Real estate fraud

Foreigners often make enquiries after they have paid a sum to buy a property for which they have not obtained a title deed, but in the meantime the owner has sold it to a third party, despite having signed a preliminary contract. In the meantime, the owner, usually a legal person, has been declared bankrupt and there is practically no real protection for the defrauded person.

Such cases are, unfortunately, not rare, which is why foreigners and Bulgarian citizens should be particularly careful.

What can be done in advance to avoid this situation?

Usually, the buyer has in a bank account the entire amount needed for the transaction, and wishes to buy a furnished property that does not need renovation. In this case, it is a good idea to pay the full sales price in advance into the notary’s account.

It is not necessary to draw up a preliminary contract with the payment of ten percent to it, as is common practice, because in this case the buyer does not guarantee that he will not be cheated, for example, with a value equal to these percentages. In an expensive property, even such a fraction of the value is a huge sum. When the notary has verified the necessary documents and subsequently presented the deed signed by him and the parties, the latter is registered at the Registry Agency and copies are returned to the notary, who can only then charge the amount from his special account to that indicated by the seller. This avoids many complications, such as having to pay a price for a property that has been sold in the meantime and the start of costly litigation with an unknown outcome.

Naturally, deeds registered in the Real Estate Registry of the Registry Agency can also be invalidated, but the majority of real estate fraud occurs precisely when one of the parties to the transaction has misled the others before the notarial proceedings.

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