Buying a property is Greece is a straightforward process. A property can be transferred in 4-6 weeks from offer to ownership. Below you will find an overview of the simplest way to buy a house in Greece.
Step 1: Securing the Property
When you have found the property of your dreams, it is time to make an offer. Once a price has been agreed you will be asked to sign an agreement outlining the terms of sale, including completion dates. A deposit is payable at this point (subject to survey) to secure the property. The full deposit required is 10%, a reservation deposit is usually paid to secure the property, this is followed by the remainder of the 10% within 2 weeks by which point the survey is to have been completed.
Step 2: Legal Representation
A lawyer is required to check the legal status of the property. It is advisable to give a lawyer power of attorney to arrange a tax number and bank account on your behalf and sign the final contract if you do not plan, or are not able, to return to Greece for the final contract.
Step 3: Property Inspection
It is advisable to hire a surveyor to provide a home inspection report of the property. The survey is carried out by a licensed structural engineer. An inspector will check the roof, basement, heating system, water heater, air-conditioning system, structure, plumbing, electrical, and many other aspects of buildings. They look for improper building practices, those items that require extensive repairs. Structural inspections report on the foundation and supporting elements of a home. When performing a structure inspection, the home inspector will look for a variety of distress indications that may result in repair or further evaluation recommendations.
Step 4: Closing costs
The closing costs must be paid approximately two weeks prior to the notarial contract.
The closing costs are made up of the fees for the professionals used and transfer taxes as follows;
Transfer tax @ 3% or VAT @ 24% on new builds, Notary 1%, Lawyer 1%, Estate Agent 3%, Surveyor approximately €5000.
Step 5: Notarial Contract
A notarial contract is the act of transferring property from one party to another in the presence of a notary public. This is the only way to execute a transfer of property in Greece. A Notary is a public figure responsible for the preparation of the transfer contract, checking documentation provided and calculating the taxes payable to the government. Both buyer and vendor, or their representatives, must be present to sign the contract of transfer in the Notary’s office. The purchase price must be paid on the day of the contract with a bank cheque. The notary is then responsible for the registration of the property transfer in the land registry.
Step 6: Transfer of utilities
The most effective way to transfer the electricity and water is for you or your Lawyer to attend the utility companies together with the vendor to arrange the transfer.