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Awareness of the legal aspect of buying a property in Greece is a vital part of making you feel more comfortable about your decision. The buying procedure in Greece is similar to other systems in other countries but offers some additional conditions for the protection of the purchaser. More specifically buyers are protected and vendors can only sell to other buyers up until the preliminary contracts are signed.
Once you have selected the property of your choice you need an experienced and professional lawyer who is familiar with the property law, the local parameters and of course speaks the native language.
Basically by providing your lawyer with a power of attorney he or she will deal with all the bureaucracy and will keep you informed of the progress. The power of attorney is drawn in a way that the authority of the lawyer is directly under your control so that nothing can be done without your approval, especially regarding financial issues such as payments to the vendor. Additionally the power of attorney can be revoked at any time you wish.
One of the first things you need in order to purchase a property in Greece is a tax number. This number is known as AFM, from its Greek initials, is given to all Citizens and residents but in your case your lawyer will need to apply for it. The AFM number provides you with the basic legal status in order to be able to purchase a property in Greece.
Your lawyer will also check the deeds and other documents of the property you are buying in order to ensure that it is legal and clear of debts and mortgages.
Once the purchaser has had their offer accepted by the vendor it is regular practice to pay a deposit of 10% when the preliminary contract is signed. This will prevent the vendor from selling the property to another interested property.
Naturally, if the lawyer's extensive searches result to the property being illegal even after the 10% is paid, the purchaser can withdraw from the purchase and get his deposit back.
In brief, the lawyer assumes the responsibility of gathering mainly the following:
Obviously there are some purchasing costs involved apart from the selling price of the property.
•1. Property Transfer Tax or Legal Added Value Tax (VAT)
The Property Transfer Tax has been defined at 3% from 1st of January 2014 and is calculated on the price declared on the final deeds (or on the minimum value of the property according to the tax system). It is applicable to plots of land or already built properties that had a building license issued before the 31/12/2005 or to properteis that have been constructed by an individual and not a construction company.
For properties built by construction companies with building licences after the 01/01/2006 instead of the Property Transfer Tax applies the Legal Addded Value Tax (VAT). The tax is calculated on the price written on the final deeds (or on the minimum value of the property according to the tax system). Please note that there are companies that issued a building licence before the 01/01/2006 and actually started building the property a few years later. So for example you may see properties advertised as build in 2010 and still have a transfer tax of 3% and not VAT. Feel free to ask us about the property you are interested in.
•2. Lawyers Fees
May be negotiated with your lawyer depending on the services agreed.
May be agreed between you and the notary you will select.
•4. Land Registry Fee
This is the fee for transferring the property from the name of the seller to the name of the buyer. It is equal to approximately 0,475% and is usually taken care of by the lawyer. A purchase is complete and legitimate only when this transfer has taken place.
•5. Realtors or Agents' Fees
Talos properties agency fee is 2% from the purchaser. This percentage is calculated on the agreed selling price excluding all other purchasing costs. For properties priced or agreed for less than 75.000 Euros the fee is a fixed amount of 1500 Euros. 23% VAT is also added on this fee which is forwarded by Talos to the Greek State.
Other expenses involved are that of getting a loan or mortgage. If you require relative information please access the Finance sector on our web site.