Real estate agents want just to sell
Real estate agents in Bulgaria are not regulated, so their only goal is to sell you anything. They will probably show you tons of properties and will try to persuade you to buy it. They don't have ethical code, nor you can file a complaint against them in a special professional regulatory body. There used to be an idea to codify the rights and obligations of real estate agents in Bulgaria, but it failed. Whether this was on purpose or not, it's hard to say. This situation creates a loophole in the law, allowing all kind of property scam. In this case it is a wise idea to instruct a property solicitor, who will initiate a full property research on the deeds and seller.
Instructing a Bulgarian property solicitor
Bulgarian and UK conveyancing process have many similarities, but also a huge amount of differences. In that connection your current UK solicitor is unlikely to be able to act diligently and replace entirely the legal background of a Bulgarian qualified property solicitor. Your UK solicitor could act in terms of supervising the application of the general principals of conveyancing and watch out for any suspicious legal actions performed by the instructed Bulgarian solicitor. Also your UK solicitor may assist you in certification of the conveyancing documents, needed to complete the purchase or sale of your Bulgarian property.
Choosing a qualified Bulgarian property solicitor is not easy. You can find many recommendations in Internet property forums like My Bulgaria, but there are also many estate agents/solicitors who stand behind fake Brit profiles and basically recommend themselves. The easiest way to find a qualified Bulgarian property solicitor is 'the word of mouth' method. If you have any friend or relative who has been through the conveyancing process and have used a Bulgarian solicitor, just ask for the contacts of this solicitor.
What exactly does the property solicitor in the conveyancing process
It really depends on what you have instructed the solicitor for - purchase or sale. In the general case of purchase, the solicitor will check the current status of the property you are buying: if there are any registered encumbrances such as mortgages, liens, injunctions, pending lawsuits etc. The solicitor should check also the authenticity of the current owner's title deed and if the seller is the actual owner and if he/she has the full powers to dispose the property. If there are any suspicious facts in documents, the solicitor will require additional information and/or documents from the seller in order to establish if it is safe to buy this property or not.
On a separate note, the draft of the new title deed can be prepared by your solicitor too. Many notaries don't bother preparing the title deeds so in this case it is mandatory your solicitor to prepare the title deed draft. Even if the notary prepares the title deed draft, your solicitor should review it in order to confirm that what you will be signing is actually what you want to buy and the terms of the purchase are the same as agreed with the seller.
[infobox type="attention"] A note to those who rely only on notaries when buying property: Notaries are not obliged to check for encumbrances on the property, subject to the purchase. They only are obliged to check the ownership status. In that sense relying only to a notary for the conveyancing is not a wise move. [/infobox]
If you need a qualified Bulgarian property solicitor, call us or email us for a quote for our services.