Purchasing property in Greece

You may purchase property in Greece either by engaging a real estate agent or by searching through listings yourself. When you find a property that you are interested in you need to follow certain steps. First of all, as far as the legal and the real status of the property is concerned, in order to ascertain that the declaration of property rights of the seller is made in accordance with the Law and that the property is free of burdens, it is crucial to appoint a lawyer who will perform a due diligence on the ownership title. Furthermore you may appoint a structural engineer to determine the strength and durability of the building.

If everything is in the right order you may proceed with the purchase of the real estate property, by asking a Notary Public in Greece to draft the purchase deed, which will be signed by both the Buyer and the Seller. The Notary will request the Seller to collect and provide certain documents stating that the property is legally built and free from tax burdens or other pending expenses i.e. utility bills.

The purchase of property in Greece is subject to Real Estate Transfer Tax of 3,09%, calculated on the larger amount between the objective value and the value of the purchase contract and burdens the Buyer. In addition, purchase of property newly built by a manufacturer, or by a person who deals professionally with the construction and the sale of buildings (not an individual selling his private property) is subject to a 24% VAT on the sale price.

Furthermore the buyer is required to be registered to the Greek Tax Authorities and have an AFM (Tax Identification Number).  An AFM is required for most transactions in Greece, as well as for buying real estate property. This nine-digit number is unique to each individual and it is used when dealing with Greek authorities and when completing almost any kind of transaction, such as:

  1. Opening a bank account
  2. Paying taxes

iii.    Accepting an inheritance

  1. Buying a car or a property
  2. Getting utilities connected

Once the purchase contract is completed the Title Deed must be registered at the local Land Registry and is the absolute proof of ownership. Last but not least the property must be registered online with the tax authorities.

Selling your property in Greece

If you already own a property in Greece and are considering selling it, first ensure that the legal status of your property is compliant with the current laws regarding selling a property. The seller may either engage a real estate agent, who can also advise the Seller on the current market price or find a Buyer directly. In case an agency is engaged, there is usually a photo shooting of the property in order to be listed online and arranged access to the property for viewings.

When the Buyer is found and the parties have agreed on the terms of the sale they may sign a pre-agreement which outlines the terms of the agreement, including price, deposits, completion date.

Following the above, the Seller is obliged to provide Engineer’s certificate, Energy certificate and arrange all pending tax obligations related to the property. The costs of such certificates burden the Seller.

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