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Realestate in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Buying Guide

 How to buy?

The official property market in Bosnia and Herzegovina (referred to as BiH hereafter) is similar to that in other developing or emerging market countries: high-end construction, investment and sales transactions occur, generally between multinational companies or foreign individuals with access to equity or external financing and established legal procedures.

Real estate agencies exist only in major cities and towns like Sarajevo, Tuzla etc, handling mostly residential sales and apartment and office rentals in the official market.

The following sentence is worth to remember - because we are often advicing our clients what to buy - "Foreign investors have the same owner's rights on real estates as Bosnia and Herzegovina nationals". 

Therefore - it is sometimes very clever and much easier to purchase property in BiH. Properties in BiH are in principle much cheaper, costs of living are a considerably lower than in other Balkan countries, and still - you can be in just a half an hour on the beautiful beaches.

Permission for purchase is not required. A serious drawback in other Balkan countries is the need to apply for permission to buy - from the government. This process can drag on for 1-2 years with resultant problems in utility connection and rentals. No such requirement exists in BiH.
Process of purchasing a freehold property is going in folowing steps:
  1. A preliminary contract is drawn up between the seller and the purchaser, which has to be signed by a representative of the purchaser, who will be resident in BiH for the full process

    The contract must state the agreed price and confirm that both parties are committed to completing the registration process, after which they will be legally bound to conclude a finalised Contract of Sale for the property.

    Upon completion of the preliminary contract the purchaser must pay a deposit of 3-10% of the agreed selling price to the seller.

  2. To be valid - properties must be registered in the property books maintained by the local court. Properties are also recorded in the local Cadaster, which requires the establishment of a unified property record and cadastral system. This law has only just been implemented and usually the property books and the cadastral will be separate.

    Property books are divided into 3 sections - the owners name, the property details and any encumbrances such as mortgages. Registration procedures allow for "subscription", which is temporary registration of property rights, pending authentication.

  3. Ensuring the clean title of your proposed purchase is the key element when purchasing in BiH. On this site we aim to ensure that all our properties have clean title.
Purchasing using a Bosnia Company
Owning a company then has a regular commitment of maintaining your accounts to present to the tax authorities. The incorporation process is quite speedy in Bosnia and should be completed in 3 weeks.

The transfer of the property has to be registered by the appropriate local authority. Once the registration is complete the seller must abide by the conditions agreed in Contract of Sale and pay the balance owing. On completion of the sale the purchaser is required to pay Property Tax to the authority - it is a 6% rate. The liability for the payment of this tax can be transferred to the seller, but only if stipulated and agreed under the Contract of sale.

The other good news is that a foreigner can rent out their Bosnia property without any requirement to obtain a rental license from the authorities.

A visa is not required for all of EU citizens to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A buying process can be a very time consuming. Every step can be undertaken personaly. We advice all of our clients to use our services - because we are domestic, we are in this business, we know how it functions. We are together with you at all stages of your property purchase in Bosnia and Herzegovina - as well as afterwards.

"EL SAGIR" d.o.o. Sarajevo is a company founded in 2008 as a result of the founders desire to lead a secure, effective and professional way of real estate transactions, following the example of the most advanced real estate markets abroad.

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