real estate


March 27, 2020

Real estate sales in Bulgaria aim to transfer the ownership right from one owner to another. In addition to a sale, ownership can also be transferred through another legal transaction – donation, exchange, contribution to a company, etc.

This article sets out the main steps in organizing a transaction, and in particular a real estate sale in Bulgaria. In order to reach a transaction, the seller must take actions to prepare the relevant documents related thereto.

Each real estate in Bulgaria should be declared by its owner, the holder of a property deed, at the local municipal tax office.

If the owner is a foreigner, he/she must apply for and obtain a special registration number called BULSTAT number. If these two actions are not carried out, then it will be impossible to obtain a tax assessment certificate for the real estate.  And this document is required if you want to sell the property.

The local tax office will not issue a tax assessment certificate if there are unpaid taxes in respect of the real estate. The existence of liabilities and their due repayment should be checked prior to the upcoming real estate sale.

An important aspect in an upcoming sale of real estate is to obtain of a scheme and a sketch from the cadastre – by the Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Agency (GCCA).

In areas where the relevant cadastral map has entered into force, the real estate for sale must be assigned a cadastral number – a cadastral identifier. The account in the cadastre agency should be in the name of the seller. Issuing an up-to-date scheme by the cadastre is a prerequisite for the transaction to be carried out and certified by a notary public.

In the process of preparing a transaction, the buyer often requires from the seller to provide a certificate of absence of encumbrances. Such document certifies that there are no statements of claim, foreclosures, encumbrances or other rights of third parties registered in respect of the property.

The certificate of absence of encumbrances is not mandatory, but it also contributes to the seller’s security – it is also good for him/her to know that his/her property is not burdened with rights of third parties. Otherwise, they he/she will be held responsible for an ouster /eviction/.

The real estate seller should also ensure the transfer of ownership by providing fully paid bills for consumables /electricity, water, heating/. He/she should assist the buyer in transferring the relevant accounts.

There are special aspects where a transaction involves a newly built property. It is possible that the first transaction with the property (whether it is an apartment, a house or a villa) was carried out prior to putting it into operation.

Upon a subsequent resale, new circumstances have often already occurred – the construction has been completed, a permit for use or a certificate of putting into operation has been issued. Those facts should be duly certified by presenting a copy to the notary public, and the respective stage of completion of the construction should be indicated in the property (notary) deed.

Once there is a readiness to enter into a transaction in the form of a property deed, the seller should carefully read the clauses of that contract. It is advisable that the property deed should be drafted/ revised by a lawyer of the seller so that he/she does not turn out to be bound by an excessive penalty for non-performance, liability for eviction (ouster), or to be forced to surrender possession before making sure that the selling price is paid.

Increasingly often recently, new properties in Bulgaria are also subject to maintenance obligations – where the building is in a gated complex or where the condominium has adopted such a decision. The seller usually has signed a maintenance contract prescribing a maintenance fee whereby he/she has undertaken to transfer his/her obligations to the prospective buyer. If he/she fails to do so, he/she will continue to be liable for his/her obligations without even being the owner.

The seller should settle all his/her relationships with the company that maintains the property/common areas of the building before proceeding to a sale. Otherwise, he/she may find himself/herself in an unpleasant situation to fail to perform his/her liabilities to the buyer.

Yosifova, Ivanov & Petrov Law Firm has an extensive experience in representing clients in real estate sales. If you need any legal assistance for a real estate sale in Bulgaria, do not hesitate to contact us

More information about the procedure of selling a real estate in Bulgaria, you can find in the related articles:

For real estate purchase and sale at an actual price

The role of the preliminary contract in the property transactions in Bulgaria

Notarized POA for real estate sale, signed abroad

Escrow account on real estate transactions in Bulgaria



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