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Legal advice / help

What's the procedure I need to follow once I decide to buy a property?                                                  

Once you find the house that suits you, and you decide to proceed with a purchase, you will then need to follow these basic steps:

  • Appoint a lawyer and a notary public. The lawyer will do all the legal research on the property making sure that the property you buy is free of any burdens. Together with the Notary public the lawyer will be present at the signature of the purchase agreement. The Notary does not represent the interest of the Buyer but acts as a public official in the presence of whom the contract is read and signed. The notary drafts the contract under the lawyer’s directives. The notary is responsible for the verification and registration of the transaction in the public records by which the buyer acquires the official title of property.
  • Appoint a civil engineer to make sure that the property is build in accordance to the rules of construction applied, especially for older properties.
  • A tax registry number must be issued by the Inland Revenue Service for the buyer to be able to proceed with any transaction. This is usually done by the lawyer on the account of the buyer.
  • The transfer tax must be paid to the local Inland Revenue Service by the buyer prior to the signature of the contract. This is usually done with the aid of the attorney.
  • The contract is signed by the buyer and the seller before a Notary public and the lawyers of the parties. The buyer or the seller may be represented by power of attorney.
  • The notary registers the transaction at the local registry of mortgages and a relevant certificate from the Registry of Mortgages is obtained.
  • A copy of the title and the certificate from the Registry of Mortgages is needed to register the property under the buyer’s name at the Land Registry. Not all regions of the country have a Land Registry as Greece is currently undergoing the process of establishing a Land Registry. In areas that do not have yet a Land Registry, ownership is based on and secured by the Registry of Mortgages.
  • For some regions a special authorization from the Ministry of Defense may be required for non EU citizens. This could, somehow, delay the whole process and will be taken in charge by the lawyer or realtor.


What will be the cost burdening the buyer?

  • Lawyer's fee: about 1-2% (subject of agreement) on the selling price adding the legal research and any other legal advice.
  • Fee of public notary: approximately 1,5% on the value of the property.
  • Transfer tax: This is payable to the local tax authority and amounts to 9% for the value up to 15.000 Euro plus 11 % for the value above 15.000 Euro.
  • Municipality tax: This amounts to 3% of the above transfer tax and is also payable to the local tax authority.
  • Registry of Mortgages: The fee payable to the registry of mortgages amounts to 0.45 % of the property value.
  • Brokerage fee: The brokerage fee is between 2-5% on the selling price, depending on the agency and location of the property.


What will be the yearly costs related to property ownership?

  • Local municipal tax: 0.025 % - 0.035 % on the assessed value of the property and is incorporated in the electricity bill.
  • Yearly property tax: Owners of property pay a yearly property tax ONLY if the assessed value of their ownership/s exceeds the amount of 243.000 Euro. The tax amounts 0.3 % to 0.8 % of the assessed value of the property.


What is the «assessed value of the property»?

When buying a property in Greece you will encounter very often this question and you may wonder what it is. The "assessed" or "objective" value of a property is the minimum accepted value for transaction purposes set by the State. These values are calculated by the Inland Revenue Service for each property and are based on public data related to prices per square meter as well as other location or specific property characteristics. Assessed Values constitute public information readily available. The other use of the assessed values, as previously stated, is for the calculation of yearly property taxes.

How is the ownership of property secured in Greece?

The ownership of property in Greece is secured, by a state authority called Registry of mortgages. Titles of property are kept there, where all encumbrances on properties are registered. Property is filed under the names of the owners and lawyers are entitled to check property belonging to any individual or company. A title search is performed in order to find out if there are any claims, liens and encumbrances on the property. A title search will also show you if the property was properly transferred in the past. This is always done during the contracts process.

How will I transfer funds from my home country to pay for the property?

It can be done by a simple bank transfer from your account to your account which you need to open in Greece before the purchase.

Can I draw-up a loan to buy property in Greece?

Greek banks are well developed and equipped in offering a variety of financial programs. Interest rates of about 4% can still be found. The loan could cover up to 80% of the value of the property real value. Banks have branches throughout the world and similarly many international banks have branches in Greece. Financing in order to buy property in Greece can be arranged by both Greek and international banks with branches in Greece.

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