FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to Safely Buy or Sell Real Estate?

Whether you are buying or selling a house, villa, apartment, or land, the safest process for real estate transactions in Croatia is to hire a licensed real estate agency.
The CASA DE MAR real estate agency has been successful in the real estate market for many years, assisting you in a worry-free purchase of properties for sale in Croatia.

2. In Which Locations Can I Buy or Sell Real Estate with the CASA DE MAR Agency?

The CASA DE MAR real estate agency offers a diverse range of houses, apartments, luxury villas, and flats in the areas of Krk Island, Crikvenica, Novi Vinodolski, and beyond.
Whether you're interested in buying an apartment in Malinska or purchasing a flat in Crikvenica, our real estate agency has a property ready for you.

3. What Is the Process of Buying and Selling Real Estate Like?

The process of buying and selling a house or apartment in Croatia may seem complicated, so real estate agencies are here to assist you in this process.
To initiate a transaction, thorough preparation by the agency is required, including a detailed review of the offerings, finding properties that meet your criteria, and selecting the property you want to purchase.
After preparation, the legal process follows, such as signing a Preliminary Contract and a Purchase Contract.
To better understand the entire process, read our blog article How to Buy Real Estate in Croatia? for a safe and worry-free property purchase.

4. Can Foreigners Buy Real Estate in Croatia?

If you are a foreign citizen looking to invest in real estate in the Kvarner Bay and on the Adriatic coast, it is crucial to properly inform yourself about the rules and procedures.
In short, yes, you can! There are specific differences in the buying and selling process depending on your home country.
You can explore these differences in more detail in our blog article How to Buy Real Estate as a Foreigner (EU, non-EU, USA) in Croatia?.

5. What Are the Costs of Buying a House or Apartment in Croatia?

The costs of buying a house, apartment, or other real estate in Croatia depend on several factors.
In addition to the property's price, there are additional costs such as real estate transfer tax, legal services, ownership transfer costs, and agency fees.

6. I Have an Urgent Sale of a House/Apartment, What Should I Do?

If you have a property you want to sell, you can attempt independent sales, but selling real estate without an agency can be challenging.
Choose a reliable and successful realtor in Croatia that will professionally present your property, handle advertising, filter serious and non-serious inquiries, bring in genuine buyers, and securely and transparently conduct the purchase process.

7. How Can I Purchase Real Estate at a Lower Price?

Every buyer would, of course, like to get more value for their money, and the real estate agency is here to help in finding the ideal property within your budget.
When choosing a property at a lower price, it is crucial to verify the quality of the property and the legality of the documentation.
CASA DE MAR real estate agency offers a diverse range of houses and apartments for sale in Croatia, including more affordable yet high-quality properties with "clean papers".
With our extensive experience, we help buyers select a quality and legal property, and our connections with investors and sellers can play a crucial role in negotiating the purchase of real estate.

8. What Documentation Is Needed for a Property to Be Legal?

Whether you are selling or buying an apartment or house, it is essential that the property has "clean papers", meaning all the necessary documentation for the property to be legal.
The property should have a land registry extract, building permit, occupancy permit, or an equivalent document of legalization, and an energy certificate.
For a more detailed explanation of the documentation essential for buying and selling property, read our blog article What Documentation Is Important for Buying and Selling Real Estate?, which provides all available information.

9. What Is the Difference Between a Possession and Ownership Certificate?

Although the names might suggest equivalent documentation, there are differences between a possession certificate and an ownership certificate.
The ownership certificate or land registry extract is an official document confirming ownership of the property, used as a legal means to establish ownership and the owner's rights to the property.
The possession certificate is a less formal document confirming the physical possession of the property by an individual but not necessarily ownership.
It is used to prove current physical possession but does not provide complete security regarding ownership of the property.

