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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a lawyer / attorney to buy property in Greece?
Yes. The Attorneys of the both sides of the deal, Purchaser and the Seller, are the principles of the sale deal in Greece for the past 25 years. The lawyers make a full legal control of the acquired real estate, full search, confirm the existence of the right of ownership from the seller, identify the legal purity of the object real estate (encumbrances, lawsuits, arrests, and so on to buy property, in addition, that the lawyer acts as a guarantor that all taxes the property owner had paid the transfer of property.

Do I need a notary to buy property in Greece?
Yes. The notary is essentially an official state attorney-lawyer who handles and records all real estate transaction, including its preparation and review of all official documents for the transfer of ownership to ensure the legality of the transfer of property.

Do I need a surveyor to buy property in Greece?
Yes, especially when you are going to purchase the land plot on which you are going to build. Surveyors ensure that all acts associated with the construction of the property based on the legal authorization of planning.

Do I need an accountant to buy property in Greece?
Yes. It is important to hire an accountant on the early stage as he will advise you on the changing tax laws, and will assist you in preparation of tax declaration.

Do I need a Greek bank account?
Yes. Opening a bank account is necessary. Firstly there is the possibility of all the payments under the contract of sale of real estate to do through this account, in addition, this account will prove that funds used for property purchase have come into Greece from another country and, therefore, not taxable in Greece. Additionally, the utilities in the operation of real estate in Greece can be paid through a Greek bank account.
Opening a bank account in Greece takes a few minutes, but you will need to bring some documents to the bank that will prove you place of live and your incomes, plus an identity card or passport and AFM (tax number). Bank account in Greece does not even require a minimum deposit to be opened.

Do I need a tax number in Greece (AFM)?
Yes. This tax number (AFM) is mandatory for all property buyers in Greece, including foreigners and Greek citizens permanently residing abroad. It is issued by the local tax authorities in Greece, free of charge. All applicants must present their passport and sometimes their birth certificate. If you provide your authorized lawyer / attorney full power of attorney, he / she can apply for an AFM on your behalf.

Do I need a residence permit for the purchase of property in Greece?
No, for the acquisition of real estate you don’t need a residence permit in Greece. However, if you want to buy a car, you will have to issue a residence permit.

Do I need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defense of Greece for the purchase of property in Greece?
First of all permission from the Ministry of Defense is  not exist any mone. Please note that for non-EU nationals in some districts of Greece you must obtain a permit from local municipality if you plan to purchase property in an area near national borders (If the property is located in the border area of Greece, namely the Prefecture of the Dodecanese, Evros, Thesprotia, Kastoria, Kilkis, Lesbos, Xanthi, Rodopi, Preveza, Samos, Chios and Florina, the province Nevrokop Prefecture of Drama, the pursuit and Konitsa prefecture of Ioannina, Almopia and Edessa Prefecture Palley and Sindica the prefecture of Serres and the islands of Skyros and Santorini) you must apply for a special permit issued by the local municipality. For the rest of Greece, such permission is not required.

Do I need to make a deposit when buying a property and Greece?
To book the selected object and stop the further sale and also to show your serious intentions to sign a contract of sale, a common practice is to make a reservation deposit of $ 5-10tys euros. If the object is only in the design stage, the amount can be further reduced. Reservation deposit is transferred to the developer or the owner and at the same time signed a receipt for payment of the amount.

Should I be present at the signing of the contract?
It’s the usual to present yourself of the contract of sale for the Buyer. But if you have no opportunity to attend this big event in your life, you will need to prepare a power of attorney to your lawyer or agent, or the other person chosen by you, giving the opportunity to sign a contract in your absence. Notary contract of sale is usually prepared by a lawyer and appointed for specific dates and times, all payments and fees are paid in advance to a lawyer on your behalf, so that the deal itself does not take more than 2 hours. The presence of an official interpreter staff is obligatory, since a very few buyers are fluent in the Greek language in which the contract is made..

Do I have to apply tax declaration in Greece when I became the owner of a property in Greece?
Yes. The Greek State decided that in the April of the year that following the year of acquisition of property in Greece and receiving the ownership of property in Greece, you have to declare them to the local tax authority, by filling out a form called E9. This condition is mandatory for each owner in Greece, even for those who live abroad and have no income in Greece. You can not only submit a declaration form E9, as it is served always with a form of taxation on the main E1. If you have no income in Greece, but must submit a zero return in E1 form, but be sure to submit it. We recommend contacting a professional accountant, who will fill and submit this form for you. For more information about after-sales service can be found here.

Do I have to pay annual property taxes?
yes. Now its obligatory for all owners. Property tax is based on your tax declaration and that must be paid when paid either at once or in equal portions for the 5 months. Please ask about your tax the real estate agent and / or lawyer or accountant.

Do I have to pay capital gains tax if I decide to sell your property?
No you don’t. But Starting from 2017 the tax on capital gains in case of resale property in Greece will be charged.

