How to buy a property in Greece

Αnyone who wants to buy a house or apartment on Greek land has to overcome not only language barriers.

A lot of the laws and regulations are indeed very similar to what you find in the German system, but some of the fine detail is different than in Germany.

For this reason anyone who is interested in purchasing Greek property should get expert advice. That could be from a professional estate agent, a lawyer or a notary, says George Petras a real estate agent.

Below he gives some advices about the most important facts for the purchase of real estate:

1. The acquisition of real estate in Greece is possible and without restrictions for EU citizens. Prerequisite is a notarized purchase contract and its entry in the land register.

2. Attention with preliminary purchase contracts: These pre-contracts are only relevant contractually or legally in Greece and costs must be paid. An actual transfer does not take place.

3. Land registries can only be read by lawyers and notaries.

4. The duty to seek advice from a lawyer has been dropped, but the engagement of a lawyer is any case recommended, even for land registry research.

5. All the seller´s property titles should be carefully examined. Sellers need a legalization certificate.

6. Forest areas and beaches are public property in Greece and can not be purchased. Therefore, each purchase contract must be accompanied by a certificate stating that it is not a forest area. This is particularly relevant for land purchases.

7. If building works are necessary, then lawyers, architects and engineers must check whether the rerequisites have been met.

8. The land transfer tax is three percent (as of spring 2017) of the real estate value. The payment of this land transfer income tax is a prerequisite for the certification as well as the transfer of ownership.

9. The real estate tax introduced in 2014 amounts to approximately three to six euros per square meter of living space per year in the regions where traditionally people have a secondary residence.

10. The buyer shall be liable for the estate agent's fees which amount to three percent of the purchase price.

11. German buyers need a Greek tax number. The estate agent or attorney will take care of this.

And one further personal tip:

“Take your time for the decision. Buying in haste is often a mistake. Take a second or a third trip to your dream home, a good estate agent will make it easy for you. Should you still like it, or like it even more, you are advised not to hesitate too long in making your decision, because beautiful houses in good locations with a view of the sea are few on the Greek holiday islands.

Do not wait with the purchase! Buy and then wait!”