Poland: A guide to the buying process

Poland is one of the current hottest places to buy in Europe for foreign investors. This article gives you a brief overview of the property buying process in Poland.

Once you have found a property to buy, it is advisable to hire an experienced notary to help you through the buying process. Notaries are publicly appointed officials who have no loyalty to either the vendor or the buyer – their main role is to draft legal documents, ensure that all relevant taxes are paid, and to register the property transaction with the relevant authorities. You are able to hire a secondary notary who will act in your interests, but this is not mandatory. If you do hire a notary, it is advisable to find one who is well versed in not only Polish law, but the laws our your own country and who speaks your language as well as Polish fluently.

It is unusual for indepedent valuations of the property to be taken, although as the market continues to mature, it is something that the market may tend towards. Surveys are also not required meaning most people do not have a survey. This means that there are no licensed surveyors in Poland. If you are worried about your property and would like a survey done, you can go to a local licensed builder and commission a report from him.

Polish banks will lend to foreign investors although proof of income is usually required. Many of the major Polish banks will fund self-employed and buy-to-let as well as standard mortgages.

Once a price has been agreed for the prooperty, a preliminary agreement will be signed at the notary’s office. A deposit will need to be paid at this stage – the deposit varies but is normally 10% for a resale property and 20% for an off-plan development.

It normally takes under three months between this intial phase and completion. During this period of time, the notary will carry out all the necessary searches and checks on your behalf. Once these have been completed, the purchaser will need to pay the remaining balance on the property to the notary who will then transfer the monies to the vendor. Agents fees and legal fees will also need to be paid. Agents fees are varied and should be negotiated at the start of the process. Legal fees are around the 8% of the property purchase price.

If you then decide to sell your property within three years of buying it, you will be hit with a 10% capital gains tax.

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