Buying and registering real estate in Greece
Purchasing process duration
To open an account
To purchase property in Greece, investors are required to visit the country only once. The purchase procedure has seven simple steps.
1. Choose a property
The buyer arrives in Athens to choose the property. The buyer appoints a lawyer who will check property documents, which will take about one month. This includes verifying
Although unnecessary at this stage, Tranio, however, recommends appointing a lawyer as verifying the title clearance requires, at least, a good command of the Greek language. Legal fees are about 1.5% of the transaction value.
2. Sign a preliminary purchase agreement
While the lawyer is verifying documents, the buyer and seller sign a preliminary purchase agreement and the buyer puts down a deposit of about 10% of the property price.
3. Receive an individual tax number
To receive an individual tax number, the buyer needs
- passport and a copy of it; and
- marriage certificate (if a tax number is also issued
to the applicant’sspouse).
4. Open a bank account
The buyer opens an account with a Greek bank. For this, a lawyer has to carefully check the package of application documents. The applicant is required to be present when submitting the documents. The procedure takes
- A valid passport + a copy;
- Proof of the applicant’s income, i.e. tax returns, documentary proof of inheritance, dividends, rental income or income from a property sale (translated into Greek or English);
- Letter of employment (translated into Greek or English);
- A copy of any utility bill to prove the applicant’s address (translated into Greek or English);
- A certificate to prove the applicant has a registered telephone number (translated into Greek or English);
- The applicant’s bank account statements (translated into Greek or English).
For large transactions, the bank can request fund clearance certificates.
5. Transfer money
The buyer transfers the funds covering all purchase costs to the Greek bank account. The buyer can transfer funds for the purchase directly from a Russian bank account, but a Greek bank account will still be needed in the future to pay taxes, management company fees and utilities.
The property purchase tax varies as follows:
- VAT of 24% VAT on the property purchase if its construction permit was issued after January 1, 2006.
- Ownership transfer tax of 3.09% of the property value for properties built before 2006.
6. Sign the purchase agreement
Closing the deal takes place a few weeks after the property is selected (once the property title clearance is verified). The buyer can either do this in Greece or issue a power of attorney for a lawyer who will sign the purchase agreement on behalf of the buyer. A notary must certify the signing of the agreement. Notary fees are 1.2% of the transaction value. Depending on the agreement, the buyer can wire money to the seller prior or after the signing of the agreement.
7. Register the transaction