The procedure for purchase contract of property in Greece

The procedure for processing a transaction usually takes from 2 to 6 weeks (depending on the degree of readiness of the seller’s documents).

General requirements of Greek law:

  • the contract of sale and purchase of Greek property must be certified by a notary;
  • before the transaction, the buyer must obtain a tax registration number in local tax authorities;
  • before the transaction, the buyer must pay a tax on the transfer of property and submit the confirmation of payment to the notary;
  • to complete the transaction, the parties must submit all necessary documents to the notary and conclude a contract in his presence;
  • the contract is made by a notary only in Greek and must be verbally translated word for word upon its conclusion;
  • the conclusion of a contract in the presence of a notary may be carried out by the parties independently or by representatives on powers of attorney issued in accordance with the European rules;
  • The procedure ends with the registration of a new title of property in the state register of secured lending or in the state land registry.

One-time costs

  • Lawyer: from 1% + VAT
  • Notary: 0.8% + VAT
  • registration fee: 0,575% + VAT
  • Property sale tax: 3,09% (secondary market), 24% (primary market, newly built since 2006)
  • Real estate services: 2%
  1. SELECTION OF THE OBJECT AND ITS COMPLEX CHECK

Participation of a lawyer

The lawyer together with the notary prepares and coordinates the contract of sale, renders services regarding the mandatory presence at the signing of the contract, and can also advise his principal on all legal aspects of the transaction.

Services for the actual and legal search, analysis and other legal aspects of the transaction, depending on its features and complexity, are agreed and paid additionally.

Complex check

The most important action of the lawyer is a complex check of the property.

Verification of legal purity is carried out by searching in land and mortgage registers for the ownership of the title of the property to the seller, as well as the absence of claims, pledges, bans and other claims leading to encumbrances of the property. The check must be complete and reach the moment of the birth of the object in a legal sense, and also thorough, as these registers are usually in an archaic paper state. If the audit showed the seller’s fair possession of the object for a period of at least 20 years, he receives the rights of the so-called “genuine owner”.

The “environmental cleanliness” of the facility is checked by requesting the relevant authorities for the absence of restrictions or prohibitions on forest, landscape, archaeological, marine and any other nature protection nature.

Checking the “tax purity” of the seller is made by asking the tax authorities for lack of tax debts and other tax liabilities.

  1. REGISTRATION IN TAX INSPECTION

For a foreign purchaser to be identified by the Greek financial authorities, it is necessary to have a personal Tax Registration Number (ΑΦΜ).

Application form for Tax Registration Number (ΑΦΜ)

  • Surname and name
  • Surname and name of mother
  • Surname and name of father
  • Place of birth
  • Home address
  • Occupation
  • Passport: when issued and by whom
  • Copy of passport

Opening an account in the Greek bank

Account opening application:

  • Copy of passport
  • A copy of the pages of the civil passport – with personal data, registration at the place of residence or any official document which confirms your permanent address of residence (with apostille stamp and translated into English or Greek)
  • Certificate of employment or any official document that confirms permanent address of your job place (with apostille stamp and translated into English or Greek)
  • Tax Registration Number

Assignment of Tax Registration Number (ΑΦΜ) is accompanied by the acquisition of limited tax liability (mainly in relation to property tax).

Foreign buyers should request and receive a Tax Registration Number in the foreign department of the local Tax Inspection (DOY Katoikon Exoterikou).

  1. PAYMENT OF TAXES

Tax liabilities relate mainly to the real estate transfer tax (NPN) – Real Estate Transfer Tax, the cost of which is borne by the buyer.

  1. PREPARATION OF THE CONTRACT

The seller, except for the documents certifying him, must submit the following documents and declarations for the conclusion of the transaction:

  • Certificate of absence of financial debts;
  • A declaration on the absence of profit from the object of sale during the last 2 years;
  • Certificate of inclusion of the object in the seller’s tax return;
  • Certificate of payment of property tax;
  • Evidence of payment of relevant taxes if the seller has inherited the object or received it as a gift;
  • Certificate of absence of debt for operation, maintenance or any other paid services of housing authorities at the location of the object of sale;
  • Permission for planning, construction and any other works related to the object;
  • Certificate of land or lien registry about the status of object.

Formally, the buyer, except for the documents certifying him, must submit the following documents:

  • Certificate of absence of tax debts;
  • Certificate of advance payment of the transfer tax.

Participation of a notary

Contracts for the sale of property in Greece require written registration in a certain form and notarization. Contracts concluded in violation of these requirements are void without the right to recover damages.

The functions and duties of a public notary are very limited in Greece and include the duty to inform and ensure the parties’ understanding of their obligations and rights resulting from the relevant transaction. This is done practically only by reading the content of the contract before signing it in a language understood by the parties. Usually the parties accept the notary on the recommendation of the seller.

The cost of notarization for a typical transaction depends on the corresponding value of the property specified in the contract of sale and on the amount of work involved in preparing the documents.

The cost of notary services currently consists and is set at 1% + VAT on its full cost. At the same time, 9% of the notary’s fee comes in favor of the Lawyers’ Fund and 6% – in favor of the Social Security Fund of Notaries.

  1. CONCLUSION OF THE TRANSACTION

 The parties can conclude the transaction by signing a contract in Greece or at the Greek consulate on their own, and also through their representatives.

Representation through power of attorney

Each of the parties, through the registration of an appropriate one, may delegate authority to its representative, including a lawyer representing his interests in Greece. Power of attorney has its own characteristics. The power of attorney should contain not only an exact indication of the subject, object and other subjects of the transaction, but also all the essential conditions of the proposed contract. If, from the point of view of the Greek notary, any item is missing or not formulated correctly, such power of attorney may be rejected, or additional documents may be requested. A power of attorney certified by a foreign notary may be recognized in Greece if it contains either the certifying inscription of the Greek consulate in the country in question or Apostille and is translated into Greek with the signature of the translator.

  1. REGISTRATION OF THE TITLE

The transfer of rights to the property is subject to state registration in the land or mortgage register. If the contract establishes the rights and obligations of the parties, the registration establishes an appropriate transfer of these rights and obligations. The registration fee is 0.575% of the cost specified in the contract. The cost of registration is the buyer’s.

If the territory on which the object is located has already been transferred from the system of the mortgage lending registry to the land registry system, then the existing owners are required to declare the title of the immovable property at a certain date for inclusion in the new land registry. The cost of the declaration is 35 euros for each property right specified in the registration documents. Declaration and the introduction of the title of property in the new system of land registry is a guarantee of complete completion of the transaction and a prerequisite for obtaining permits for design, planning, construction and other works.