How to sell a property in Poland and get the best price
Usually an owner thinks that selling a property is a piece of cake but they usually change their minds when they experience what it actually means.
The first issue they face is how to set the right asking price. Many owners start with a price they think their property is worth (or wish to achieve), which usually leads to the property setting waiting for a potential buyer for a long time (this can often lead to the property being negatively perceived by buyers if it stays on the market too long).
After some time having to endure lack of interest in their property some owners realize that hiring a professional agent is what they need and should have done at the beginning.
For those owners lucky enough to find a buyer they then face another issue when negotiating with the buyer all of the conditions of the sale and meeting all the notary requirements. Having no earlier experience makes this stage of the transaction nerve racking and hard. It’s also less comfortable for the seller as the buyer has a right to choose a notary. Although a notary should check everything to be in order, some conditions of the sale agreement may be more or less favourable for both parties, so having the right experience and knowledge helps to be sure that everything will go smoothly and the sale money reaches the seller bank account (and on time).
This is further complicated if the seller is a foreigner and/or lives abroad. A seller may need to visit Poland couple of times to carry out the transaction and arrange a sworn translator if they do not speak Polish.
All the above issues can be avoided by arranging a qualified agent who will carry out and take care of the whole transaction. Firstly, knowing the local market and carrying out hundreds of transaction will help an owner to set up a proper asking price (that balances market trends, buyer demands, room for negotiation, ensure it doesn’t sit too long on the market and so on). Secondly, the agent will take care of the advertisement, conduct all the viewings and negotiate on the owner’s behalf the best sale price. Furthermore, the agent will settle the conditions of the sale contract at further stage and make sure that the notarial deed is written correctly and protects the seller’s interests. Finally, the agent will organize all the necessary documents to finalize the transaction and, once everything have been checked twice, sign a sale contract on behalf of the owner. Additionally, if there is a mortgage on a property, the agent will help to organize a necessary certificate for sale purposes and pay off the mortgage as part of the sales process.
What are the costs?
Usually, the sale commission is 3% of the final sale price. In addition it is a good idea to use a legal conveyancing service – the price of which depends on whether there is a mortgage on the property or not. Apart from that, there will be some small fees for a certificate that no one is registered to live at the property, an energy performance certificate and a certificate from the housing community that there are no arrears on the property (usually free of charge). A professional agent would usually arrange all of these things for you.
What about a notary?
In Poland it is common that a buyer pays for all the notary costs.
If a property is sold after 5 years from the purchase date there is no income tax to be paid. Otherwise, a your proxy or agent should submit a tax declaration on the owner’s behalf (in which case the tax is 19% based on the difference between the sale price and purchase price).