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Back You are here: Home Property Buying, Selling, Renting Avoiding Buying Pitfalls

Avoiding Buying Pitfalls

Reading the tales on fora and in the press, you might think that every property purchase in Bulgaria is fraught with difficulties. This is not at all the case, in a Quest Bulgaria poll earlier this year 82.1% of respondees said that their experience of buying their property in Bulgaria was excellent or very good with no problems; and only as few as 3.6% said their experience was terrible.

How can you avoid Bulgaria property pitfalls, particularly in times when cash is very stretched and you need to make sure every penny of your hard-earned money is used properly?

 

Just follow these simple top tips and hints to make sure you end up not only with your dream Bulgarian property but also your dream Bulgarian purchase...

 

Estate Agents

Many are good but there are always a few bad apples anywhere. Fortunately, today, there are far fewer bad agents now than even a year ago, thanks to the global financial situation. Those which were fly-by-nights are mostly gone and only the most reliable and financially sound will survive, bringing a better service to foreign buyers. So, straight away you stand a better chance today than when Bulgaria was full of the "get-me-rich-quick" set.

Our top buying rule is to select an agent with longevity in the market. If they have been in business for many years, they must be doing a lot of things right !

Solicitors

Bulgaria has notaries and lawyers (solicitors). Buyers should always get their own independent lawyer to act for them in their property transaction and try to avoid using the lawyer recommended by the estate agent.

A notary's job in the property transaction is to make sure that buyer and vendor are really who they say they are, taxes on the property transaction are collected, that the vendor really is the owner of the property and to witness the signatures to the transaction. A notary does not act in the interest of the vendor nor the purchaser and is not obliged to give advice.. Only your own lawyer will give you advice and act in your interests. (For further information on the function of a notary, see the article in the Member Area section of this site)

Research

Research, research, research and then double check. Get to understand more about Bulgaria before you buy your property and part with your hard earned money.

Decide on which area you want to buy in and investigate prices in the area, which towns are the best and moving upmarket, where are the nearest facilities. Most of all get to know the law regarding property purchase so that you can't be caught out.

Many buyers end up blaming the estate agent, the developer, the lawyer and so on when their purchase runs into problems. A lot of problems can easily be avoided - you would never give an estate agent in the UK cash for your property purchase: neither would you give Power of Attorney to someone you don't know and let them access your bank account or sign things on your behalf. So, don't be gullible - apply the same rules to your property purchase in Bulgaria.

 

Preliminary contract

The details in the preliminary contract can ensure you are not under-declaring the price you are paying and are also not being over-charged by the estate agent. The contract should have the real price you are paying which the vendor is receiving and the price of the agent's commission. This way nothing is hidden.

Also, get a proper invoice from the agent for their commission you are paying them. Not only can this be used when you come to resell but it is proof that you have paid for their services.

Send all monies through the banking system. Paying in cash, particularly if you do not get full invoices, is very risky. Paying via the bank means there is a paper trail. Don't forget to write down on the payment slip what the money is for; refer to the contract number if there is one.

Common sense

Don't get caught up in the sunbeams and blue skies. Keep your hand on your wallet and your brain in gear. Many problems with buying property are not unique to Bulgaria, you could experience them in many foreign countries. The problem can often be buyers themselves who so much want that Bulgarian property that they forget to keep on top of the mundane but essential things - and this is one thing that every buyer can resolve!