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Real Estate Agents in Bulgaria

Everyone has an opinion on the real estate agents in Bulgaria. Love them or loathe them, the onus really is on you to make the viewing process more effective, as Quest Bulgaria explains... Many Bulgarians still don’t have the hang of customer service, support and marketing yet and whilst there are plenty of non-Bulgarian agents out here, many of them just want to sell, sell, sell and can you blame them - we all need to make a living - you just need to do some prep!

Determine your reasons for buying in Bulgaria

It is very easy with all the hype about Bulgaria to feel you are missing out. However, you need to be very clear on why you want to buy into this market. Are you buying for profit, pleasure or a move here?

If it is just because you think you can buy cheap and sell high, you need to take a step back and consider what would happen if you bought here and couldn’t sell or rent out your purchase.

Could you afford to let the money just sit here earning you nothing and for how long could you do this? What do you know about the property market that gives you the edge over professional investors and the rest of the ‘get rich quick’ brigade? Investing in Bulgaria should be seen a medium to long-term investment. There is a high rate of construction here now which has given people a lot of choice and in some regions, supply exceeds demand.

If you want a holiday home, let it be because you love the country, its culture and way of life. If your holiday home is purely for your own use, you need to enjoy the country enough to keep coming back. If it is something you want to rent out, you need to talk to rental agents to see what’s hot and what’s not.

If you are looking for a permanent move here, ask yourself about the kind of life you want to lead in Bulgaria. Do you want to buy in a village, town or city? Think very clearly, about how village life would be before you are carried away with nostalgic views of growing vegetables in your back garden, particularly if you do not like mud, dust and animals. Do you need to be close to a school or hospital? Do you like shopping and eating out? There are many questions to consider to help you in the search for the ideal property.


Do your homework

The secret to the perfect brief is to do plenty of research beforehand.

We came out here and hadn’t a clue what Bulgaria was like, let alone anything about its coastal towns and cities. We might have well have put a pin in the map and chosen at random.

Decide on an area of the country you want to buy in. If it is mountains and skiing that attracts you, don’t bother looking at central and coastal areas.

Once you have chosen an area, read as much as you can about it, and contact people who live there through the internet, look at photos online, e-mail real estate agents for their view on the region and the cost of property there and if you can afford it, take a holiday touring the area without viewing any property. Enjoy the place and see if it feels like home.


Narrow down your area search

Now you know the region you want to be in, you need to narrow your search even further to a city, town or select villages.

By doing this, you can ask your agent to only show you properties in these areas. They will tell you to consider other great places because they have a ‘hot’ property there, but if you have done your homework correctly, you will not need to look outside of your brief and make sure you stick to your guns and insist that the agent only shows you places that fit the bill.

The same goes for the type of property you want to buy. If you only want land, do not look at anything else. If you want a place you can live in straight away, do not look at old houses, the majority need knocking down. Do not buy an apartment in a resort if you are looking to move here permanently, they close down once the season is over and it’s like living in a ghost town.


Be realistic about your price range

You should give your agent a price range to work with and do not allow them to go over this, or significantly under.

If you have done enough research, you will have a good idea of prices for the type of property you want to buy.

Ask the agent taking you on a viewing trip for a list of properties they intend to show you, in advance of your visit.

You will not get details like you get at home, but you should expect the location of the property, price and basic description. If they will not do this, cancel the viewing and find another agent.

Too many agents think they can palm you off with something they have had on their books forever.


Shop around

How many agents are working in your target area? What do they have, which meets your specifications? You should not be looking for the agent offering a hidden bargain that others have missed - most land and properties are round about the same price within each area. What you need to do is to look at as many target properties as you can, but don‘t overdo it.

Do not forget to enquire in advance, about how much the agent charges for viewing trips and commission fees; these are the add-ons, which vary tremendously.


Do not be pressurised into buying

When we moved to Bulgaria, we felt that if we did not buy quickly we would miss the so-called ‘boom.’ The fact of the matter is you will not miss out.

Price rises are small and gradual, not something, that happens from one day to the next. You can afford to take your time.

Naturally, the agent will tell you the property you are looking at is new to the market and will be sold quickly! I guarantee you will find something exactly the same or better if you let that one go.

Agents also put clients under pressure to have cakes or drinks with the seller, this is just time wasting. Unless you genuinely want to meet some local people, be ruthless and state from the outset that you are not prepared to hang around at each property (especially when you could be skiing or lying on the beach).

Everyone has a tale to tell about his or her viewing trips, but most of the negative press comes from a distinct lack of preparation on the part of the buyer.

Remember, ‘Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation’ (Roger Staubach, professional American football player)