How To Buy Properties in Croatia - A Guide.

If you are interested in buying a house, a villa, an apartment or a building plot in Croatia you should stick to some important guidelines when buying a property in Croatia.

  1. Conditions Of The Croatian Real Estate Market
  2. Find A List Of Properties
  3. Find The Right Broker
  4. Viewings Of Properties In Croatia
  5. Negotiations / Find A Lawyer Of Trust
  6. Contract or Pre-Contract?
  7. Payment and Land Registry
  8. Additional Costs
  9. Conditions Of The Croatian Real Estate Market

    Unlike in most Central European or other Countries most of the sellers in Croatia have no exclusive agency agreements with brokers - owners reserve themselves the right to sell their properties on their own or with other agenices. Between agencies in Croatia there is 'free competition' and it is the normal case that you can find the same property from different brokers (sometimes also with different prices as it happens that some brokers are not informed for price updates or they do not update their websites or synchronization with real estate portals does not happen. By this circumstances another disadvantage for buyers of properties in Croatia appears: agents will not provide any detailed location (google maps links, land registry information, etc.) information prior to signing the agency agreement which guarantees the agency that the buyer will refer to them when buying the property.

    Who is allowed to buy properties in Croatia?

    In general EU-citizens (as private persons) have almost the same rights when buying properties in Croatia as locals / Croatian citizens. It is not possible for foreigners to buy agricultural land plots as private persons without setting up a Croatian company (e.g. d.o.o.). Citizens of other countries (USA, Russia, China, etc.) should check bilateral agreements - you will find bilateral agreements for the purchase of a property in Croatia here: https://pravosudje.gov.hr/istaknute-teme/stjecanje-prava-vlasnistva/informacije-o-uzajamnosti-u-stjecanju-prava-vlasnistva-nekretnina-izmedju-republike-hrvatske-i-ostalih-drzava/6186

    However it can also be useful to set up a Croatian company - especially if you would plan to rent your holiday home to guests throughout the summer. We can assist you here by recommending tax accountants (English or German speaking) or professional lawyers.

    Find The Right Properties In Croatia

    First of all you should consider exactly for what main purpose you would like to buy a property in Croatia - is it for your everyday life (e.g. in retirement) or should it be a holiday home for a couple of weeks a year? What type of property will suit you best? House, apartment, building plot or even a property in a complex or resort? What region might be the best for you - what are the cultural differences, etc. However due to our experience it is best to definde at least the following criteria.

    Type of property: House, villa, apartment, building plot, property in a resort?
    Style: Newly built, modern, stone house, Mediterranean?
    Location: Istria, Kvarner Bay, Dalmatia? Any preferred micro locations?
    Size: Amount of bedrooms / bathrooms?
    Max. distance from the sea:  Within walking distance? Seafront only?
    Main purpose: Private use or also suitable for holiday rentals?
    Budget and others: Please also let your broker know about the budget and other preferences (swimming pool, garden, large terrace, etc.)

    Find The Right Real Estate Agency For Croatia

    How to find a suitable broker fitting to your needs in Croatia? Basically it depends on two very important parameters - first of all the agency should offer - of course - suitable properties in Croatia that fit your criteria and the agency should be professional and experienced in sales. As mentioned above already there is no exclusivity on the Croatian real estate market. Please make sure that you do not view a property with different agenicies as you might have to pay the double commission in the end. Therefore please inform the agent who wants to show you a property for the second time that you have seen it already before and you have to stick to the agency who first introduced this property to you. This is a well known practice in Croatia and it is respected.

    Viewing Of Properties In Croatia

    Please note that viewings with professional and licensed brokers should be always free of charge. Please also make sure that your broker is fluent in your native language (not always necessary for the first viewing but if you would have further interest in one property this should of hight importance. Panorama Scouting Real Estate Agency for Croatia ensures that viewings will take place in fluent English (German and Croatian also available).

    IMPORTANT! Please double check as mentioned above that you do not view the same property twice with different agents.

    IMPORTANT! If you should decide to view a property in Croatia on your own without an agency please make sure that (if you should have further interest) you have a local lawyer on your side who checks the documents (land registry, building permit, usage permit) prior to a pre-contract or contract.

    Negotiations / Find A Lawyer Of Trust

    Basically it can be said that almost every property price in Croatia is negotiable - at least a little bit. How ever the experience shows that usually older houses are better negotiable than new constructions. If you have agreed with the owner for a final price, the next step is to find a professional lawyer who will double check the papers, suggest a suitable construction of contracts and also set them up. Please let us know if you would need any held in finding an English- or Germanspeaking lawyer in Croatia. We recommend to take a local lawyer who is specialized in sales of real estates in Croatia.

    Contract Or Pre-Contract?

    When you have found a final agreement of the price with the owner the next step is to figure out which legal construction of the buying process is fitting best for the current situation.

    Pre-Contract: Basically a pre-contract is a legal binding contract for the reservation for a period (that can be agreed on any time by both parties) of a property. It is often the best solution if either the buyer or the seller or both need time to sign the final agreement. The pre-contract usually goes along with a deposit of 10 % of the price. Croatian framework legislation suggests contractual penalties if the seller should break the contract in a height of the double amount of the deposit (usually 20 %) - should the buyer break the pre contract the deposit is lost for him. However these numbers and conditions are freely negotiable.

    Indicators for a Pre-Contract from the Seller: Legalisation in processing, usage permit still pending (often in case of newly built properties), clarify inheritances, energy certificate, building still in progress

    Indicatiors for a Pre-Contract from the Buyer: Financing pending

    Contract: if all necessary documents are available and the lawyer agrees a final contract can be signed immediately.

    Payment And Land Registry

    After the contract is signed the buyer is obliged to pay the full among (less the deposit) within a agreed time to the seller. After the payment has arrived the lawyer of the local agent on place submits the documents to the court for the registration in the land registry.

    Additional Costs When Buying A Property In Croatia

    When buying a property in Croatia you should count 9 % - 11 % additional purchase costs to be on the safe side.

    Real Estate Tranfer Tax (RETT) 3 % of the purchase price
    Commission Broker 3 % (+ VAT.)
    Lawyer (precontract and contract) 1% - 2% (+ VAT.)
    Notary Services approx. 70 EUR - 150 EUR
    Official Court Translator, service fees for registration and re-registration of electricity,
    water, telephone and internet, etc.
    smaller additional fees
    TOTAL 9 % - 11 %

    And now enjoy our large offer of properties on the Croatian coastline.

    Real Estate Croatia - Panorama Scouting.