10. What is the Difference Between the Ownership Certificate and Land Registry Extract?

The terms are often used interchangeably because they represent the same document, but there is a slight difference in the context when using each term.
The ownership certificate provides detailed information about the property owner, their identity, and details about the property over which the owner has ownership. The term is used when referring specifically to ownership.
The land registry extract is used as an overarching term for all information obtainable from the land registry because the land registry extract consists of possession certificates, ownership certificates, and encumbrance certificates.
These items thoroughly describe all information from the land registry, such as details about possession, land parcels, real estate, owner, and possible encumbrances.

11. What is a Building Permit?

A building permit is permission for the construction or reconstruction of real estate issued by the municipality, city, or other local bodies.
It is necessary for planning and carrying out construction work.
Obtaining it requires a detailed project that complies with local urban plans, regulations, and standards of architectural, engineering, environmental, and safety nature.

12. What is an Occupancy Permit?

An occupancy permit is a permit for the legal use or occupancy of a building.
This document confirms that the construction project was carried out in accordance with the approved project and building permit and that the property is ready for occupancy and use.
An occupancy permit or its equivalent is of explicit importance to ensure that the works have been correctly executed and that the property meets all necessary standards for safety, health, and the environment.

13. What is a Condominium Deed? Why is it Important for an Apartment to be Condominiumized?

A condominium deed is a legal document describing the precise division of a multi-residential building into separate parts (floors, apartments) to which individual ownership rights are assigned.
In condominiumized real estate, ownership rights are clearly defined (facilitating a simpler transfer of ownership during a real estate transaction), management of common areas is simplified, and it provides security for financing by a bank or other financial institution.
Without a condominium deed, owners are in possession of an undefined part of the building, meaning it is not precisely defined what is owned within the building.
With a condominium deed, it is clearly defined which specific apartment, with what exact area and content, is owned by which owner.

14. What is an Energy Certificate?

An energy certificate is a document providing information about the energy efficiency of a property.
The certificate gives an overview of the energy characteristics of the building, such as energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Based on energy efficiency, it provides a rating usually expressed in the form of an energy label from A to G.
Label A indicates high energy efficiency, while label G indicates low energy efficiency.

15. What is a Mediation Agreement?

A mediation agreement or brokerage agreement is a document formalizing the collaboration between the intermediary (Real Estate Agency) and the principal (party buying or selling real estate).
This document defines the rights and obligations of both parties during mediation, as well as the brokerage fee for mediation services if the legal real estate transaction is concluded.
More detailed information on rights and obligations can be found on the General Terms of Service page.

16. What is the agency commission in real estate transactions?

The agency commission in real estate transactions is a fee charged by a real estate agency for its intermediary services. The commission is expressed as a percentage of the total property value and is paid to the agency that facilitated the buying or selling process. This commission covers the costs of advertising and marketing, negotiations, legal services including ownership and legality verification by lawyers, drafting preliminary and purchase contracts, title transfer to the new owner, utility checks, and transfers.

17. When is the agency commission paid in real estate transactions?

The agency commission is paid at the time of concluding the legal transaction, i.e., when the parties have agreed on the subject of the contract and the price, or at the time of concluding a preliminary or purchase contract or depositing down payment.

18. What is down payment and how much is it in real estate transactions?

Down payment is a sum of money that a buyer provides as confirmation of their intention to purchase the property. It is usually paid when signing a preliminary or purchase contract, and its amount varies, often between 5% to 10% of the total property price, depending on the market and negotiations.

19. What is a Preliminary Contract in real estate in Croatia?

The Preliminary Contract is a preliminary legal document by which the seller and the buyer commit to the basic conditions of the real estate sale. The contract contains all relevant information about the property, the buyer, and the seller, and defines key aspects of the sale such as price, deadlines, and payment terms. It serves as the basis for the subsequent final Purchase Contract.

