MONETIZING / SELLING RECOVERED PROPERTY
Q. What can be done with a
recovered property in Poland?
A. Once the property
is recovered, it is owned by heirs and their title is marketable. Their
options are similar to those in America and other western countries.
Most foreign owners sell
the properties they recover in Poland. A minority holds them —
and /or further appreciation of value.
Over the last 10
years or so, we have observed that some heirs develop the properties
recover, typically by building on them a number of individual homes,
buildings, or even high-rises. They generally work in partnership with
developers. The real estate market in Poland is lively.
Recently, a few foreign heirs
asked us to make development arrangements for them, in order to
Q. Can the sale proceeds or
income be transferred outside Poland?
A. Naturally. Communism ended in Poland in 1989, long ago. Nowadays,
currency, the zloty (symbol PLN or ZŁ) is fully convertible and there
restrictions on transfer of funds out of the country.
Just as Polish residents, foreigners
are subject taxes on inheritance and income derived from Poland. Taxes
Poland are moderate. This is another matter. See Tax Issues.
Q. Who arranges the monetization
of the recovered rights?
A. This can be done in different ways. Most of the time, our
includes a significant contingent component (in some cases, the bulk of
fees) payable upon monetization. In such situations, as a rule, our
responsibilities comprise the recovery and the monetization of
properties — i.e. a
sale at a reasonable price or, when applicable, the obtaining of
from governmental bodies.
However, we are busy enough
and do not mind if the client makes his own monetization arrangements,
we are promptly paid our contingent fee in full.
Q. How important are
A. They are very important. The following
are only some of the elements of paramount importance in monetization
- In many situations several heirs inherit shares in the same
assets (“joint heirs”). In this context it is important to note that
generally, one obtains
better prices by selling the entire property or a majority interest in
compared with selling only a minority interest.
- For this reason, when we
work for joint heirs, we require them to
act in concert with each other, including at monetization.
- We have come across cases in which
elderly heirs living in Poland) received only a small fraction of the
value (in one extreme case less than 10% but often around one-third),
without any verification or control, they entrusted monetizing
unworthy of trust.
- We, however, inform heirs in
writing of true market values, provide general transparency and
ultimate-seller-control for all monetizing transactions.
- It should be noted that
Polish law allows intermediaries, such as realtors, to
receive commission from both the seller and the buyer. In situations
a foreign seller, some intermediaries view the foreign seller as the
“absentee owner” and quietly team up with local buyers to arrange sales
unreasonably low prices.
- When we are involved, we
do not allow this.
Q. What should the selling
A. The sale price should be at market value. When Indemnification is
accepted from the government, it should also be at
market value, or at the going rate for Indemnifications paid for
properties in the relevant area.
Q. How do we ensure that
our clients receive reasonable prices or reasonable Indemnification?
A. We do this via a number of measures, which we incorporate into our
Most importantly, we
align our interests
completely with the heirs — our clients.
In our Agreements we commit not to receive remuneration other than that
specified in these
Agreement. We provide heirs with written
information on market prices and Indemnification rates prior to
how they should respond to offers received. We encourage and assist
appraisals, if they wish.
When we work with Polish
realtors we make sure they receive a motivating commission, but do not
them to receive a remuneration from other parties in relevant
Under our Agreements, the heirs
retain control over the sale or acceptance of the Indemnification and
transfer of their recovered rights is made only against full payment
Wawel Hill, Krakow,
by Jakub Hałun (Own Work), Krakow, Poland, via Wikimedia