Buying property is a process that requires great commitment assuming knowledge of legal procedures and the negotiation process. Whether you are buying a house in Croatia or you plan to buy an apartment it is most important to check the documentation that will be required for the acquisition of property and meet all legal provisions after signing the sales contract.
From the collection of documents, of which the most important are deed and building permit if it is a new building, to the signing of the contract, may take up to several weeks or even months if you are foreigner from outside the European Union.
With the help of our real estate agents, it is simple to obtain all the necessary documentation for the property and advice on bank loans to help finance, conclude of the preliminary contract and solving capers, ensure signing of the sales contract and, ultimately, registering property and paying taxes on real estate.
How to Buy Property in Croatia?
Buying property in Croatia is very similar to purchasing property anywhere in the world. There are some small differences, but we will give you the best guidance and help in purchasing your dream home in Croatia.
1. Determine your wishes and possibilities
First, the buyer needs to set some criteria – planned budget, property type (house, villa, apartment, land plot), location and anything else that comes into consideration when you are buying property.
2. Start your search for the desired property
When you know what you want, it is time to start your search. With the usual online search, the best thing to do would be to contact professional Croatian real estate agent. Although there is a lot to be found online, the multitude of offers can overwhelm you. Also, there are properties that are not advertised at all, but are sold exclusively through agents.
3. Search after the property records
When you have found a property that is in line with your wishes, it is very important to check its official information. For example: size in square kilometres, name of the owner/co-owner, possible burdens (eg existing mortgage), etc. If you purchase through a real estate agency, they will do it for you. Our licensed agents are here to help you in the whole process of buying a new home. We also offer you our legal services that are included in our agency agreement.
4. Making an offer and concluding a preliminary contract
When the buyer decides to purchase a property, he makes the purchase offer. If the seller accepts the offer, then the buying process begins. If it takes some time to collect the necessary documentation buyer and seller sign the preliminary contract. Buyer pays the deposit (usually 10% of the agreed price) to the seller.
5. Conclusion of the contract and payment of the remaining amount
After all documents are ready and obligations have been fulfilled, it is time to sign the final contract. Concluded sale contract must be notarised and the buyer pays the purchase amount to the seller.
6. Payment of the real estate transfer tax
Buyer must pay the real estate transfer tax of 3%. The tax payment application is sent by the notary (with whom you certified the contract) ex officio. You will receive the decision of the Tax Administration and the invoice at the address specified in the signed contract. You are obliged to pay the real estate tax within 15 days from the date of delivery of the decision on determining the real estate tax. The purchase of real estate which is subject to value added tax (VAT), is not subject to real estate transfer tax.
7. Registration of ownership and transfer of utilities
After completing the purchase, we make an entry of title in your (the buyer) favour in the Land Registry.
Our agents will also make sure of the transcription of water, electricity, gas, and other utilities on behalf of the buyer.
8. Enjoy your new home
The procedure is over. You can devote yourself to decorating your new home and enjoying it.
Additional Requirements for Buying Property in Croatia for Foreigners
Real estate in Croatia may be bought by foreign citizens with a few differences. The main difference is in the limitation of the possibility of buying certain types of real estate. Thus, foreign nationals can only buy residential real estate and land for construction, but not agricultural land and buildings of national importance.
If you are EU citizen
Residents of the European Union since 2009, according to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, may acquire real estate in the same way as Croatian citizens.
If you are non-EU citizen
Foreign citizens from outside the EU can buy real estate in Croatia according to the principle of reciprocity, which means that real estate can be acquired by citizens of the country where Croatian citizens can also buy property.
Before finalizing the purchase, foreign citizens must obtain the consent of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration of Croatia. Along with the application to the Ministry (as stated on webpage), you should attach the following documents:
- real estate purchase agreement (the original or a certified copy),
- proof of ownership by the seller i.e., a copy from the land register,
- certificate of the administrative body on the legal status of the real estate (whether it is within boundaries of the construction area envisaged by the urban development plan),
- proof of citizenship of the buyer (e.g., certified copy of passport),
- if the applicant is abroad and has not designated an attorney-in-fact to represent them, they must designate an attorney-in-fact for receipt of documents with a domicile in Croatia.