buy.
Often no local knowledge let alone language but possibly plenty of money.
A rife target.
I had this notary once not for long I hasten to add, she came highly recommended by expats by the way, telling me that one needs to be prepared to take risks when buying property!!!
What, serious,  are we on the same planet even???
So, I am totally with Stephen, sort the agent and find one you can trust and work with him/her.
This way you minimse trouble, one can never eliminate possible issues totally.

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