Property buying guide for Croatia
Article 2 of 6
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Buying and Registering

Buying and registering property in Croatia

The real estate market in Croatia is subject to restrictions hanging on the existence of bilateral agreements with the buyer’s home country. While foreign citizens are forbidden from buying farm and forest land as well as protected natural areas, they can purchase residential, commercial property or construction sites without restriction if as long as there is an agreement between Croatia and the buyer’s nation. In other words, for this to be possible, Croatian nationals must have the right to buy property in the buyer’s home country too. With the exception of Italy, every other EU state as well as the United States and Russia have ratified this agreement. Citizens of Italy, Switzerland, and Bosnia Herzegovina can only buy property if they plan to settle in Croatia permanently. However they can circumvent this restriction by registering a company here.

Agency fees are 4–6% of the purchase price and it takes up about six months to finalize a property sale.

How it works in Croatia:

1. Find a property. A local real estate agency offers properties that match your preferences as a buyer. The city, district and your budget are the main things to take into account. Once you have found one or more options that interest you, the agency will arrange viewings. Don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent any questions about the property, payment procedures or potential discounts.

2. Sign the preliminary sales contract and pay the deposit. For the preliminary sales contract to be concluded, the buyer and the seller must agree on a down payment which usually amounts to 1–2% of the purchase price. The contract (predugovor o kupoprodaji nekretnine) is then drawn up, fixing the term within which the full payment for the property must be wired to the seller's bank account. You must then make a non-refundable down payment (kapara) valued at approximately 10% of the property price. If you change your mind and decide not to buy the property, the deposit cannot be used to buy a different property. If the seller cancels the transaction, they must pay twice the amount of the deposit to you.

3. Sign the final sales contract. You sign off on the final sales contract (ugovor o kupoprodaji nekretnine) and pay the remaining sum. Once the property has been fully paid, the seller issues you a receipt (tabularna isprava) and the contract is notarized.

4. Get approved. You have to file a written application with the Croatian Ministry of Justice (Ministarstvo pravosuđa) including the following documents:

  • confirmation of the property transfer (sales contract or gift deed),
  • seller’s title deed issued by the Land Registry (original or notarized copy) no older than six months,
  • notarized copy of your passport,
  • power of attorney (if applicable).

5. Register your property. In order to do so, you must file an application for your property to be recorded in the land register (Zemljišna knjiga) of the municipal court. It can take from two weeks to a year for the court to issue the property record (Vlasnički List) confirming your purchase. Charges for this service vary from 0.01% to 0.05% of the purchase price.

6. Pay the transfer tax. One month after closing the deal, the tax authorities will send you a bill for the 5% transfer tax (porez na promet nekretninа). This is a one-off payment. For new buildings, the real estate transfer tax is charged only on 30% of their construction value (plus VAT at 22%).

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    Property buying guide for Croatia
    Article 2 of 6
    Tranio’s managers offer advice on buying real estate in Croatia
    Svetlana Larionova
    Svetlana Larionova
    Real Estate Expert
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