Taxes and fees for buying property in Bulgaria
The question of what additional costs can appear when buying real estate in Bulgaria interests absolutely all our clients. After you have chosen the ideal house or apartment as well as prepared the amount corresponding to the sale price, do not forget to calculate these expenses. There are additional payments, fees, and charges for notary registration as well as for preparing documents. Without paying them, the property you chose will not become yours.
Apart Estate experts recommend you to familiarize yourself with all the fees and documents in advance. We, for our part, offer their detailed description.
In whatever part of Bulgaria you are planning to buy an apartment or a cottage, be it on the sea or in a ski resort, when acquiring a property, the buyer must pay additional fees and taxes. This is a common long-term practice, which changes only in rare cases by special agreement signed by the parties.
Apart Estate recommends that you learn about key payments, taxes and fees subject to pay when buying an apartment in Bulgaria. For convenience, tariffs are indicated in leva and euro (or it is better to say as its approximate equivalent).
- Preparation of a Notary Act. This procedure includes not only preparation of a Notary Act deed, but also a number of other internal documents, without which a notary cannot register a property sales deal. The fee is formed in accordance with the tariffs accepted by the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria and is 30 lev (about 15 euros).
- Notary fee. This type of payment is calculated based on the price of real estate indicated in the Notary Act. However, this is where you need to be really careful – If the indicated price is lower than the apartment tax value, it is the tax value that is taken as a basis for the calculation (the tax value is determined in a special certificate, which will be discussed below). The fee is calculated by a notary for each transaction based on all the documents.
- Property acquisition tax. The amount depends on the location of the real estate. The property tax in resort towns, for example, in Pomorie, Sozopol, is higher than in Burgas. On average, it is 2.5-3% of the apartment tax value.
- Real estate registration fee. The cash equivalent is calculated based on the accepted tariff, which is 0.1% of the sale price. The payment can be made by the owner, a specialist from a notary's office or an Apart Estate specialist based on the Letter of Attorney.
- New property registration fee is to be paid when purchasing an apartment from a developer. It is calculated as 0.1% of the property price and paid one-time only by the first owner. The fee cannot be less than 10 lev (5 euros).
Not to be unfounded, we would like to show you the approximate additional costs that you will face when buying an apartment in the most popular parts of Bulgaria:
- Purchasing an apartment worth 45 thousand euros in Burgas, the new owner must pay 3,606 leva (approximately 1,803 euros).
- Taxes for a studio apartment in Nessebar at a price of 15 thousand euros are 1,315 leva (658 euros).
As you can see, the average payments are 3.7-4.4% of the apartment price.
In some cases, the registration of the apartment sale requires participation of a lawyer. This specialist will prepare a sales contract and point at its key points.
If the seller or buyer is a foreigner and does not speak Bulgarian, a professional licensed translator will be required.
The participation of a lawyer and a translator in the transaction may cost an additional 300-500 euros. The corresponding services are also paid by the buyer.
Please note that the purchase of an apartment may incur additional costs not specified in this article. For a full consultation, please contact the specialists of the Apart Estate agency.
Documents required for buying a house or apartment
When registering the Bulgarian real estate sales deal, a number of documents are required. In accordance with established practice, it is the seller who is engaged in their preparation. In some cases, however, to speed up the transaction, the preparation of documents is split between the seller and the buyer.
This is the list of the key documents without which you cannot buy an apartment:
- Sales agreement that covers all the necessary data, including the information about the seller and the buyer, the purchased property, its address, price, and payment terms. When buying an apartment from municipal funds, a sales contract is required as well.
- Property Notary Act. It is issued upon sale, donation, or splitting an apartment or house.
- Tax value certificate. The document is issued by the tax authority located in the same settlement where the property you are buying is situated. Please note that if you buy an apartment in Sunny Beach, a certificate is ordered in Nessebar. Preparation time – from 1 day to 2 weeks. The cost is 10 to 30 leva. If the certificate is issued in the first half of the year, then it is valid until June 30. If it is issued after July 1, then the validity period is December 31 of the same year. The certificate is ordered by the owner of the property or another person based on the Letter of Attorney.
- Encumbrance certificate. The document confirms that the property is not mortgaged. It is issued by the real estate registration agency in 3-7 working days. The document is ordered by the owner or their authorized representative. The cost depends on the preparation time and is 10-30 lev. The preliminary information data on the available encumbrances can be obtained online by an Apart Estate specialist, a lawyer or a notary.
- Cadastral plan or a "skitsa" as it is called in Bulgaria is ordered at the Agency for geodesy, cartography and cadastre. The document is issued in 3-7 business days. Depending on the urgency, it costs 20-40 lev.
- Personal documents are submitted by all parties involved in the apartment sales deal. These are personal cards or international passports if foreigners participate in the deal as well.
- The seller must provide a certificate of marital status. Citizens of Bulgaria order it in a municipality. Citizens of other countries present a certificate of marriage or divorce. The fact is that any property acquired in Bulgaria during marriage is considered to be joint, unless otherwise specified in additional documents. The notary is obliged to make sure that there are no obstacles to the execution of the transaction.
- If the sale and purchase transaction is executed remotely, the absent party may be represented by an Apart Estate employee, a lawyer or other authorized person. In this case, a power of attorney must be drawn up. It should indicate all the actions that this person can perform and needs to be translated into Bulgarian.
Additionally, when buying an apartment, the buyer submits a declaration of the origin of money, as well as a declaration of public positions. The requirement has been in force for a long time and is mandatory.
Buying a property will become a simple and straightforward process if you trust the experts of Apart Estate. We will provide a full calculation of additional costs, check all documents and make sure that the seller and buyer act in accordance with applicable laws.