You have decided to invest in property in Serbia. But what is the situation with buying property in Serbia for foreigners? Make sure to check whether citizens of your country can acquire property in Serbia as foreigners. To check this, you have to verify whether your country (x) and Serbia have concluded a bilateral agreement regulating the issue of foreigners acquiring real estate. Furthermore, check if factual reciprocity is sufficient enough and who must prove the existence of factual reciprocity. Reciprocity or mutuality means that foreigners can acquire ownership of property under the same conditions under which the citizens of the Republic of Serbia can acquire property in their respective countries. There is legal, diplomatic and factual reciprocity.
You can find more about the countries with which Serbia has concluded reciprocity on the website of the Ministry of Justice of the RS.
Under these conditions, foreigners can acquire houses, apartments, business premises, but cannot buy agricultural land in Serbia. Agricultural land has special rules and the agricultural land for sale in Serbia is reserved for Serbian citizens, but with certain exceptions for EU citizens who can buy agricultural land in Serbia under certain conditions.
Bear in mind the difference between inter vivos transfer (such as concluding a sales and purchase agreement or a deed of gift) and mortis causa transfer (such as inheritance). This also needs to be taken into account in terms of permissiveness and reciprocity.
Additionally, note that the Law distinguishes between persons who perform a business activity in Serbia and persons who do not perform any activity in Serbia when it comes to acquiring property. Foreign natural persons and legal entities who perform activities in the Republic of Serbia may, under conditions of reciprocity, acquire property for sale in Serbia which is necessary to perform business activities. On the other hand, foreign natural persons who do not perform a certain activity may acquire the rights to property ownership only of apartments or apartment buildings under the same conditions as the citizens of the Republic of Serbia. All of the above is, of course, provided there is reciprocity.
If the answer is positive, and you as a foreigner may buy a property in Serbia, the next step is to find an appropriate property to buy in Serbia, perform due diligence, come to an agreement on the price and move into realization.