Like in most other countries, the purchase of an immovable property in Bulgaria involves certain costs, namely, (i) sales commissions, (ii) local taxes, (iii) notarial fees, and (iv) registration fees. These four categories of costs will be examined in more detail below.
Before proceeding with the discussion of the first category, we would like to note that, in most cases, the local taxes, notarial fees, and registration fees are shared equally between the buyer and the seller. However, the parties are free to agree otherwise.
The buyer of a property who uses the services of a real estate agency may need to pay a sales commission amounting either to a fixed fee or a percentage of the price of the purchased real estate.
Each transaction with a property in Bulgaria is subject to a local tax in accordance with the Law for the Local Taxes and Fees. According to that law, each municipality is free to define its own local tax rate. The rate of the local tax for sale transactions of properties in Sofia is 2,5% of the purchase price of the property concerned. The local tax is calculated by the notary who is responsible for notarizing the sale transaction.
Notaries charge notarial fees for notarizing sale transactions in accordance with a List of Notarial Fees adopted pursuant to the Law for the Notaries and Notarial Activities. The current notarial fees are as follows for example:
° EUR 247 + 0,5% for the amount above EUR 25,701 for property value from EUR 25,701 to EUR 51,200.
° EUR 375 + 0,2% for the amount above EUR 51,200 for property value from EUR 51,200 to EUR 256,410.
° EUR 785 plus 0,1% of the amount above EUR 256,411 for property value above EUR 256,411. The fee in this category is capped at EUR 3100.
After a sale agreement is notarized, it needs to be registered with the Registry Agency. The registration makes the sale agreement publicly available, thus allowing third parties to conduct checks regarding the status of the property (e.g., checks for liens). The rate of the registration fee is normally 0,1% of the agreed price of the real estate.
The costs associated with purchasing a real estate in Bulgaria are relatively low in comparison with other European countries. For example, if a person purchases a real estate in Sofia for the price of EUR 102,242, he will need to pay a local tax amounting to EUR 2556, a notarial fee amounting at EUR 475, and a registration fee amounting to EUR 102.