After you decide on the property you wish to buy, there is a procedure that needs to be followed and it is thoroughly explained in this section.
First, the part concerning legal affairs. The Buyer/ investor will require a Lawyer to assist him with and represent him in the purchase process. Lawyer‘s responsibility includes ensuring the Seller owns clear title to the land or property, carry out searches and prepare all necessary documents for the contract. The lawyer also makes sure that the title is transferred to the buyer’s name by obtaining the relevant certificate from the Land Registry Office.
Next, a local Bank account should be opened. Opening a local bank account is your Lawyer‘s obligation. It is important to feel safe on who will be handling your finances for the purchase and any ongoing transactions. It is not necessary to deposit any funds at first.
As part of the purchasing process, your lawyer will obtain a Tax Number or AFM for each of the Buyers. This is required by Greek law and it is needed for all owners of any assets such as a plot of land, a house, etc.
Next, a public notary should be appointed, in the presence of whom the contract is read and understood by both parties, and who is responsible for the verification and the registration of the transaction, in order for you to acquire the title of the property. The Notary mostly represents the interests of the Buyer and is a public official. The paperwork is lodged with the Notary who, when all is in order, drafts the contract and is present when it is read to both Buyers & Sellers or their legal representatives. A member of our professional team can escort you to the Notary Public and act as translator to ensure you are up to date.
The time from your decision to purchase to the actual signing of the contract can take from 15 days to well over a month. A Power of Attorney (or POA) enables the lawyer of your choice here in Greece to receive the Tax Number, to open the Bank Account, to carry out all necessary checks and to sign the purchase contract on your behalf or you can sign by yourself if you want to be present during the process. In Greece, it takes just a short time to obtain the POA.
Then, the investor has to decide about the desired property, by visiting Greece. The members of our team will assist you and explain in more detail what each option entails so that you can make an informed decision.
After the above, it is time for the agreement to purchase. A form is completed here by the Lawyer which identifies the Buyer and Seller, the property and location, the agreed property price plus estimates for the property transfer tax and legal fees. In addition, a deposit amount is specified and timescales agreed. A deposit which will be identified in the agreement to purchase, normally of 10% of the agreed selling price, is required before commencing contract preparation. This deposit should be paid into your own bank account here in Greece.
The lawyer will agree the amount of property transfer tax with the relevant tax office which is approximately 3% of 250.000 euro. When agreed, the transfer tax must be paid to the local Tax office by the buyer or his lawyer prior to signing the contract. The obtained receipt and the remaining title and permission documents will enable the property transfer to take place.
When the Notary and Lawyers agree all is in order, the balance of the agreed purchase price (after deposit has been deducted) is required simultaneously with the signing of the contract, and Seller’s and Buyer’s lawyers together with the Notary will execute the contract. When full and final payment for the property is made, the deed is transferred and registered in the name(s) of the Buyer(s). At this time the legal expenses & agents fees are also due. Please note that all amounts should be transferred to your Greek bank account in time for this to be completed.
After purchasing property in Greece, you will be required by law to complete an annual tax declaration. Our team and our accountant can guide you through this process.