How to buy property in Greece:
a step-by-step guide
Owning a home on the Aegean coast is a dream shared by many. But
Step 1. Choose a property
Foreign nationals can buy Greek property without any restrictions. Flats, detached homes, villas, townhouses, city, countryside and island apartments are equally available
When choosing a property in Greece, rely on your own sources for funds, as Greek banks are unwilling to lend to foreign buyers. Your budget must include funds for the property itself, taxes and agent fees, which in total
Step 2. Due diligence
The legal audit of property includes verifying the authenticity
Step 3. Open a bank account
You will need a local bank account to pay the seller for the property as well as to pay taxes and utility bills in the future. However, the first thing you need to do is to get a Tax Identification Number, which is a simple procedure that only takes a few hours. At the same time, you will most probably need legal assistance, as the application to the local tax authority is to be submitted in Greek. You will need to present your passport and a passport copy.
Opening a bank account is slightly more complex and takes 1 to 2 days. You must personally submit the application documents to the bank. Your lawyer will thoroughly review the set of documents, which includes:
- passport and passport copy;
- tax return copy, tax residence certificate or personal income tax forms for the three previous years (apostilled and translated into Greek or English by an authorised translator);
- employment certificate (translated into Greek or English);
- copy of your utilities bill (translated into Greek or English); and
- phone number ownership certificate (translated into Greek or English).
Step 4. Transfer money and pay taxes
You transfer money from the bank account in your home country to your account in Greece so you can pay the seller. You will also have to pay any associated property transfer taxes. Buyers pay a 24% VAT
Step 5. Sign the agreement
Signing the sales agreement can be done in person or via your lawyer if he or she is given power of attorney in advance. The agreement is always signed in the presence of a notary, who charges 1.2% of the transaction value as a service fee. You can negotiate with the seller if you should transfer the money before or after signing the agreement.
Step 6. Register the property and the agreement
The notary registers the transaction with the Mortgage and Land Registry, while the lawyer registers the property with the National Cadastre & Mapping Agency. The registration tax ranges between 0.475% and 0.775%, and the procedure takes 4 to 6 weeks. After that, the transaction is complete and you are officially the owner of the property.
- Buying expenses constitute
7–10%of the property cost (if the property is built before 2006).
- The purchasing process takes 1 to 3 months.
- Buyers will have to visit the country at least once (to open a local bank account).
Olga Anisimova, Tranio