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Snagging List - Worthwhile?

As the Bulgarian property market continues to mature, we are now witnessing a host of secondary services enter the market, we take a look at a professional snagging list. Whilst prices in Bulgaria are relatively cheap compared to the likes of Spain and Portugal, all off-plan properties have one thing in common - they should be viewed a number of times before the final payment is made. One of these visits is to ‘snag’ the property for any building/finishing irregularities.

You usually only have one opportunity to ‘snag’ your property before the developer officially hands it over to the owner.

It is true that you could ‘snag’ your own property but consideration needs to be given to the following:

The costs of travelling to Bulgaria to do this, both in direct travel and accommodation costs, as well as days off work.

2) Do you have the technical expertise to conduct a thorough snagging list?

3) How would you effectively explain the contents of the snagging list to your developer / builder?

Ivo Tanev, former sales manager for a Bulgarian property development company, realised that there was a gap in the market for snagging of property. It was evident that whether you are buying old, new or off-plan, you should have some kind of survey undertaken. He sought the advice of professional surveyors to establish a ‘snagging service’ which has resulted in his company using a similar format to that of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Mark Davis, a property owner in Dolna Banya, near Borovets, was an owner who Ivo knew well, could trust him and who was also very passionate about providing an independent Survey service to property buyers in Bulgaria.

BG Surveyor was therefore formed to provide a survey service for property purchasers, independent of the builder or the property agent. All surveys are in English and come with detailed photographs of the interior and exterior of the property. The survey also includes a list of all works which are incomplete or defective, together with orks which are not compliant with the architectural plans and building regulations. This list is given to the developer / builder in Bulgarian so that they can rectify the problems.

So, what kind of cost savings and benefits could you expect?

As an example, for a couple looking to snag a one bed apartment in Varna, the flights, parking, travel to/from airport, accommodation and living expenses for the trip would probably be around 250 pounds or more per person. Also you’ll still have to produce your own snagging report. With BG Surveyor, the snagging report would cost 165 pounds. A saving of some 300 pounds. You're also more likely to get your property finished to the standard you expect.

BG Surveyor have also signed an agreement to co-operate with Bulgarian Home Loans to offer the snagging service to their clients allowing them to be able to pay using their credits cards in pound sterling.

From experience a lot of new property owners know that a survey can actually save them money and time and relieve the stress involved in the buying process. However, unlike more mature markets, buyers of Bulgarian property do not seem to ask about a snagging list. They should do!