A short buying guide

 Foreigner s buying property in Greece.

 Greek property is available to all EU citizens with the only restriction being land in close proximity to military bases, a restriction that doesn’t apply for any of  our company  projects. In areas near the national borders and in some islands, non-EU citizens require a special permission by the Ministry of National  Defense  in order to purchase property. However, this permission tends to be more of a formality for non-controversial nations.


 Once you find the house that suits you, and you decide to proceed with a purchase, you will then need to follow these basic steps:

  1. 1.     Appoint a Lawyer

The Buyer must appoint a lawyer to assist him with and represent him in the process Our company  can either provide you with a list of reputable real estate lawyers in Greece (English, German, French or Russian speaking), or immediately assign one for you, subject to your consent.


  1. 2.     Appoint a Public Notary 

A notary public must be appointed since any property purchase agreement, in order to be valid, must be written by a notary public and signed in his presence.

  1. 3.     Get a copy of the title deed and perform a title search at the Registry of Mortgages

The buyer must obtain the contract deed (title) held by the seller. It is then the lawyer’s obligation to search the title deed at the registry of mortgages. The search must be carried out in order to secure that:

  • The vendor holds the absolute deed of the property.
  • The property is unencumbered.
  • All property taxes burdening the seller have been paid.
  • The construction was completed in accordance to all planning and building permissions.

Thus, only if the title deed is secure should the buyer proceed to contract.

  1. 4.     Issue a tax registry number .

A tax registry number must be issued for the buyer, in order to proceed with any transactions. The tax registry number is applied for and issued by the local tax authority. The lawyer normally does this for you.

  1. 5.     Pay the transfer tax .

The buyer, prior to signing the contract, must pay the transfer tax to the local tax authority. This is done with the aid of the lawyer.

  1. 6.     Signing the contract.

 In order to have a valid contract, it must be signed in the presence of a public notary and a lawyer. When the contract is signed, the notary registers the transaction at the local registry of mortgages.

7. Effect transfer at the Registry of Mortgages.

      The buyer’s lawyer makes sure that the title is transferred to the buyer’s name, by obtaining the relevant certificate from the Registry of Mortgages.

8. Notify the Land Registry for the transfer.

A copy of the title and the certificate from the Registry of Mortgages, of the property needs to be registered under the buyer’s name at the Land registry. However, not all regions of the country have such a registry, as Greece is currently undergoing the process of establishing its Land Registry. In areas that do not yet have a Land Registry, ownership of property is based on and secured by the local Registry of Mortgages.

Residence Permit

 EU citizens wishing to stay in Greece for more than three months are officially required to obtain a residence permit. Application must be made in person at the Aliens Bureau in Athens, or at the nearest police station in other locations. The required documents to attain such a permit are:

  • Copy of passport
  • 4 photographs
  • You may be asked to show a bankbook to prove that you can support yourself
  • If employed, you will need a letter from your employer


Medical Insurance

The citizens of the European Union have right to the E111 document, which offers full access to free treatment in all public hospitals. Greek public hospitals are well equipped, at least in the major cities. However, the conditions and services of the private hospitals are much better, but are quite expensive. Therefore, a good health-insurance policy is essential.

Taxation Information about foreigners

Before you proceed to any actions, you should seek the advice of an accountant in your country, in order to avoid future problems with your tax declaration. According to Greek taxation legislation, you are obliged to submit a declaration of income every March, concerning the previous year. Finally, in case you are purchasing a property in more than one name, then ensure that transferring of all amounts is done from a joint bank account, or, if you use separate ones, to send the amount divided according to the percentages of ownership for each name. Moreover, keep the receipts from your money transfers for the Greek tax office, to avoid income taxation in Greece. There are international tax agreements of avoiding double taxation with almost all European Countries

Purchaser’s expenses

  • Ø The lawyer’s fee is 1% on an objective value up to 44.020 € and 0,5% on any value above that, plus any expenses for legal research or any other legal services offered to the client.
  • Ø The notary public’s fee is more complicated to calculate, but, generally, it is also around 1% on the objective value, plus a fixed amount of 500 € for the preparation of the contract.
  • Ø The transfer tax is 7 – 9 % on the objective value, but, if the commercial value is higher than the objective value, then the tax authorities could decide to calculate the tax on that value. If the building permission is granted after 31/12/2005, then the transfer tax is replaced by 19% V.A.T. on an assessed and approved by the tax authority value.
  • Ø The Municipality tax is 3% on the amount of the transfer tax.
  • Ø The registration fee at the Register of Mortgages is 0,5% on the objective price.
  • Ø The estate agent’s fee depends upon the agreement between the agent and the purchaser, although it normally doesn’t exceed 3% on the commercial value.

For any further information about living, working and paying taxes in the EU, please visit: http://europa.eu

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