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The real estate purchase process in Croatia


Searching for Properties:


As a foreigner, it is advisable to use the services of local real estate agents since independent searches can be challenging, especially due to the lack of multilingual real estate platforms.


Submitting Offers:


Offers are non-binding until the pre-contract or main contract is signed. It should be noted that real estate prices can often be 5-10% higher than the final price, and transactions are usually conducted in euros, although the legal tender is the Kuna.


Finalization of the Legally Binding Contract:


After selecting the property and conducting all necessary inspections, a pre-contract or the main contract is signed. The buyer makes a deposit, and the entire amount is due upon signing the final contract.


Registration of Property Ownership:


The transfer of ownership can be done through a notary who authenticates the contract signed by the parties. This step can take several days to weeks, depending on the season.


Paying Taxes:


The real estate transfer tax is 3% of the total purchase price and is paid by the buyer. The notary submits the application on behalf of the buyer.


Handover of Possession:


The handover of the property occurs upon receipt of the agreed-upon total amount. The seller hands over the property according to the specified equipment, and all utility services (gas, electricity) are recorded in the handover protocol.


Transferring Bills:


The handover protocol, including numbers and readings of utility services, the invoice for utility services, and a notarially certified copy of the purchase contract, must be submitted to the utility providers. This can also be done through a real estate agent.


Obtaining OIB (Identification Number):


To obtain an OIB, go personally to the tax office with a valid ID.


It is advisable to use the services of reputable real estate agencies that can help with reviewing offers, negotiations, and securing the purchase process. Consultation with a lawyer specializing in real estate is also recommended to avoid potential legal issues.


Legal Support:


It should be noted that a law firm does not have to legally guarantee this, but reputable and experienced agencies have a team of lawyers specializing in real estate law and can provide their clients with legal support and protection. If you are not 100% sure about the agency's reputation, it is advisable to seek independent legal advice.


Many properties still have different nomenclature in the cadastre than in the land register. For example, a municipality in the land register may be listed as "Centar," and in the cadastre as "Grad Zagreb." The land areas registered in the cadastre may also differ from those specified in the land register. The individuals registered in the cadastre may differ from those in the ownership title. The property may not have an accurate ownership description in the ownership title. To have a clear picture and understanding of possible discrepancies and to understand what is an obstacle to the execution of the sale and what is not, it is advisable to hire a reputable real estate agency and a lawyer.


Required Documentation from the Foreign Buyer for Submission:


The application must include the following documents:


Original or certified copy of the purchase contract, donation contract, etc.


Proof of ownership and the seller's ownership title.


Proof that the property is in a building zone, issued by the local authority in whose jurisdiction the property is located.


Proof of the buyer's citizenship ("dokaz državljanstva stjecatelja"), including a notarially certified copy of the passport or a document confirming the buyer's legal status. If the buyer is a company, the company's registration in the commercial register is required.


Original notarially certified copy of the power of attorney if the buyer is acting on behalf of another natural or legal person.


Proof of fees paid for the transaction.


Approval of the sale must be obtained within 60 days according to legal requirements. However, most applications are approved earlier.


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