How to speed up the process of buying real estate in Croatia?

Šime Unić
How to speed up the process of buying real estate in Croatia?

When you're looking for the ideal property, it can sometimes seem like finding the perfect one can take forever. Adequate square footage, good layout, great location, but of course – the price you can afford – these are all factors to consider when choosing. However, once you have found exactly the one that meets all your criteria, the purchase process itself comes into play. In order to speed up this process, below we have prepared some tips that will speed it up so that you can enjoy your new property as soon as possible!

First and foremost – real estate documents

Before you finally decide to buy a property, the first and most important thing you should pay attention to is the numerous documents related to it. Depending on whether you are buying a new building or an older property, some documents that you should pay attention to differ. In the event that you are buying a new building or an apartment under construction, you must first request a building permit or other appropriate document for construction and use permit. If the property is not new, then as a rule the building permit is not so important to you.

Documents that you must check before buying any type of real estate are an extract from the land register (extract from the land register) and an energy certificate. The energy certificate will tell you what the energy properties of the property are, which can give you a rough idea of what energy costs you could expect during its use. In the case of buying a new building, the energy certificate is issued before the occupancy permit, thanks to which you can be informed about the energy properties of the building before moving in.

Land certificate

The land register extract or extract from the land register is proof of ownership or some other right that can be the subject of entry in the land register, and consists of three parts: title deed (sheet A), title deed (sheet B) and bill of lading (sheet C).

The main features of the real estate are entered in the title deed or census list: cadastral number, area, address, method of use, construction, etc. Ownership is entered in the title deed or title deed, i.e., information about the owner of the property as well as all changes related to ownership as well as restrictions to which the owner is personally subject (minority, guardianship, provision of parental rights, opening of bankruptcy...). The bill of lading or bill of lading states whether the real estate is encumbered by the rights of third parties (mortgage, right of repurchase, right of first purchase, lease or lease, redemption, prohibition of encumbrance, etc.)

If you know the number of the cadastral plot and/or land registry insert as well as the name of the cadastral municipality, then you can view the land registers on the website of the Ministry and the State Geodetic Administration.

Pre-contract - yes or no?

Before entering into a sales contract, it is advisable to conclude a pre-contract defining the real estate (listing the land registry data, description of the real estate, price, date of signing the sales contract and payment of the down payment for the real estate). As a rule, the down payment is agreed in the amount of ten percent of the real estate value. A down payment is used in the event that if the buyer abandons the purchase, the down payment is kept by the seller, and if the seller refuses, then he is obliged to pay the buyer double the amount of the down payment. The pre-contract must be certified by a notary public. Although it may seem to you that the pre-contract is an unnecessary step, in many cases it can significantly facilitate and speed up further procedures because it clearly defines everything related to the purchase of real estate.

Purchase contract

Since the sales contract is one of the key documents when buying real estate, we advise you to entrust the drafting of the contract to a professional person to make sure that everything is done correctly. The real estate sales contract contains everything stated in the pre-contract, along with the date of handover of the real estate to the buyer and the seller's guarantee that there are no rights of third parties on the real estate.

You will need several copies of the sales contract, each of which must be notarized. One copy remains for the buyer, one for the seller, one for the notary public, one is submitted to the land registry department of the competent municipal court, one to the tax administration for reporting real estate sales tax, and one is submitted to the bank if you are buying the property on credit. In the case of payment by credit, the sales contract must be solemnized by a notary public, and the bank will register a mortgage on the property.

Registration of ownership

In order to realize your right of ownership based on the contract of sale, you need to register the ownership in the land register. For this you need to submit:

• proposal for enrollment in two copies

• real estate purchase agreement (original or certified copy)

• certified tabular statement of the seller (if it is not already an integral part of the sales contract or if it is not included in the proposal for registration)

• proof of the buyer's citizenship (resident card, identity card, passport)

• proof of payment of court fee or proof of exemption from payment of court fee. If, on the basis of one proposal, several rights are registered in favor of one person at the same court, a fee is paid for the registration of each right separately.

Real estate transfer tax

Within 30 days from the occurrence of the tax liability, i.e. from the signing of the purchase agreement, you are obliged to report the purchase of the property to the office of the Tax Administration in the area where the property is located. Real estate transfer tax is paid at the rate of three percent of the market value of the real estate at the time of acquisition, and is paid by the buyer. In certain situations, you may be exempt from paying this tax, which is best checked in the currently valid regulations.

In the end, if all of the above seems to you to be very complex and demanding (which in the end it is), then maybe it's best not to get involved in this alone, but to seek the help of experts who will speed up and thus make this process easier for you. - specialized real estate agencies. The professional assistance that a specialized agency will provide you will facilitate the process of buying real estate and allow you to start using your newly purchased real estate as soon as possible!

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