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Buying in greece

Intro to buying in Greece
EU nationals can freely purchase property in Greece, while there are some restrictions for non-EU citizens.  We have set out below a summary of the process, followed by a detailed 'how-to' and are always happy to answer more specific questions.

We have 40 years experience selling property internationally and domestically, and are able to help as much or as little as desired.

Why Greece?
Apart from the clean sea, the long summer, the consistent weather, the healthy food and the vibrant people, property in Greece is 'freehold'. This means, that along with the bricks and mortar, the property owner also owns an actual share of the land on which the property is built. In cases such as our project in Karavomylos, there will of course ultimately be many land owners, but each alotted 'piece' is owned fully.

The size of this land (or rather the percentage of the overall plot) varies greatly, based on many factors. For example, as well as straightforward square-meterage, the 'desirability' of the property plays a significant role, with the larger and more desirable (based on elevation, view, size, etc) properties having larger land shares than others.

Buying in brief
The first step after selecting a property you wish to buy, is to appoint a lawyer. Despite the fact that for property purchases below a certain threshold, there is no longer any requirement to hire representation, we still strongly recommend to do so in all cases of property purchase, regardless of value.

Your lawyer in association with ours, will draw up an initial Purchase Agreement which both parties will sign, at which time you will be expected to pay a minimum of a 10% deposit immediately to reserve the property.

A title search follows and if the results are to your satisfaction, you will proceed with appointing a notary and making preparations to settle the remaining balance and tax. In case the results are not to your satisfaction, you are entitled to your deposit back in full.

Completion usually takes 2 to 4 weeks, and it is your right (for reasons of independence) to assign a Public Notary. The Notary will prepare the Contract deed, and in collaboration with your lawyer, ensure that it has been drawn up correctly, and oversee the finalization of the purchase.

Both parties must sign the Contract deed in the presence of the Notary who will verify and register the transaction in public records. This requires you to present a valid passport and your Tax Registry Number (more details about this below)..

Following successful completion, you are provided with copies of the title to the property in your name, and the property is officially yours, including your share of the land it is built on.


Step by step
Appoint a lawyer

Buyers will appoint a Lawyer to assist and represent them throughout the process. We are happy to provide recommendations of English speaking lawyers specialising in property transactions if needed.

The sale must be completed in the presence of a Public Notary. This Public Notary does not represent the interests of the buyer or the seller. He/she is an authorized public official, in whose presence the contract is read and signed by both parties. The notary is responsible for drafting the Contract and for verifying and registering the transaction into public record.

Title search

A search is carried out by your lawyer in order to make sure that the vendor holds the Absolute Deed of the property, that the property is unencumbered (no monies are owed either private or public).

Tax registration

In order to buy any asset in Greece, a Tax Registry number (AFM, pronounced A-FEE-MEE) is required. This is issued by the Inland Revenue Service in Greece and is something your lawyer can handle on your behalf given the appropriate authority - you do not need to be present in Greece to obtain this and the process is very quick and easy. Note that this is required for all parties named on the Contract, such as in the case of joint ownership.

Transfer tax (aka VAT)

The next step is to pay the Transfer Tax. This is paid to the local IRS prior to signing the Contract (the necessary forms are provided by the Public Notary you appoint). For property built after January 2006, this is now called VAT.

Signing the Contract

Signing of the contract by both parties is performed in the presence of the Public Notary. It is possible to complete the contract signing without the client's actual presence if their lawyer or other representative is given appropriate power of attorney.

Transfer the title
A copy of the title 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 them. In areas that do not yet have one, ownership is based on and secured by the local Registry of Mortgages.

Please also remember that while buying property in foreign countries can sometimes be daunting, we have a great deal of experience with foreign clients and can help with absolutely any part of the procedure along the way, as much or as little as is needed.

Where would you like to go now? Properties for sale? The FAQ? Buying to let? Or maybe just back to the top of this page?