Buying property in Greece - The procedure in brief
Excellent choice! Greece is the perfect place for your holiday home. And, by law, foreigners can own a property at most parts of Greece. Furthermore, foreigners - just as Greeks - can obtain a bank lo...
Excellent choice! Greece is the perfect place for your holiday home. And, by law, foreigners can own a property at most parts of Greece. Furthermore, foreigners - just as Greeks - can obtain a bank loan from a Greek bank or a foreign bank with branch in Greece, in order to finance part or the entire purchase of the property.
The most common way for a foreigner to find a property to buy in Greece, is to get in touch with a Greek real estate agent, speaking their language or at least English. The agent will show them around the available properties and make the necessary arrangements with the Greek owner (who might not speak English!).
When you find the right property and you decide to buy it, you should proceed with a down payment to the owner, in order to "freeze" the property and make sure that the owner will stop searching for buyers. In the meantime, you must have appointed a local English-speaking lawyer for the forthcoming legal procedure. Furthermore, if you are about to buy a second hand property or land, then you should also appoint a civil engineer in order to check the status of the property.
If the lawyer and the civil engineer give you the green light, you can proceed with signing a preliminary contract in the presence of a notary. Of course, this means that you'll have to pay the notary cost twice (preliminary and final contract). So, if you want, you can skip this part and proceed to the next stage.
Foreigners, just as Greeks, must have a tax roll number (A.F.M.), in order to be able to undertake any kind of transaction in Greece. So, you must submit an application at a local tax office. You must get the tax roll number before you sign any contract. Then, with your A.F.M. you should open a bank account in Greece. You will need that mainly for the wire transfer of your money from your country, as well as for other payments regarding the purchase procedure.
Foreigners must, also, prove that the money for the transaction is legal. You can do that either by a bank statement which shows money transfer from your bank in your country to a Greek bank, or by keeping the receipts of currency exchange (pink slips).
The property transfer taxes are paid by the buyer (9% for the first 15.000€ of the property value and 11% for the remaining amount), before the signing of the final contract.
After the final purchase contract is signed, the transaction must be declared to the land registry office by submitting the original contract. When the contract has been registered, you are finally the legal owner of the property.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George Ioannou is a business consultant and a real estate agent based in Athens, Greece. He is, also, the owner of various real estate web sites offering property for sale in Greece, property for sale in Crete Greece and property for sale in Rhodes Greece.