20. What is a Purchase Contract in real estate in Croatia?

The Purchase Contract, often referred to as the Main Contract, is a legal document that formally regulates all the conditions of the sale and concludes the process of buying and selling real estate. This contract contains all the information from the Preliminary Contract and additionally includes the date of property handover to the new owner. By signing the Contract, the parties commit to fulfilling the agreed conditions, ensuring legal security for both the buyer and the seller.

21. Who bears the costs of drafting the Preliminary Contract and Purchase Contract in real estate transactions?

The costs of drafting the Preliminary Contract and Purchase Contract in real estate transactions are usually divided between the seller and the buyer by agreement. In some cases, the seller may bear the costs of drafting the preliminary contract, while the buyer covers the costs of drafting the purchase contract. With the CASA DE MAR real estate agency, you don't have to worry about who covers the cost for each contract, as the cost of drafting both the Preliminary Contract and the Main Contract is included in our service.

22. What is the formalization of the Purchase Contract in real estate in Croatia?

The formalization of the Purchase Contract in real estate is a thorough examination of the document by a notary public. Unlike a standard certification that verifies and confirms the signatures on the document from the involved parties, formalization includes verifying whether the contract is concluded in the prescribed form, explaining to the parties the meaning of the document, its legal effects, and pointing out and warning if there are unclear or ambiguous statements in the contract.

23. What is a Handover Protocol?

The Handover Protocol is a document that describes in detail the condition of the property. The document records information such as an inventory of furniture and items remaining in the property for the new owner, possible damages or defects to the property, the number of keys handed over, and the condition of electricity and water meters. The purpose of the document is to record the condition of the property when handed over to the new owner to prevent possible disputes or utility costs and is drawn up during each real estate transaction at the time of handing over the keys.

24. What is a Tabular Statement?

The Tabular Statement is a part of the purchase contract or a separate document in which the seller declares that the property has been fully paid for and allows the registration of property ownership in the land registry to the buyer. It can also be conditionally defined, allowing the seller to allow ownership registration upon payment of the purchase price. The Tabular Statement must be certified by a notary public, and the notarization service costs around €6.50 per signature, or per co-owner if the ownership is being registered to multiple co-owners.

25. How much does a notary public cost in Croatia?

The costs of engaging a notary public in Croatia vary depending on the type of legal transaction. Prices are determined by tariffs prescribed by the Law on Notary Public, depending on the complexity and value of the legal transaction. For accurate information, it is recommended to contact a notary public or check the tariffs on the website of the Croatian Chamber of Notaries.

26. Is it possible to deposit the purchase price with a notary public when buying a property in Croatia?

Yes, it is possible to deposit the purchase price with a notary public when buying a property in Croatia. In this case, the notary public acts as a trustee, who, as an independent participant in the real estate transaction process, conducts the price deposit procedure, where the money is held in a secure account until the conditions of the purchase contract are fulfilled, ensuring payment security, transparency, and protection of the interests of both parties in the process.

27. Is there a real estate transfer tax in Croatia?

Yes, there is a real estate transfer tax in Croatia which has to be paid upon each real estate transaction. The real estate transfer tax is 3% of the total value or purchase price of the property.

28. Who pays the real estate transfer tax in Croatia and when?

The responsibility for paying the real estate transfer tax lies with the buyer, i.e., the new owner of the property. The tax obligation arises at the moment when the Purchase Contract for the real estate is concluded. After the contract is notarized, the notary public submits a copy of the document to the Tax Administration. The Tax Administration calculates the tax amount and issues a Provisional Tax Decision. The buyer is required to pay the specified tax amount within 15 days from the date of receiving the decision.

29. Does the seller pay tax when selling a property in Croatia?

The real estate transfer tax is the tax obligation of the buyer, but in certain situations, there is a tax obligation for the seller, namely the income tax. If the seller sells a property within three years of purchasing it and sells it at a higher price than the purchase price, they are required to pay income tax. The tax is paid at a rate of 35% on the difference between the purchase and sale prices, plus the surtax of the relevant municipality.

