Guide to Buying Real Estate in Greece

Buying real estate in Greece, like buying property anywhere in the world, is a fairly straight forward process, though one that must be followed closely and with expert advice. We’ve outlined the eight easy steps of purchasing real estate in Greece below. Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us! As a one-stop shop for your Greek real estate needs, we are happy to provide you with our network contacts in the legal, accounting, construction, engineering, and other related fields.

Step One: Finding a Real Estate Team to Assist You In Your Search

Finding the perfect property for you is a pleasant challenge, but a challenge nevertheless. Appointing a dedicated team who understand your needs and supports you throughout the process is crucial. There is a large market out there, and having someone who knows who to navigate it with efficiency is always a welcome added-value. The cost of the services of a real estate advisor in Greece is 2% + VAT of the closing price of the transaction.

Step Two: Legal Due Diligence 

Upon finding a property that suits your needs and desires, it’s time to appoint legal representation in order to undertake the necessary due diligence. Your attorney will represent your interests when dealing with the seller’s attorney and with the notary. They will verify the legal status of the property, verify the ownership deeds, ensure that all permits needed are in possession, and check to see that there are no liens or debts on the property. The cost of an attorney in Greece is 1% + VAT of the closing price of the transaction.

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Step Three: Engineering Inspection

Following the successful completion of the legal due diligence process, you will need a structural engineer to inspect the property, ensuring that the structure is safe, livable, and adheres to all local zoning laws.

Step Four: The Preliminary Contract

Now that your lawyer and engineer have verified the property, it’s time to draw up what is referred to in Greece as the “Preliminary Contract”. The Preliminary Contract is the means of which a property is reserved for the buyer and taken off the market. A portion of the agreed price of the property is paid forward to the seller. Typically, this is non-refundable, except in instances of legal or physical issues that were not disclosed or discovered during steps Two & Three.

Step Five: Registration with the Greek Tax Authority

Every purchaser of real estate in Greece must register with the Greek Tax Authority and receive a Greek tax number, referred to as an AFM.

Step Six: Opening a Greek Bank Account

It is highly recommended to open a bank account in Greece in order to facilitate easy payment of the property and associated taxes and costs.

Step Seven: Payment of Tax

Prior to signing the final contract, the buyer must fulfill the payment of the Greek Real Estate Transfer Tax. This is currently 3.09%, though new construction is typically liable to a higher rate. Additionally, there is the Land Registry Fee, which ranges from 0.5-0.8% + VAT.

Step Eight: The Final Contract & Registration

Once the attorneys of the buyer and sell have finished compiling all the necessary documents and drafted and agreed to a final version of the purchase agreement, the parties meet at the office of a notary for their final review and approval. The cost of the notary is 1% + VAT of the closing price of the transaction. Following the notary’s final stamp of approval, the property is then registered with the Greek Land Registry and and you are issued with a new deed of ownership.

Do you have any questions? We are here to help! Contact us today to get started in your search for real estate in Greece!