Buying Property in Croatia, Part 2: Choosing the Right Real Estate Agency
In the previous article in this series, Scott P. Taylor explained the process a foreigner must follow to buy a home in Croatia. Click here to read, “Buying Property in Croatia, Part 1: Understanding the Process and the Prices.” In this article, Scott describes the roles real estate agencies can play, plus he provides some additional purchase options to consider.
Real Estate Agencies
If you feel like you need help with making a buy then you could always utilize the many agencies that are out there. Some are small and some are extremely large. Finding the right type of agency is a big decision that you should take seriously and do your homework on.
No matter what agency you do decide to go with, these are a few things that you should keep in mind while actually trying to find one.
- Make sure that the agency you use has an available agent that speaks your native language. Miscommunication can lead to very bad deals.
- Find an agency that has a large database of material for you to look through. You want to be able to see pictures, learn the property’s history, and find out all the minor details that could affect the property that you actually choose.
- Use an agent that will help you by offering an in-house lawyer or a highly recommended one. When it comes to the legalities of buying a property under Croatian law, you want to make sure that you follow all the rules that there are. Not following or misunderstanding the property laws can have a large negative affect on a purchase.
There are small agencies, medium sized ones, and large ones available to those who want to buy. Each one has their own benefits and pitfalls to offer. Sometimes you might find that a smaller agency may not be able to help as much if you do not know exactly what you want, while if you deal with a large agency you run the risk of slipping through the cracks. It is best to find an agent that you feel most comfortable with and will do the best job specifically for you.
The best way to ensure that you are dealing with an agency that will get you specifically what you want is to use a specialized agent. There aren’t too many of them, but if you do find one that you like, great deals can be made. The problem with these types of agencies is the fact that they can be extremely expensive. They offer great services, but that can come with a steep price.
By using a specialized agency, though, you can be guaranteed that you will find someone that speaks your language, is extremely professional, and will cater to all your needs. Whether you want to buy a whole island, an office building, or just a small villa, a specialized agency will make sure that you get exactly what you are paying for.
You can find any size agency that you want by simply searching the Internet. Most of these agencies will have sites that come in a variety of languages with contact information for all your questions. Asking questions is a big part of any business deal including finding an agent. Asking questions about their overall charges and fees will save you a lot of time and aggravation in the end. Never go into business dealings with an agency that you have not totally checked out. There is no need to get blindsided in the end with hidden costs that you weren’t aware of. The agent should want to work with you and for you, so find one that makes you comfortable and that you feel has your best interests at heart.
Other Buying Options
You will sometimes find properties that owners are selling on their own. This means that neither you nor they need to get any agencies involved. As always, though, there are good and bad sides to something like this. You can sometimes find a great deal when buying directly from an owner. On the other hand, you can end up paying way more than what the land is actually worth.
As long as there is not a language barrier getting in the way between you and a person who is selling on their own, then you should be okay.
As with your other options, make sure that you completely check out the property and learn every minute detail that you can. Protecting yourself and being satisfied with the final deal is the most important thing that you can do for yourself and for your future. You do not want to make a deal with anyone that you will live to regret a week or even five years down the line. Money is always an issue, so make sure that you are not getting ripped off and that you definitely get what you are paying for.
Excerpted and adapted from the ebook “Living and Investing in Croatia” by Scott P. Taylor.