30. Can the real estate tax be paid in installments?

The real estate transfer tax can be paid in installments. It can be paid in 24 installments, with a default interest rate currently set at 5.75%.

31. What is the tax rate on the purchase of the first property in Croatia?

The exemption from paying tax on the purchase of the first property was abolished in 2017, so all property buyers are equal taxpayers who are required to pay the real estate transfer tax.

32. Is there a property tax when buying a new construction in Croatia?

The payment of property tax for the purchase of a new construction from a developer depends on whether the developer is within or outside the VAT system. If the developer is within the VAT system, the tax is already included in the property price, and the buyer is not required to pay the real estate transfer tax.

33. Can I buy a property 'through a company'?

Yes, it is possible to buy properties in Croatia through a company or corporation. This option is often used for tax or legal reasons, such as asset protection or facilitating tax obligations.

34. Can I buy a property that is under mortgage or other encumbrance?

Buying and selling a property under a mortgage or other encumbrance is possible, but it is necessary to agree on a method of debt repayment to remove the encumbrance from the land registry and land registry extract.

35. What is a letter of intent?

A letter of intent is a document issued by the bank that has approved a loan to the property owner. The exact remaining debt may not necessarily be shown on the land registry extract, but the letter of intent contains the precise amount of the remaining debt. At the time of purchase, the letter of intent must not be older than one month.

36. Who clears the mortgage or other encumbrance on the property?

Clearing the encumbrance or mortgage can be done in three ways. The property owner can repay the debt prematurely, and when the entire amount stated in the letter of intent is repaid, the bank guarantees to issue a deletion certificate and remove the mortgage from the land register. The owner can also transfer the encumbrance to another property they own. The last option is for the buyer to repay the remaining debt. The buyer pays the creditor bank the debt amount from the letter of intent, which is deducted from the purchase price, and the remaining amount of the purchase price is paid to the property seller.

37. What is a deletion certificate?

A deletion certificate is a statement by which the bank confirms that the owner of the property has fully repaid the remaining debt of the mortgage, allowing the debt to be removed from the land registry and land registry extract using the document.

38. What is the OIB, and do I need it if I am a foreigner buying property in Croatia?

The OIB is the Personal Identification Number assigned to all citizens and legal entities in Croatia. Foreign nationals planning to buy a house, apartment, or any real estate in Croatia are also required to obtain an OIB to be registered in official records and acquire ownership rights to the property. If you want to learn more about what the OIB is used for, how to apply for an OIB for property purchase in Croatia, and what documentation you need, read our blog article: What is OIB / PIN and how do I get it for buying Real Estate in Croatia?, which contains all available information.

39. What documents are required for the transfer of property ownership?

For the purpose of transferring property ownership, it is necessary to prepare a proposal for registration of ownership rights, a purchase contract, a notarized tabular statement by the seller, an identification document (ID card or passport), and proof of payment of court fees. With this documentation, you can be registered as the owner in the land registry.

40. Who registers property ownership rights in the land registry, and what are the costs?

The proposal for registration of ownership rights is submitted to the land registry by a notary public or a lawyer. There is a court fee of €16.59 for submitting the registration proposal, and a notary fee of approximately €13.27 is calculated on that amount.

41. Is there a time limit for registering property ownership rights?

The submission of the proposal for registration of ownership rights has a defined deadline of 60 days from the date of acquiring the right to the property. If the deadline is not met, the court fee will be calculated at five times the amount.

42. How are bills/utilities (water, electricity, utilities) transferred to the new owner?

When a new owner takes over a property, it is necessary to contact service providers such as the water company, electricity provider, and municipal utilities for the transfer of bills to their name. Proper documentation is required as proof of ownership and identification, after which service providers will transfer the bills to the new owner's name. The new owner needs to monitor the process and ensure that all bills are correctly transferred to their name. Filling out forms, checking meters, preparing documentation, and monitoring the process for each service provider can be cumbersome, so the CASA DE MAR real estate agency handles bill transfers for you.

