Remember, we and our colleagues in Greece are here to answer all of your questions and to help you every step of the way through the whole process - it is very straightforward.
Ideally, you will have with you:
- your passport
- a couple of recent utility bills
- if possible some proof of your tax number (e.g. P60 or tax return)
Once you have your offer accepted, we strongly advise you to appoint an English speaking lawyer, preferably one who is local as they will be on the spot to do searches and will know local laws and regulations. You do not want to be paying a distant lawyer's travel expenses. We can suggest some local English speaking lawyers whom previous clients have been happy with should you require - the choice is entirely up to you.
Once you have appointed your lawyer, a deposit (normally 10%) is required on signing the preliminary sale agreement. This agreement normally details the names of the parties, the price, a property description, the payment method and any agreed conditions
At this stage, if the vendor backs out after a pre-contract has been signed and deposit paid, you get your deposit back, plus they will often have to pay you an extra sum as a penalty. If you back out, you would lose your deposit. Of course if there is a problem with the property which stops the sale proceeding, you are entitled to your deposit back.
TIP: We always advise that you open up a Greek bank account for transferring money in to the country to purchase your property. The money does not need to stay there for any time but it is important that you keep the transmission details so that if the Greek tax man ever asks in the future, you can show them that the money was imported in to the country so that you do not have any tax implications.
Total purchase costs including taxes, all legal fees and expenses are now normally about 10% in total. The Greek government reduced purchase taxes by about 5% in 2014 which is a considerable saving and makes this a good time to buy. This 10% includes elements such as legal fees, transfer tax, notary fees, VAT, buyer's Estate Agent commission (normally 2-2.5% is standard in Greece), land registry.
The exact purchase costs depend on a number of factors including the building license date and the exact location of property which is why there is a small variation, but your lawyer will calculate for you an exact amount and breakdown for your particular property purchase once you have selected the property.
For very cheap properties under 60,000 Euros, costs may occasionally exceed 10% as some minimum fees may come in to play and for more expensive properties, purchase costs can be less than 10%.
The Next Steps
The lawyers and the notary will start all the checks and prepare all the necessary paperwork which normally takes about 6-8 weeks.
For example, the lawyers and the notary should ensure that:
- There is clean title
- There is no money owing on the property
- The property matches the planning permission
- The building is signed off by an engineer
- The property is fully legal
Once all the checks have been made and the papers are ready and in order, completion can quickly take place. The Notary will have prepared an official contract which is then signed at their offices, in the presence of the lawyers representing both sides. If the customer decides not to be present, they can agree to a Power of Attorney for their lawyer to act on their behalf and under their instruction.
The balance of the monies are then transferred and the property title changes hands to complete the purchase.
(Please note that a bad Foreign Exchange rate can lose you about 4% if you use your local high street bank to transfer the funds - we work with a large, well established Foreign Exchange company to ensure that you get the best rates – details here).
Then the property is yours!
After the Purchase - Property Costs per Year are Very Small
Properties in Greece are nearly all freehold and once you have your new home, it is very cheap to look after. There are no big monthly or yearly taxes to worry about, you normally pay about 4 Euros (depending on location) per sqm of property (not the plot) per year, so for a 100 sqm property, this is just 400 Euros per year for the "council/municipal" tax equivalent - very little. There is a small charge for swimming pools depending on their size. Water and electricity are on the meter, so it depends on how much you use and solar panels can reduce costs even further.
These notes are only intended as a guide and are subject to our Terms and Conditions. You should only rely upon your own research and we always recommend the use of a lawyer.