How to buy a property in Crete
A. PROCEDURAL MATTERS
What's the procedure I need to follow once I decide to buy
Once you find the house that suits you, and you decide to
proceed with a purchase, you will then need to follow these
1. Appoint a Lawyer
The Buyer must appoint an attorney to assist him with and
represent him in the process. Our company can either provide
you with a list of reputable real estate attorneys here in
Greece or immediately assign one for you, subject to your
2. Appoint a Public Notary
A public notary must be appointed since any property purchase
agreement, in order to be valid, must be done in the presence
of a public notary. The public notary does not represent the
interests of the Buyer. (S)he is a public official in the
presence of whom the contract is read, understood by both
parities and signed. The notary drafts the contract and is
responsible for the verification and registration of the transaction
in the public records, so that the buyer acquires the official
title of the property. Our company can either propose a number
of notaries for the buyer to select or immediately assign
the one responsible for the contracts of a specific project,
subject to your consent.
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
vendor. This can be done with the help of the lawyer. 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 vendor have been paid.
The construction was completed in accordance to all planning
and building permissions.
Only if the title deed is secure should the buyer proceed
4. Issue a tax registry number (AFM)
A tax registry number must be issued for the buyer, to be
able to proceed with any transaction. The tax registry number
is applied for and issued by the Inland Revenue Service.
5. Pay the transfer tax
The transfer tax must be paid to the local Inland Revenue
Service by the buyer prior to signing the contract. This can
be done with the aid of the attorney.
6. Signing the contract
In order to have a valid contract, it must be signed in the
presence of a public notary. When the contract is signed,
the notary registers the transaction at the local registry
7. Effect transfer at the Registry of Mortgages
The buyer's attorney 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 (if applicable)
A copy of the title, and the certificate from the Registry
of Mortgages is needed to register the property under the
buyer's name at the Land registry. Not all regions of the
country have a Land registry, as Greece is currently undergoing
the process of establishing a 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.
What are the costs associated with this procedure
that burden the buyer?
The buyer has to cover the following costs to complete the
Lawyer's fee: about 1-2% (subject of agreement)
on the selling price adding the legal research and any other
legal advice had offered to the client.
Fee of public notary: 1,3% on the value of the property.
Transfer tax: This is payable to the local tax authority and
amounts to 9% for the value up to 15.000 Euro plus 11 % for
the value above 15.000 Euro. In areas that are not covered
by a fire department these figures drop to 7% and 9% respectively.
Municipality tax: This amounts to 3% of the above transfer
tax and is also payable to the local tax authority.
Registry of Mortgages: The fee payable to the registry of
mortgages amounts to 0.45 % of the property value.
Brokerage fee: The brokerage fee is between 2-5% on the selling
price, depending on the agency and location of the property.
Are there any yearly costs related to property ownership?
Yearly property taxation in Greece is limited to the following:
Local municipal tax: The council tax ranges
from 0.025 % - 0.035 % on the assessed value of the property
and is incorporated in the electricity bill.
Yearly property tax: Owners of property pay a yearly property
tax ONLY if the assessed value of their ownership/s exceeds
the amount of 243.000 Euro. The tax amounts 0.3 % to 0.8 %
of the assessed value of the property.
What is the “assessed value” of a property
and what is its use?
The "assessed" or "objective" value of
a property is the minimum accepted value for transaction purposes
set by the State. These values are calculated by the Public
Notary and the Inland Revenue service for each individual
property and are based on public data relating to prices per
square meter as well as other location or specific property
characteristics. Assessed Values constitute public information
readily available. The other use of the assessed values, as
previously stated, is for the calculation of yearly property
How is the ownership of property secured
The ownership of property in Greece is secured, by a state
authority called Registry of mortgages. Titles to property
are kept there, where all encumbrances on properties are registered.
Property is filed under the names of the owners and lawyers
are entitled to check property belonging to any individual
or company. A title search is performed in order to find out
if there are any claims, liens and encumbrances on the property.
A title search will also show you if the property was properly
transferred. This is always done during the contracts process.
B. FINANCING AND OTHER MONETARY ISSUES
How can I transfer funds from my home
country to pay for the property?
It can be done by a simple bank transfer from your account
to your account in Greece. Buyers are advised to officially
document any funds imported for buying property so that in
case of a subsequent sale of the property, the proceeds can
be repatriated. Please take notice of the income taxation
Can I draw-up a loan to buy property
Greek banks are well developed and equipped in offering a
variety of financing programs. They have branches throughout
the world and similarly many international banks have branches
in Greece. Financing in order to buy property in Greece can
be arranged by both Greek and international banks with branches
Is there Value Added Tax in Greece?
Yes, there is VAT in Greece for goods and services purchased
and the standard rate is 19%. Property purchase can be an
issue of VAT; read more here.
What about property insurance?
Property is insured through insurance companies. Property
insurance contracts cover all types of possible damages i.e.
fire, earthquake, natural disaster, storm, theft, third party
liability etc. Insurance costs are normally billed bi-annually
though annual payments are also acceptable. Property insurance
is not obligatory, but is required by the financial institutions
mortgaging the property. Find more information here.