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How to buy a property in Greece

25 May 16 | John Kleopas
John Kleopas

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Found your dream property in Greece? Below you can find some practical information for those who want to invest in the real estate market of Greece.

 

Buying a property is a key issue for any potential buyer in the Greek market. The final selection of the appropriate property along with the finalization of the purchase decision entail some required steps that have to be followed.

Once you find and decide to buy a property that meets your needs, you have to go through the following steps. Firstly, you have to find and appoint a lawyer. As a property buyer you need to appoint a Greek lawyer, preferably one specialized in real estate. For non-EU citizens some restrictions are in place if buying property in border areas. Moreover, a civil engineer and a public notary are of vital importance too. A civil engineer must be appointed to check the building and whether all building and urban planning regulations have been complied with.
 
Accordingly, a public notary has to be appointed since the property purchase/transfer agreement will have to take the legal form of a notarial deed. The public notary will check if the property under sale has been registered with the National Cadastre and will examine if real estate taxes related to the property under sale have been paid. The notary will also look into other issues such as the legality of the buildings and their accordance with the existing building regulations.
 
The buyer must obtain the titles of ownership of the property from the current owner. With the assistance of the appointed lawyer, research of the title deeds at the competent Land Registry or Cadastral Office must be carried out to ensure that the property under sale belongs to the seller and that it is free of any encumbrances, liens and disputes. Additionally, the buyer must hold a tax registry number in order to be able to conclude the transaction.
 
A 3% transfer tax must be paid by the buyer to the competent tax authority before the execution of the notarial transfer agreement. As mentioned previously, the execution of the transfer agreement has to be done before a public notary and then the relevant notarial deed has to be registered with the competent Land Registry or Cadastral Office. Finally, the buyer must obtain a Land Registry certificate. Through the appointed lawyers, a certificate from the competent Land Registry or Cadastral Office must be obtained as evidence that the property belongs to the new owner and that the notarial deed has been registered with the books and that there are no encumbrances or disputes.
 
COSTS & TAXES RELATED TO PROPERTY PURCHASE IN GREECE
 
It is the buyer’s responsibility to meet the required costs. Public notary and lawyers' fees as well as Taxes, levies and fees must be covered by the buyer. The Public Notary’s fees amount to approximately 1.3% of the property's value, whereas the lawyers’ fees are agreed freely. In addition, 3% transfer tax and 3% municipality tax are levied on the amount of transfer tax, Land Registry fee amounting to 0.45 % of the property's value plus VAT at 23% - if applicable and real estate agent's fee which varies depending on the agency.  However, real estate agent's fee is not expected to exceed 5% of the property's value.
  
The taxes on the property and the public notary’s fees are calculated based on the greater value between the “objective” value and the purchase price of the property. The “objective” value of a property is the minimum accepted value for transaction purposes determined by the tax authorities and is based on a specific formula that takes into account the zone value and other factors.

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