Step 1: Letter of Intent
We act as negotiators between the buyer and seller making sure that a mutually beneficial agreement is reached between the parties. Such an agreement comes in the form of a Letter of Intent. Its purpose is to describe the deal agreed in principle, and the roadmap for the completion of the sale. The Letter of Intent has usually a duration of four weeks that will provide enough time to the buyer’s lawyers to perform the necessary due diligence. During this time the buyer is given priority rights to purchase the property and the property is marked publicly as “reserved”.
Step 2: Greek Lawyer Engagement
The buyer will require the services of a Greek law firm which will be responsible for performing the due diligence on the property as well as drafting and agreeing on the terms of the notarial sales contract with the sellers’ legal side. There are several international law firms based in Athens that have the necessary credentials and expertise to represent international property buyers in Greece.
Step 3: Due Diligence
The due diligence will provide to the buyer’s lawyers full visibility on the legal status of the property and suggest if any further actions or remedies need to be taken care of by the seller. The due diligence is both legal and technical, including the survey of the property. Since 2012 Greece has performed a vast reform in its land registry records and has introduced one of the most strict building conformity regulations in Europe. A property can be transferred only if it fully complies with the town planning regulations providing the ultimate guarantee for any buyer.
Step 4: Closing costs
The closing costs on the buyer’s side are made up of the fees for the professionals used and transfer taxes as follows;
– Transfer tax @ 3% on the final sales price.
– Notary 1%, Lawyer from 1%, Estate Agency 3%
– Surveyor approximately €5,000
– Professional fees are subject to VAT
Step 5: Notarial Contract
A notarial contract is an act of transferring ownership of a 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. The contract can be attended by the seller and buyer or by their appointed lawyers on the basis of a notarial power of attorney.