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Don't Leave your Brain on the Plane - Deposits and Contracts


Deposit and preliminary contract

If there are problems later on, this is the document which will be referred to, so you must get this right. most problems occur because the buyer has not understood (or even not bothered to read) this contract. Pay attention to the written word.
Don't pay cash, pay by bank transfer and mark on the document what the payment is for, that way you have a trace
Don't pay into anyone's personal account
Your lawyer can hold money for you in a lawyers client account
It is highly recommended that on resales the deposit is not paid over to the vendor at this point but is held by a safe third party (your lawyer) until the final deeds are signed: if there are problems between preliminary contract and deeds and you are entitled to have your deposit returned to you, it will be virtually impossible to get this money back if it has already been handed to the vendor
Agents often ask for their fees on signing of prelim contract, check this before you make any offers, their fees should be paid when the final deeds are signed
Do not sign a preliminary contract without a certified translation in your own language, it will be the Bulgarian version which will be legal and you must understand everything that is written in it.
The preliminary contract is the basis for the final deeds: include in this the price net to the vendor and agents fees, plus other clauses which protect you
For off-plans ensure all facilities on the development are included in this prelim, don't rely on the sales puff or the brochure you saw: also deeds should be signed when Act 16 is granted and not earlier
Tie staged payments to stages of completion and not to dates. Also, pay these staged payments bank to bank direct to the developer and mark on the bank slip what you are paying for
Again for off plan, check out the maintenance agreement thoroughly before signing the prelim
If you need a mortgage to purchase, include in the contract that the purchase is dependent upon you obtaining this finance
Do not believe anyone who says it is normal to under-declare, it is not: it can also land you with a big tax bill if you come to resell
On resales, it is possible to go straight from offer to final deed without a preliminary contract if both parties agree
To draw up the preliminary contract, your company will need to be set up, you will also need your passport and company stamp
It usually takes four weeks from prelim to deeds: however, this is one of the few country's in the world where it can be done in a day!
Ensure the prelim says that at final deeds you are taking vacant possession - it has been known for owners to believe they can stay on for a month or more
Get insurance quotes for buildings and contents
If you are buying through a company, make the deposit and final funds part of a

The notary act

The final notary deeds will be signed in the municipality in which the property is located
You may attend the signing of the deeds or your PoA may do it for you.
You will need your passport and company stamp if you attend yourself and you should organise to have a certified translator present
Balance of funds must be transferred for the total price
Get the final deeds translated by a certified translator before signature and check all the details of the property and price to the vendor and agents fees
Before signing do a final check on the day for any liens on the property
On the day, get receipts from the vendor that electricity, water, cable tv, internet, council tax, etc are paid up to the date of signature
Get a receipt from the agent for their fees
Get a copy of the notary deeds and keep this with you. The original will be available to you a few days later when the transaction is registered
Better not to leave your deeds or company stamp with anyone else for obvious reasons
Visit the property on the day prior to signature to verify that all is correct and the vendor has not removed anything which is included in the contract or for that matter left a load of rubbish which you will struggle to get rid of
Make buildings and contents insurance active on this day