Croatia has traditionally been a difficult place for foreigners to purchase and own real estate. This is due to the fact that the country has been occupied for many long periods in history. These laws have eased up since the 1990s, but there are still some bureaucratic procedures to overcome.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
Attorneys are usually recommended in this process, as it requires legal work. It is helpful to have a real estate attorney who is well-versed in both Croatian and the buyer’s first language.
Real estate agents can be helpful in researching suitable properties, but are not necessary.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
Croatian real estate operates on a reciprocal process. Foreign nationals may buy and own Croatian real estate so long as their country of origin allows Croatian nationals to buy and own real estate. They must then get permission from the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after they settle on a property (see below). This process sometimes takes a while because the Ministry will need to run it by local bureaucracies where the prospective property is located.
The foreigner must first decide on a property and make an offer to its seller. Upon approval of this price, a sales contract should be drawn up. Both parties must sign this document, and then it must be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so the foreigner will be granted permission to buy. The foreign buyer is also usually required to put down a deposit, which is typically 10% of the purchase price.
Once the process is concluded with the bureaus and officials, a final contract should be drawn up and signed by both parties. A deed is then issued to the buyer, which must in turn be registered by the Land Books of Croatia. The buyer is then respsonsible for paying the seller the remainder of the balance, and the property is sold.