The process of buying real estate


Are you thinking about how to buy real estate in Croatia and don’t know where to start? Croatia Real Estates offers you a detailed guide on how and where to start your search!


With many satisfied clients and an extensive database, the leading real estate agency Croatia Real Estates is pleased to offer practical solutions that will certainly help you find the property you’ve been dreaming of!


How to buy real estate in Croatia?


Buying real estate can be a stressful and demanding job and involves a series of steps that must be completed in order for the purchase to be successful. Everything from finding a real estate agency, to the legal procedures and the negotiation process is a journey that will leave you with a considerable amount of money, so think carefully about who you work with!


Before the final purchase of the real estate, the most important thing is to check the documentation that will be needed to acquire ownership and to fulfill all legal provisions after signing the sales contract.


If you are not a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, but you are a citizen of one of the EU member states, you can buy real estate in the same way as Croatian citizens, with certain restrictions regarding agricultural land and real estate of state importance!


However, for foreign citizens outside the European Union, the purchase of real estate in Croatia is available according to the principle of reciprocity, which means that ownership can only be acquired by citizens of the country in which Croatian citizens can also buy real estate, provided that after signing the contract, the foreign citizen from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry must approve approval.


Certificates and extracts 


We won’t fool ourselves, just like everywhere else, you won’t go anywhere without a lot of documentation, the most important of which is the title deed and building permit if it’s a new building.


We bring you a list of all the bureaucratic necessities that are necessary so that you can successfully conclude your business and become the owner of real estate in the Republic of Croatia.


  1. Extract from the land register
  2. Energy certificate
  3. Copy of the cadastral plan
  4. Building permit and use permit
  5. Floor plan
  6. Use permit for a building built before February 15, 1968 (for houses older than that date)
  7. Pre-contract
  8. Purchase contract
  9. Proposal for registration in the Civil Code
  10. Proof of the buyer’s citizenship (copy of the birth certificate, identity card, or passport)
  11. Proof of fee payment


Pre-contracts and sales contract


In order to conclude a deal, you will have to sign a certain contract. It is important to distinguish between a pre-contract and a sales contract. The contract of sale is the final document by which you buy real estate and pay the seller its cost price. 


The sales contract is the final document by which you purchase real estate and pay the seller its cost price. The pre-contract is a step before the contract, and it serves as a real estate reservation by which you, as a buyer, undertake to enter into a sales contract with the seller on a certain agreed date, and the seller undertakes to sell the property to you.


The pre-contract is marked with a date that indicates the moment when the purchase contract is concluded and the buyer pays the seller the rest of the purchase price. Unlike the pre-contract, the sales contract must be certified by a notary public.


Tax and ownership registration


If you thought that when you become the owner you acquire all the rights over the property, you are wrong! More documentation is waiting for you! The right of ownership of real estate is not acquired automatically, but by registration in the land register (ZK), on the basis of documents that meet all general and special requirements prescribed by law.

You must submit the proposal for the registration of ownership rights within 60 days, otherwise, you will be charged an additional fee of five times the amount.


Regarding tax liability, if you have bought, inherited, or in any other way acquired real estate, building, or land, and when the such acquisition is not subject to value added tax – VAT, you are liable for real estate sales tax. Real estate sales tax in the amount of 3% must be paid by the buyer. that’s right, if you inherited, you don’t have to pay the 3% tax.


As an exception, there are precisely defined cases in which, according to the Real Estate Sales Tax Act, buyers are exempt from paying the tax. For example, if you are buying a new building. You can find out about all other criteria in which you are not obliged to pay real estate tax on the official website of e-Citizen.


Buying an apartment under construction


What is the state of buying an apartment that is under construction? If you are buying an apartment under construction, the investor must provide you with an executive/authorized building permit or another appropriate document for construction.


In addition to the building permit, the use permit is extremely important, which the building cannot obtain if the building conditions prescribed by the building permit have deviated. When you’re already there, ask for an insight into the main project, which is part of the building permit.


It is also very important to check whether the investor has obtained an energy certificate before issuing the use permit.



Check before buying 

Before finalizing your purchase, check if all your documents are “clean”. With this, we want to draw your attention to the legality and legal value of your investment venture!


Pay attention to the transparency and clarity of the real estate entry in the extract from the Land Register, i.e. check whether the real estate or part of the real estate you are buying is 1/1 owned by the person or persons with whom you are entering into a sales contract and probably the most important part that could present you with a potential problem, other persons registered in the ZK register from whom you are not buying real estate.


Take a look at Teretovnica, a category of ZK that deals with detailed entries of potential encumbrances on real estate (mortgages, pending proceedings, which are transferred to the new owner if the seller has not previously resolved them).


If your real estate is legalized, you will have no problems, but if the real estate was built before 1968, you need to have two documents: a certificate that the building was built before 1968 and an occupancy permit for buildings built before 1968.

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