Guidelines to buying a property

Maybe feeling a little daunted of the steps involved on buying a home in Greece?

Please find below some information which covers most concerns on who and what are involved:

Who can buy a property in Greece?

All EU citizens are allowed and able to purchase property in Greece. The process is the same as it is for a Greek citizen.
For Non-EU citizens, restrictions only apply to those who wish to purchase property in border areas of Greece. However the procedure is now much more straightforward than previous years.

How to secure the property:

Once you have found the house of your dreams and an agreement on the price has been made, lawyers from both seller and buyer will be in direct contact.
Depending on circumstance, a pre-contract can be made and a 10% deposit is required in order to hold the property.
In the majority of cases, once the legal process has begun, both the seller and buyer tend to go straight into the final contract of sale to save time.

Legal Representation:

A lawyer registered in Greece is required when purchasing property. It is also highly recommended to appoint a lawyer that can also speak your mother language, so all legal matters are understood.
Your lawyer will conduct a title search to ensure that the seller has clear title of the property you wish to purchase, thus protecting and securing your property rights.
It is advisable to give a lawyer power of attorney to arrange a tax number and bank account on your behalf and sign the final contract if you do not plan or are unable to return to Greece for the final signing.

Purchase – Transfer Tax:

Greek property purchase is subject to taxation and the buyer is the person responsible for that tax. Purchase contracts are signed and authorized only if this tax has been paid and proof of payment submitted to the Notary.

Notary:

The Notary holds a significant role throughout the entire purchase process. Notaries, who in Greece function within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, draft the purchase-contract to lawfully secure and validate the ownership title for you, the buyer. The Notary is chosen by the buyer.

Registration of property:

Once the purchase-contract has been signed, it must be registered with the local Land Registry depending on the location of the property. Only then, does the purchaser obtain full ownership rights.

Property Inspection:

Although not legally needed when purchasing a property, we strongly recommend that you do appoint an engineer to conduct an inspection to verify that the building is sound and to notify of any improper building practices or extensive repairs that may be required. Through their inspection they will check the roof, structure, plumbing, electrical and any heating/air conditioning system. Structural inspections will report on the foundations and supporting elements of the house.

Estate Agents:

We are here to help you find your perfect property, whether it be a second home or investment. We take the time to assess which house(s)/property fit your criteria – however long it takes!
Once a purchase agreement has been made, we are in constant contact with the lawyers, notary and sellers throughout the whole process from beginning to end. On many occasions and being based on Hydra, we are also available to assist engineers.

Utility Bills:

The easiest way to transfer the electricity, phone and water is for you or your lawyer to attend the utility companies together with the seller, to arrange the transfer.

Costs:

In addition to the purchase price of the property there are extra costs on top of this to consider which are approximately 10% of the purchase price. Hydra Houses can send a list itemising the costs for easier understanding. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Timeframe:

The timeframe from an agreement on price between buyer and seller to the final contract, on average, can take anywhere between 1 – 3 months. Due to laws changing constantly and sellers having to supply much more paperwork than in previous years, it can sometimes cause delay.

Accountant:

Once having purchased your property, you will need to file a tax return form every year (usually around May/June). This doesn’t change whether you are or are not earning income in Greece. In order to do so, it is recommended to have an accountant.
Your accountant will also be able to do your yearly property tax, called ENFIA. This is calculated on the property size and zone it is allocated in. It comes out every September.

Renting your property:

In order to rent your property, you must obtain a valid license which is issued by the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT).
For many holiday home owners in Greece, being able to rent it whilst not in use, is a big asset as it can cover yearly maintenance costs and bring an extra income.
The easiest way to obtain the license is to have an engineer submit the paperwork for you as an up to date plan of the property will be required. A one off fee is paid for the license.