43. How to change residence and what documents are required?

If you have bought a new property in Croatia and want to change your address of residence, you need to submit a request for residence registration to the competent Police Administration or station. Along with the completed request, you need to attach an identification document and a signed statement of residence at the address you wish to register.

44. What are the advantages of buying a new construction from developers in Croatia?

Buying a new construction from developers has several advantages. Some of them include the possibility of customizing design or materials according to your preferences, construction quality guarantee, new installations and construction according to modern standards, high energy efficiency, and a living space that is completely new and unused by previous owners. When buying a new construction, there is also a statutory construction warranty period of 10 years, a warranty period of 2 years for all crafts and installation works, and warranties for installed devices from manufacturers. Additionally, when a buyer purchases a new construction from a developer who is a legal entity within the VAT system, the property tax is included in the apartment price, and the buyer does not pay a 3% real estate transfer tax. The CASA DE MAR real estate agency has extensive experience with reliable investors, so if you are interested in new construction for sale in Croatia by the sea, we are here for you!

45. What is a turnkey purchase?

A turnkey purchase means that the buyer receives a finished product, i.e., the buyer has no additional engagement, interventions, or investments in the property. In the case of buying a new construction, this principle entails that the developer will carry out the entire process of works, including construction, design, and furnishing. In the case of buying an already built structure, this principle means that the property is furnished with furniture and equipment, fully ready for living, and is handed over to the buyer as such.

46. Is it better to rent or buy an apartment?

When considering the advantages of buying an apartment versus renting, it is important to consider long-term financial aspects. Although the monthly mortgage payment for buying an apartment may be similar to monthly rent, it is important to bear in mind that through loan repayment, equity is gradually built up, while in renting, money is spent on living in someone else's property. In the long run, buying an apartment or house allows ownership of the property after the loan is repaid, providing stability and the potential for asset growth, while renting carries the risk of rent increases and limitations imposed by the property owner. Therefore, the decision between renting and buying depends on individual financial goals and preferences.

47. What is the difference between an apartment, a flat, and a studio?

If you are planning to buy an apartment or flat, you have probably come across these two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference in the original purpose of the space. Flats are primarily intended for permanent residence, while apartments are primarily intended for temporary residence. Unlike traditional apartments and flats, studio apartments do not have a separate bedroom; instead, the living space is combined in one room. Our real estate agency has a diverse range of apartments for sale in Malinska and flats for sale in Crikvenica, as well as in other places on the island of Krk and the Crikvenica Riviera.

48. Can a garage be used as a residence or apartment in Croatia?

If the property is officially registered as a garage, it is possible to physically convert the space into a residential area, but there are legal differences depending on its official classification. Although it is possible to live in a garage if it is renovated accordingly, a property registered as a garage cannot be rented out or purchased through a loan. If this is not an obstacle, for those seeking an affordable solution for buying a ground-floor apartment, a garage can be a favorable option.

49. What is the difference between a detached house, a semi-detached house, and a house in a row?

The difference between these houses lies in the number of residential units (houses) within one architectural entity or building. A detached house is a standalone building, separated from neighboring properties. Semi-detached houses consist of two residential units within one building, connected on one or more sides. Houses in a row are similar to semi-detached houses but involve a larger number of residential units. Typically, houses in a row consist of three residential units, sometimes more. Are you looking for houses in Croatia? Whether you are looking for a detached house, semi-detached house, or a house in a row in Kvarner, our offer includes a variety of houses for sale in Croatia by the sea. 

50. What are prefabricated houses, and what are the advantages?

Prefabricated houses are characterized by a construction system consisting of prefabricated house parts manufactured in a factory, which are then assembled on-site. Their advantages include faster construction and lower costs compared to traditional construction, greater flexibility in design, and the possibility of reducing environmental impact through the use of sustainable materials.

