Process of buying a property in Croatia
Once you narrow down the choice of real estate in Croatia that match your search criteria in terms of location and the price, our agents will assist you with the property viewing. A reasonable period to start your search is considered up to 3 months ahead of your arrival. Anything over that period may result with significant number of selected properties to be sold.
When you find the right property, we will assist you with all the steps needed to complete the purchase. At first, you will need to decide whether to buy as a private person or through Croatian limited liability company.
Buying property as a private person
This option is available to all EU nationalities without restriction.
Other nationalities may be allowed to buy, providing that their country is on approved list, in case of which they will be able to register ownership after getting a consent from Croatian Ministry of justice. The process of application may begin once you sign and fulfil the sale-purchase contract, not the precontract. If you are of non-EU nationality, please contact us to find out whether you can buy property in Croatia this way.
There is no capital gains tax, unless you sell the property within 2 years from the date you bought it.
Buying property through Croatian company
This option is available to all nationalities. It is also the only possible way for nationalities not belonging to EU or not being on approved list to get a consent from Croatian Ministry of justice. In some cases buyers may decide to continue this route nevertheless, especially if they are planning to develop a property or rental business in Croatia. Setting up limited liability company is an easy process and will cost you around 2.700 EUR for incorporation capital, 500 EUR for the notary public and the court plus service fee for the lawyer. You will be appointed as an owner and director of the company, but do remember that the property will be owned by your company – being a legal entity, it will be subject to corporate laws and taxes. In addition, an accounting service will have to be contracted.
Whichever route you choose to buy property in Croatia, you will need a tax number, a non-residential bank account and notarized copies of your identification document. We will assist you in all the formalities required during the buying process. Your personal presence is not needed at all times, in case of which you will have to leave power of attorney. If your funds are not in Croatian kuna, please ask us about the best way to minimize currency loss in conversion.
Sale-purchase contract and/or precontract
When the price and payment terms are agreed with the seller, we will introduce you to the independent lawyer. Before drawing any legally binding agreement, the lawyer will double-check the ownership status, legality of the property and suggest the best option on how to proceed and have your legal interests protected.
Generally speaking, precontract is signed when you wish to put the property off the market (along with deposit, usually being 10% of the total price agreed) and/or the sale-purchase is conditional and may not happen immediately. Precontract is legally binding document by which you agree to buy a property at an agreed price on a specified date in the future. Unless agreed otherwise, deposit is not refundable if you withdraw from the deal.
When all the conditions to complete the process are met, you will be asked to sign the (main) sale-purchase contract. At this point, you will need to pay the remaining part of the price. Signature on the contract must be notarized. No occupation of the property can take place before the price of the property is paid in full, unless the buyer and the seller agreed differently.
The scheme above may be somewhat different when buying an off-plan property which is paid in instalments. Either way, Right Property Croatia and your lawyer will guide you through and explain the process from the very beginning.
If you are of EU nationality, you may apply to register your ownership immediately after fulfilling obligations from the (main) sale-purchase contract. A lawyer will do this in your behalf by submitting application to the local land registry. Counter to practice in many European countries, notary public does not participate in transfer of the ownership in Croatia, but the local land registry court. You will become de facto owner after fulfilling contractual obligations, but de jure owner only after the land registry inscribes your name in the title deed, which will take some time.