15 Jan Real Estate Property Purchase in Greece
Real Estate Property Purchase in Greece
The real estate market is a growing business in Greece. The great climate conditions and the beautiful landscape makes the purchase of a property in Greece ideal, either for a short-term investment (re-selling the property exploiting the low prices at the moment) or for a long-term investment (taking advantage of the solid Greek touristic market), or even if you plan to come once in a while for vacation and enjoy the property yourself!
But how shall you proceed?
First of all, choose where to buy. While shopping online can give you a good idea of the property itself, it can be difficult to get a real feel for the area without being there. As such, it’s a good idea to take a trip to Greece to scout where you’d like to buy beforehand, if possible. At this step you may have to retain a real estate agent. Even not obligatory, the agent shall guide you to the appropriate property according to your needs.
Once you pick your property, you get a lawyer to check the property titles. Shall everything be in order, you may then make an offer to the seller. If it is accepted, you then may sign a private agreement and make a settlement in advance, according to the agreement. You may also grant a power of attorney to your lawyer to take care of the following steps even at your absence, including issuing of an AFM, which is the Greek tax registration number, and opening of a bank account in a Greek bank.
At this step the procedure is undertaken by a notary. The notary shall make sure that all the documents regarding the property are in order and coordinate the parties through the process, working closely with the lawyers of both sides, the engineer who will issue the necessary attestations, as well as -eventually- the Greek public authorities (tax authorities, land registry, etc.) and draft the contract.
When all documents are collected under the diligence of the seller, and thoroughly checked by the notary, it is time for the buyer to submit a property transfer tax declaration and pay the amount, which is set at appr. 3 %.
After the tax is paid, the property sale contract may be signed before the notary and then copies of it shall be submitted by the buyer or the lawyer to the competent land registry or/and cadastre, by paying the relevant registration fees. From that time on, you become the legal owner of the property.