Advice for property sellers

One of the most important buyers' criteria when choosing a property is its legality. If the house or building in which the flat is situated doesn't have a Construction and Usage Permit, the property cannot be sold. This is because banks request these documents from buyers, when assessing their loan application, though cash buyers also want to be assured of the property's legality. 

Real estate agencies are legally obligated to review all documentation of the flats and houses they list, and advise you if there are any liens or encumbrances that could hinder the sale and purchase.

The price-value ratio is one of the most important criteria buyers set themselves when searching for a flat or house. Many will rather compromise on the location than on their budget. A realistic asking price needs to be set, because if it is much higher than that of comparative properties, or unreasonably high, the flat or the house will be difficult to sell. Asking prices on property search engines should not used as the basis, since they represent the owners' wishes, and are very often higher than the transactional prices. Consult an experienced and quality real estate agency, as it will have its own database of transactional prices, but will also have insight into the transactional prices registered with the Croatian Tax Office, which are nor available to the public. It is better to list with a lower, yet realistic, asking price, negotiate less and sell more quickly, than to set an unrealistically high price in the hope 'striking gold', waiting for an offer for months, or maybe never getting one.

Prices of flats and houses  are influenced by many factors.

Location and microlocation
We all know the saying 'location, location, location,' which is a cliche, but also a fact, as the location of a flat or house actually does have the most significant impact on their prices.

In Zagreb, changes have occured in the most sought-after locations after the earthquake, so the Lower Town (Donji Grad) is no longer one of the most desirable, as many building are old and have been damaged. Supply has been additionally reduced for years, due to the trend of flats being converted into air b'n'b's. Maksimir has become very popular, and a significant number of new buildings have been constructed in that area in the last few years, but the prices are high. Medveščak and Jarun have always been and will remain in demand, but in recent years, it's been challenging to find quality used properties there at even average prices, and new constructions are expensive. The development of infrastructure in certain areas of Zagreb, such as Podsljeme, has not been accompanied by real estate development, resulting in lower demand and prices.

In general, properties near public transport and amenities such as schools, kindergartens, parks, and healthcare facilities are always in demand. Proximity to amenities is particularly important to young families.

Due to the significant price growth in recent years, properties in the most attractive locations have become too expensive for buyers with average incomes, so they have incresingly strated buying in secondary area. Although demand for these locations is increasing, prices of flats and must be lower than those in the most attractive areas. 

Wherever your property is located, you must be very realistic when setting the asking price to generate any interest. Properties in objectively less attractive locations cannot have similar prices to those in prime or most sought-after areas.

Property features
The floorplan of the property is very important. The average buyer today is looking to get as much usable space in as few squares meters as possible, in orded to spend as little as possible overall, and yet have a good quality of life. Buyers often modernise flats in old buildings, including the layout, so those older properties which can be remodelled easily are more attractive. If the flats in new buildings have a poor floor plan, buyers will not even view them. The way which the property faces is important, as those with lots of sunlight will be brighter and have higher energy efficiency. A good view always contributes to the attractiveness of the property. Whether a building has a lift has become almost crucial. Very few buyers are interested in a flat above the 2nd floor, if the building does not have a lift. A property with at least a little outside space is more attractive than one without. Off-street parking is also important, if there is none, the price has to be adjusted. 

We all need to develop an awareness that our property includes the common parts and just the individual unit. If the flat is in a neglected building with an unrenovated façade, a damp basement, with old plumbing, wiring and roof, a high price cannot be expected. This is especially true of buildings in the central Zagreb, because the investments needed to repair such buildings are significant. Certainly the asking price has to reflect any investments the buyer will have. Buyers avoid buildings in which the owners don't pay the service charge regularly, and which have neglected common parts. The condition of the building is more important than that of the indiviual flat, as buyers will most often carry our renovations anyway. 
Ensure that all the paperwork for the property and building is in order, ranging from the title deeds, to the usage and building permits. 

An attractive ad with quality photos of the property is more visible to buyers. Check how the agency is presenting your property. Don't rely solely on property search engine advertising, ask the agency what additional marketing and advertising channels it uses. Agencies with quality, user-friendly web site, get more enquiries.
Staging the property is very important, ad ask your agency for advice. If you have not already cleared personal items from the flat or house, be sure to de-clutter. A fresh coat of paint greatly improves the first impression, as do smaller redecorations such as the change of light fittings, curtains, rugs. Turn on the lights and raise the blinds during the viewing, and clean up before it. Do not smoke, tidy away any dishes and laundry. If you have pets, take them out during the viewing. 
The first impression is extremely important, especially since most buyers see several properties in one day.

If you trust your agent, leave the showing to them, as they understand the client's needs, and will tailor the presentation. Clients also like to inspect the property on their own, so don't be surprised if the agent steps back after the initial presentation.