Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the property buying procedure and expences.
Do I need a notary?
Yes. A notary public is a government-appointed lawyer who processes and certifies all real estate transactions, including drawing up and reviewing all official documents, to ensure the legal transfer of the property.
Do I need a lawyer / solicitor?
Yes. Solicitors carry out necessary legal surveys and conduct a property title check for the past 20 years; they ensure the property is free of any mortgage notes, claims, expropriations, rights-of-way and, in general, any legal encumbrances.
Do I need an accountant?
Yes. It is essential to hire an accountant early on to help you with tax returns and explain taxation laws to you.
Do I need a Greek bank account?
Yes. All necessary payments will be made through this account; also, this account will prove that funds used for property purchase have come into Greece from another country and are, therefore, not taxable in Greece. Opening a bank account in Greece only takes a few minutes and requires no minimum opening deposit. All you need is your ID or passport and your AFM (see above).
How much are closing costs?
For any property buying you should include an extra 8-10 % in total for fees and taxes as follows:
- Buying Taxes: It is 3% of the property price
- Lawyer fee: Although it is matter of agreement, most lawyers charge 1 - 1.5 % plus the Vat of 24 % of the property price
- Notary Fee: It depends on the property type and price, in most cases it is approximately 1% including the Vat of 24% of the property price.
- Land Registry Fee: It is approximately 0,5 % of the price in the contract, plus 24 % VAT.
- Real Estate Agent’s Commission : The buyer’s agency fee is 2.5 % plus 24% VAT of the property price
Do I need a residence permit in order to purchase property in Greece ?
For EU nationals
Yes, only if you plan to purchase property in an area near national borders (including some islands such as Rhodes, and islands of the Eastern Aegean). If this is the case, a temporary residence permit called the Blue Card is required. You may apply for it at the local police station. Issuance takes approximately two weeks, but your solicitor can collect it on your behalf if granted Power of Attorney. This permit is a formality for EU nationals in non-controversial nations. To purchase property in all other regions of Greece, you do not need a residence permit.
For non-EU nationals
From 1/9/2011 the buying procedure is exactly the same with the European nationals.
Can you walk me through the buying process?
The process is fairly quick and uncomplicated. As a general rule, you must:
- Select your property.
- Make sure financing for the purchase is secured.
- Appoint your solicitor, notary public, surveyor, and accountant.
- Apply for special permit, if applicable (Blue Card or other, see above)
- Apply for your Tax Registry Number (AFM).
- Open a Greek bank account.
- Sign the pre-contract detailing terms of sale and payment schedule.
- Pay a 10% deposit to secure the property by removing it from the market; usual payment methods include cash, bank transfer or credit card.
- Return to Greece to sign the final contract, after all legal work is completed (6-8 weeks, usually). Alternatively, your solicitor may sign for you if he/she has been granted full Power of Attorney. Upon completion of final contract, all fees and taxes must be paid
What happens if the legal searches highlight any problems with the property?
If the searches highlight any problems you will receive your deposit back in full. This is why the deposit is paid to the solicitor and not to the vendor.
What happens if I change my mind?
If you have signed a contract and paid a deposit for a property, this is considered to be an official intent to purchase. It is important that you are absolutely certain that this is the property you want, and that you feel you are under no pressure to sign a contract and pay a deposit. Should you decide to withdraw from the purchase, you will lose your deposit.
What happens if the vendor changes his / her mind?
If you have signed the pre-contract and made an initial deposit, your deposit will be refunded in double.
Questions not answered above? Feel free to email us