Liasides & Associates
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Looking for property
There are real estate agents in every region and they can act either on behalf of the seller or the buyer. A contract is signed between the real estate agent and the client and the agent’s commission is included. The usual commission is 2% or 3% of the agreed purchase price (+VAT) and is paid by the party who hires the agent.
The seller can be contacted directly, without the use of an agent and the contact details are usually noted with the property listing.
Water front or coastal properties situated close to holiday resorts will be more expensive. Also the larger city centers have higher property costs.
Financing the purchase
Greek Banks have a range of mortgage products. Interest rates vary between 3-5% but are still amongst the highest in the European Union.
Land Registry Search
Under Greek law, property transactions require hiring a lawyer if the agreed property price in the Municipality of Athens and Piraeus exceeds €29,347.0286. As for property that is located in the rest of Greece, a lawyer is compulsory if the agreed price exceeds €11,738.8114. Both seller and buyer are required to hire lawyers.
In Greece, lawyers are required to undertake the land registry search in order to ensure that the property is free and clear of legal problems (liens, mortgages, expropriation, inheritance taxes, etc.). This is done at the Land Registry Office where the property is registered.
The lawyer’s fee is at least 1% of the first €44,020.5429 of the purchasing cost. Thereafter, the lawyer's fee decreases as the purchasing cost increases.
Local Authority Search
Building provisions and local stipulations / restrictions are searched at the local authority office either by the buyer or his lawyer. It is often useful to hire a civil engineer who is acquainted with the area and its restrictions.
All EU citizens are governed by the same law for the purchase and selling of property in Greece.
Non EU citizens can also buy property in with the following stipulations:
a) Both the buyer and the seller must provide:
• A valid passport (or a legal identity card for EU citizens only).
• A Greek tax number which can be obtained within 5 working days from the Greek Tax Authorities.
• If either the buyer or the seller is a legal entity (i.e. company), all validating documents are required (i.e. statute etc.).
b) The seller should provide annual tax return certificate which is issued by the Tax Authority, proving that there are no outstanding debts to the State.
c) Properties close to Greek borders require special permission for the purchase.
d) Certificates concerning the land issued by the Registration Office of the area.
e) If the seller is a legal entity or is subject to Social Security Insurance (IKA), a related certificate is required.
There is a purchase tax of 9% up to € 15,000 of the contract price and 11% above € 15,000, payable by the buyer only. The stated contract price cannot be less than the official government price which is substantially below market value.
Under Law N. 3427/2005, a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 19% of the contract price is levied on property / land whose building licenses were issued after 1 January 2006.
Notary Public - Contract
The purchase contract is drafted by a Notary Public and checked by the lawyers of both the seller and buyer. The Notary is usually selected by the buyer, who also pays his fee. The notary public’s fee is approximately 1.5% of the contract price. All parties must be present at the signing of the contract.
After signing, the contract must be submitted to the Land Registry Office. Land registry fees are about 0.4% of the contract value plus a small sum for stamp duties and certificates.
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