51. What is needed for house construction?

To build a house, you need to have building land with location and building permits and a project. In addition to preparing construction materials, contractors, and workers, during construction, it is necessary to ensure supervision by the builder and compliance with all safety standards.

52. Is a building permit required for house reconstruction?

Yes, most house reconstructions require a building permit, with requirements varying depending on the scope of work and local regulations. It is recommended to consult with the relevant building or urban planning authorities to check the necessary permits before starting the work.

53. Is a building permit required for building a pool?

A building permit for building a pool depends on its size. A pool with an area of less than 100 m2 does not require a building permit, while larger pools require obtaining a building permit. Additionally, the type of pool should be considered; if it is an in-ground pool, the threshold of 100 m2 applies, but if it is an above-ground concrete pool, a building permit is required regardless of its size.

54. What is the optimal square footage of an apartment or house per person?

The optimal square footage of an apartment or house per person varies depending on needs and preferences. Generally, a space of 30 to 50 m2 per person is considered suitable for comfortable living, but this can vary according to individual preferences and the number of household members. If you are interested in buying an apartment in Malinska up to 40 m2 or a flat in Crikvenica up to 60 m2 or even a house in Novi Vinodolski up to 200 m2, our CASA DE MAR real estate agency offers a diverse range of houses and apartments for sale in Croatia of various sizes.

55. What is the difference between agricultural land and building land?

Although both types of properties are land, there is a significant difference in purpose and use. Agricultural land is used for agricultural purposes such as crop cultivation, orchards, or livestock farming, while building land is intended for the construction of buildings such as houses, apartments, commercial spaces, or industrial complexes. If you are looking for land for sale in Croatia, feel free to contact our real estate agency and make a successful investment on the Adriatic coast.

56. Why are properties in Croatia so expensive?

Properties for sale in Croatia can be expensive for several reasons, including high demand, limited supply, the tourist attractiveness of certain areas, as well as the care for urban planning, building regulations, and maintaining urban standards to preserve the natural beauty of the Adriatic coast and prevent excessive construction. Although property prices have risen, real estates in Croatia are still affordable compared to other developed tourist destinations. By purchasing an apartment or house in Croatia, you can create your own oasis of peace in the beautiful Mediterranean at a reasonable price. Also, investing in real estate on the Adriatic coast can be an excellent opportunity for tourism development on Kvarner, providing the opportunity to achieve attractive income through tourist rentals.

57. How to assess the value of a property?

The assessment of a property's value is usually based on several factors, including location, size, condition of the property, market trends, and comparison with similar houses or apartments for sale in the area. To assess the value of a property, you can hire an appraiser or consult with the CASA DE MAR real estate agency for advice on determining the property's price.

58. How to prepare a property for sale in Croatia?

Preparing a house and apartment for sale involves several steps to maximize its attractiveness and value. This may include thorough cleaning and tidying up the space, repairing or replacing damaged parts, refreshing the paint on the walls, as well as professional photography to highlight all the best features of the property. Additionally, collaborating with a realtor in Croatia can help achieve a professional presentation of the property and attract potential buyers. It is also important to prepare the property documentation, which you can learn about in our blog article: What Documentation is Important for Buying and Selling Real Estate?.

59. What is energy refurbishment of a property?

Energy refurbishment of a property involves improving the energy efficiency of the building to reduce energy consumption for heating, cooling, and lighting. This refurbishment may include insulation of walls, replacement of windows, installation of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels. In addition to reducing energy costs, energy refurbishment also provides greater comfort and increases the value of the property.

60. Is property insurance mandatory?

Insurance for a house or apartment is not mandatory. Property insurance is optional for the property owner and can help protect your property and yourself. In some cases, property insurance may be required, e.g., when approving a housing loan for the purchase of a new property. Although property insurance is not legally required, it can help you recover potential losses caused by fire, water damage, storms, earthquakes, or theft.