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.. :)

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".

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : No free ads please + register in the business directory
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

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.

That is easier to say, than to effect. Risks exist, so try to minimize these - either by a good agency or by a good lawyer.

We were lucky to find an agent and attorney in Burgas who acted in good faith so it is possible.  It helps if you do a little research on Bulgarian law and practices.  The government has a website with all the necessary information. Good luck!

Its good to have solicitor on your side when you buy or sell priperty. The good solicitor will kbow the legislation of the country and will defebd your rights. Its good to have real estate agent, but is recomended to have solicitor by your side. In my practice of orginizing  deals for my clients regarding purchase of real estate property I saw many bad real estate agents whi want only to sell property and take the fee.

Yes many agencies just want the sale, sorry to say but most seller's paperwork will have an issue with it that you won't know about and it will be 'put through', we are different in that we ensure any problems with the legality of the paperwork is put right for the new owners, much to the sellers annoyance as it holds up the sale and means they have to pay to have it put right, but we don't believe that the new buyer should have to the correct paperwork if it's 'found out' at some stage/when they sell.

Hi expat1066,

Reading you post and understanding what you trying to advise. But this route is not a route for everybody. People with the right contacts can buy without a estate agent, others not. We contacted agents and have seen properties without contacting a agent. In the last case we have seen the paperwork is not always wat it should be (like the post above). If we did not had the right contacts helping us with a check of all the documents we should be in serious problems, otherwise we bought a worthless property.

So for a stranger in Bulgaria i would not buy without a good guide. As mentioned earlier, a good solicitor is very important!
Okay, a lot of agency's just want to push their sales, but i met also as far is can see serious agency's taking their work very serious.

Just keep you're eyes open, like you should do everywhere....

We are looking for a property in The Sofia region.
We are here now ?

Hi Hally

Why dont you message stephan_t with your requirements or ideas, I am sure he would be delighted to help. He is a terrifc guy, bi-lingual and very helpful indeed.
You woudl be in very good hands.
Just for the record, I have no connections to him whatsover, neither business nor personal, I just dealt with him for my own requirments and he is as good as it gets.
And by god, usually estate agents ate not on my most favourit list of people.
Good luck.

Thank you
I have contacted him.
If there are any other Agents with other properties, we would like to hear from you !
Thank you.

Please note everyone, we have flown out here to meet with Constanta properties. They took us to see 2 properties on Monday, as they couldn't get the keys for all the others. They said they would keep in contact and send us a list of properties yesterday, having clarified what we wanted, after having seen two. (Arranged to meet today)  We did not hear from them yesterday. It is now 12:30 Wednesday and still nothing. Please steer clear. They also didn't have the keys to the upstairs of one and the other just happened to be open. Wr wasn't told that it would be a 2/3 km up hill hike until we arrived either.

I also contacted Steph-T, I think his name is, but after sending me 2 links for the area interested in (Sofia) region. Which were, in my opinion extremely over priced compared to all the others we have seen in the same area, so on. Then asking if he had a link to his website or list of properties, nothing back. We have decided to enjoy the rest of our time here and arrange another trip with other contacts

Dear Hally,

You contacted me yesterday, I responded twice since then. Twice I asked what your budget was, which you ignored. Despite this, I offered the only two properties which are on sale through us that fit the only criteria you told me (within 1 hour of Sofia airport). Without knowing your budget and what interests you I can't search through property websites for properties you (which are in Bulgarian), since there are thousands available. If you are looking for 20 thousand leva houses, unfortunately there are none around Sofia.
I wish you best of luck in your search!

best regards

remurphytx :

We were lucky to find an agent and attorney in Burgas who acted in good faith so it is possible.  It helps if you do a little research on Bulgarian law and practices.  The government has a website with all the necessary information. Good luck!


Could you send contact details of the real estate agent you found in a private message?

Many thanks,


New topic