Home » Business » Croatian property expert shares some tips for potential buyers 

Croatian property expert shares some tips for potential buyers 

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

Ivana Čikić (Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

Buying a property in Croatia can often be stressful, and the market is volatile that finances are not necessarily the only concern when purchasing. It is crucial to pay attention to a whole range of things and to address the many questions that concern buyers, we spoke to Ivana Čikić, the director of the real estate agency Dom Ekspert, who revealed the most important things that can facilitate the decision when it comes to buying a house or an apartment.

Is the price a guarantee of quality, and what determines the price of a property?

It is important to keep in mind that a high price does not always guarantee high quality, and a low price does not necessarily mean poor quality. When it comes to buying a property, there are numerous factors that can affect its price. Firstly, there is the location, size of the property, its condition, legal and regulatory factors, the trend of property prices in the market, as well as additional amenities nearby.

Take these factors into consideration before making a purchase.

The first step is defining your budget. This is important so that you know how much money you can allocate for purchasing a property. In addition to the property price, consider the costs of property transfer taxes, fees for agency or legal services, renovation costs, and furnishing. Familiarise yourself with different types of loans, interest rates, and repayment terms. Consult with a bank or financial advisor to choose the most suitable option for your situation.

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

The location of the property is often one of the most important criteria that affect the quality of life and the value of the property. Think about the proximity of amenities such as kindergartens, schools, shops, transportation, healthcare facilities, and recreational amenities. Decide how much space you need for normal functioning. The number of rooms, bathrooms, or parking spaces can be crucial. Consider your current and future needs, such as expanding your family or working from home, to ensure enough space for everything.

Inspect the condition of the property you are buying to identify possible issues or potential repair costs. Study the foundations, roof, electrical and plumbing installations, heating and cooling systems, insulation, and other important aspects.

Verify that the documentation of the property you are buying is in order, in two segments: the legal segment (ownership, encumbrances, annotations, etc.) and the construction-technical documentation (building permits, occupancy permit, legalisation act, etc.).

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

Property valuation is important to know whether the price you are paying is realistic and competitive, and consult with your real estate agent about it.

How do we know if all the documents are in order?

It is recommended to collaborate with an experienced real estate agent who will conduct a detailed check of the legal documentation related to the property to ensure that there are no legal issues during the sale. This primarily includes verifying the current owner of the property and whether the seller is authorised to sell it, checking for mortgages, encumbrances, and annotations, examining the ownership history of the property, and registered rights of third parties. 

It is important to note that the agent, as a mediator, protects the interests of both contracting parties and ensures that all legal aspects are properly regulated.

How do we know if the building/house is well-built?

It is important to note that for a complete and detailed assessment, it is necessary to engage an expert, a civil engineer, who has experience and knowledge to detect potential problems. Engaging an expert is especially recommended when buying a used apartment or house. 

What you can do yourself is to inspect the house or building from the outside and inside to identify visible deficiencies. Pay attention to cracks in the walls, deformations or unevenness on the floors and ceilings, roof leaks, damaged or rotten parts of wooden elements, and similar issues. Check if the walls and floors are made of solid materials. Verify the type of roofing material and facade cladding. Look for visible signs of damage or deficiencies in electrical and plumbing installations.

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

Check if the lighting, outlets, faucets, and showers are functioning properly. Examine the condition of windows and doors, which should be well-installed, have good seals, and open and close easily. If possible, test the heating and cooling systems. Pay attention to the age, condition, and efficiency of the furnace, air conditioning, radiators, or other systems.

Moisture is a problem that can be disguised, and buyers may be surprised after a few months.

Visual signs: Watch out for stains or dark spots on the walls, ceilings, or floors. This could be a sign of moisture or leaks nearby.

Odour: If you notice an unpleasant smell of humidity, mould, or staleness, it may indicate the presence of moisture. Pay special attention to areas such as basements, bathrooms, or kitchens.

Condensation: Check for condensation on windows or other surfaces. Excessive condensation can indicate insulation or ventilation problems.

Cracks: Pay attention to cracks in the walls, especially around windows and doors. Water can seep through cracks and cause moisture problems.

Lifting of flooring: If you notice the lifting of flooring, such as parquet or tiles, it may be a sign that there is moisture underneath affecting the adhesive or substrate.

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

How much does it cost to have someone check all of this for us?

The price of a professional property inspection depends on various factors, including the size and complexity of the property, the local supply of experts, geographic location, and the scope of services you require. Generally, the cost of a quality inspection by a property expert can range from a few hundred to several thousand euros. 

This may include a basic assessment of the property’s condition, identification of potential problems, written reports, and consultation. It is advisable to obtain several quotes from different experts to compare prices and services.

There are sellers, and there are serious real estate agents.

A serious agent will have a professional approach and behaviour towards you as a potential buyer. They will be patient, helpful, and ready to provide you with all the necessary information about the property.

A serious agent will be transparent about the property data. They will provide you with all relevant information about the property’s condition, ownership documentation, and any shortcomings.

It is crucial that the agent is knowledgeable, which you can determine through conversations with them as they should be able to answer your questions about all aspects related to the property buying process, legal matters, and other relevant information.

Try to get recommendations or opinions from other people who have had experience with that real estate agency.

Every serious real estate agency has legal support or an attorney who prepares all the necessary documents during the property buying process.

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

An agent who is serious and focused on long-term relationships with clients will be willing to negotiate and find solutions that are in your best interest.

Are we paying too much or is it an opportunity for purchase? How do we know if the price is fair?

Compare similar properties: Look at other properties in the same area with similar size, condition, and characteristics, and compare their prices. If the price of the apartment you are considering is significantly lower than similar properties, it could be a sign of a buying opportunity. On the other hand, if the price is considerably higher than similar properties, it may indicate overpricing.

Research the real estate market: If you notice that property prices, in general, are falling or stagnant, it could be a favourable moment for negotiation and seeking a better price.

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

Realistic valuation: Engaging an independent expert, such as a property appraiser, can help you obtain an objective assessment of the property’s real value.

Consider the property’s condition: If the property requires significant repairs, renovations, or has hidden defects, it can affect its value. In such cases, the price should be adjusted to reflect the necessary repairs or investments.

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

Think about long-term value: Sometimes it is important to consider the long-term value of the property and the potential growth of property prices in that area. If you expect property values to increase in the future, a currently higher price may be justified.

In conclusion, it is clear that if you don’t have expert assistance, you should definitely find it. By investing in a thorough property inspection, you can avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. 

Croatian property expert shares tips for potential buyers

(Photo credit: Dejan Tatomir)

Ivana Čikić, director of the Dom Ekspert agency, has been involved in this field for many years and has helped numerous buyers, so professional assessment is something everyone should keep in mind if they are not proficient in evaluating potential issues. This way, you can prevent unforeseen costs in the future.

Sign up to receive the Croatia Week Newsletter

Related Posts