Guide to Buying Property in Slovenia
Since joining the EU, the process of buying property in Slovenia has been much simplified and, in general, is less complicated and often faster than buying in many other European countries.
Who can buy
EU and USA citizens can buy (and commercially let) property in Slovenia without any restrictions.
Citizens of third countries may acquire real estate in Slovenia if they have a business registered in Slovenia, obtain Slovenian citizenship, or obtain property through inheritance, provided the condition of reciprocity is met.
The best option for citizens of third countries is therefore to register a company in Slovenia and acquire the property through the commercial entity. We provide full services for citizens of third countries, including:
Accounting and tax planning;
Registered office and day to day company management; and
Where to buy
The first step is to carry out thorough research and decide where you would like to purchase a property. Although Slovenia is a small country, geographically and architecturally it is very diverse. Therefore, it is important to know what you want to achieve from your property.
If you prefer alpine life, the northwest region (Gorenjska) is your place of search. Properties tend to be 'Alpine style' two-storey detached homes with steep eaves, constructed from a timber-frame with render or exposed wood, or, in more modern homes, concrete block and render.
If, however, the Adriatic coast with its Mediterranean climate, olive plantations and vineyards is closer to heart, then the southwest region (S. Primorska) is where you should be concentrating your search. Properties here, as you would expect, have a Mediterranean style of architecture and are mainly two-storey detached homes constructed from bricks.
N. Primorska offers all kinds of outdoor activities, including hiking, rafting, fishing and canoeing.
Those who enjoy culture and city living will be drawn to Ljubljana, which offers Austrian architectural influence, flourishing detail and greater ornamentation.
The northeast and easterly regions (Prekmurja, Staerska) have a greater Austrian-Hungarian influence and are ideal locations for those wanting to enjoy the tranquillity and natural beauty of the rolling hillsides, vineyards and virgin forests. These regions also offer sources of mineral water, including the famous Donat, as well as thermal spas.
Notwithstanding the above, the greatest advantage of Slovenia is that no matter where you choose to purchase your property, you are a mere 2 hours away from all the regions of Slovenia.
Searching for a property
Once you have decided on where to buy, you can begin searching for your property.
You can either search through our extensive online database of properties or consult with our specialists. In case of the latter, we will take into consideration all your personal requirements as well as offer you bespoke advice. We will then search the market and provide you with a list of properties that best match your individual needs.
We will organise viewings as well as provide transportation, including pick up and drop off to your place of stay.
Throughout the entire process, a qualified English-speaking agent will always accompany you.
Buying a property
Buying property in Slovenia is a relatively straightforward and easy procedure.
As in most countries, the price of property in Slovenia is negotiable and the first stage in the purchase process is for parties to agree the price and other main conditions of the sale. We will assist you in offering the right price and negotiating all the terms of purchase with the seller.
Once a price is agreed, our lawyers will carry out full due diligence on the property on your behalf.
It is not common in Slovenia to formally survey properties after making an offer. It is possible to arrange, however, should you want that peace of mind.
Foreign buyers must acquire a tax and EMSO number. We will obtain these for you, as well as assist you in opening a bank account in Slovenia, which will be useful later on.
For third country nationals, we will assist in establishing a corporate entity for the purpose of acquiring the property.
Our lawyers will draft a contract, which outlines the core terms of the sale and obliges each party to complete and execute the contract within a given time frame. Usually the signature of the contract is followed by payment of a deposit of 10% of the purchase price.
The deposit has a special status under Slovenian law meaning that the buyer will lose it if he is responsible for the sale not completing and the seller is obliged to return the deposit and pay the buyer the same amount again if he is responsible for non-completion.
The sale is completed after the Notary has verified the sale documents and following payment of the balance of funds due under the sale contract.
The Land Registry will then transfer title to the purchaser.
The entire process is relatively quick and takes around 1 month.
Tax on property buying
There is no direct tax on the purchase of real estate.
Property transfer tax of 2% of the value of the transaction must be paid. This is usually born by the seller.
VAT of 9.5% may be charged if the property is new and the seller is VAT registered.
Piece of mind
Buying real estate can be a frustrating process. This is why we provide the following services, without additional costs, to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly and stress free:
Pick up and drop off for viewings;
English speaking agents, who will accompany you during the viewings;
We will represent your interest and, on your behalf, conduct all negotiations with the seller;
Translate all documents into English;
Control each stage of the buying process up to transfer of title;
Ensure that your presence in Slovenia is required to a bare minimum during the buying process; and
Following completion, assist with the transfer of utility accounts in your name.