Do I need to obtain a license if I want to rent their property (houses, villas, apartments)?
Yes. There are two legal ways for those who would like to rent Greek property. The first is a long-term lease (over three months) when the parties enter into a contract and the owner registers it with the tax office. The second is a short-term (vacation) lease: when the property is registered in the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) and rent through an agency on behalf of the owner. In 2014, Greece has been changed tax rates on income, including income derived from the rental of the Greek real estate for rent. The amount of tax depends on the size of annual income from rent  is defined as follows:

tax on the first 12 000 euros is11%  ( it will be 15% from 2016)
tax on the amount more than  12000 euros is 33% ( it will be 35% from 2016)

What are the taxes on inheritance in Greece?
Inheritance tax depends on the value of the inheritance. When affinity of the first degree (a legacy of children, parents, husband or wife) the tax is calculated as follows:

tax on the first € 150 000 - 0%;
the following EUR 150 000 (150 000-300 000) - 1%;
the following 300 000 euros (300 000-600 000) - 5%;
the rest of the amount over 600 000 euro - 10%

Can I buy property in someone else's name?
Yes. You can purchase the property jointly with your spouse, a relative, and / or other co-buyers, you can buy property in the name of children or heirs, or the company.

Can I get a mortgage in Greece? If so, what are the requirements?
Yes, you can get a mortgage in Greece. To apply for a mortgage you will need your passport and documents confirming your official declaration of taxable income for the last 2 years, pay stubs, bank statements and so on. Keep in mind that if you apply for a loan in the Greek bank, and the loan for some reason do not confirm, you should be able to pay all the amount for the chosen property yourself. For more information about mortgages contact us.

Can I work in Greece or to open a business?
All EU citizens are allowed to live and work in Greece. EU citizens do not have to obtain a residence permit, which also serves as a work permit. Now it is a relatively simple procedure for a very reasonable fee. Our staff will help clients of our company. our accountant or attorney to help you with the formalities of starting a business.

Can I take my car to Greece?
Yes, but for no longer than 180 days per year. After 6 months of life you have to take the car out of Greece.

What is the cadastral value of the property?
The concept of the cadastral value of the property is to estimate the monetary value of the property in accordance with the government rates for real estate in this area made by the Greek tax authorities. As a rule, the cadastral value of the property is significantly lower than its purchase price (but it’s not everywhere: if Athens and suburbs nowadays cadastral price are often higher than the real because of dramatically price decrease during the years of crisis)  .

What will happen to the reservation deposit for the property, if the lawyer discovers any legal problems with the property?
If the legal control of the property will not be held and the lawyer discovers any serious violations that cannot be resolved, you will receive your deposit back in full.

What happens if I change my mind to buy the selected property?
If you have entered into a private contract and paid a deposit for the property, it is considered to be an official intent to purchase. If you decide to withdraw from the purchase, you will lose your deposit. In case of cancellation of the purchase at a later stage, possibly in the same and other penalties prescribed in the private contract for both parties.

What happens if the seller decides not to sell the property?
If you have entered into a private contract and paid a deposit for the property, it is considered to be an official intent to purchase. In this case, your deposit will be refunded in double. If you have already paid part of the money under the contract, then they will be returned, plus the amount of penalty prescribed in the private contract for both parties.

What type of property insurance is recommended?
Property insurance is not mandatory, but practically it turned out that almost all the Greeks insure their homes. We are highly recommended to do the same to you. The most common insurance claims include damage to home or property due to fire, earthquake, water damage, broken glass, as well as theft. Some programs also provide options for flood damage insurance, liability insurance and damages caused to third parties (eg, neighbors), etc. Insure your home is possible through our staff remotely without having to travel to Greece. Learn more.

Where to buy in Greece?
Greece small but very diverse country, where more than 2,500 islands and is really difficult to make a choice Where To Buy. A few tips: property near the sea in the famous resort areas will cost more, but will be much more liquid. On the mainland, the objects may be more expensive especially around the capital - Athens. Read more about the regions of Greece or read here, ask us questions, we will help you choose the best option.

How do I transfer funds to purchase real estate?
You can open an account at a local bank, or make a direct transfer to the properly owner account due to private contract. It takes less than an hour, and we can recommend a bank with extensive experience working with clients.

How long will it take to buy a property that I have chosen?
If all of the documents for the selected object are ready it is possible to complete the process within 3 weeks, however, our experience shows that more likely, it will take from 6 weeks up to 3-4 months. Of course there are cases (for example when you need to obtain permission from the Ministry of forest athority), where it takes more time, but if you really want to fulfill their dream and buy exactly this piece of paradise, you will need just a little patience on the way to your aim.

How much I have to pay extra to cover the costs associated with buying property in Greece?
All expenses, including legal fees and taxes usually cost no more than 10-12% of the purchase price. This figure includes all costs associated with the purchase. These include fees charged by a lawyer, notary, courts, and registry of land, all taxes and and commissions. There are cases where it is smaller, but very rarely more. For more information about transaction costs read here.

What is the difference between building inside the village and beyond?
When choosing the land you should take into account the coefficient of development, which depends on the type of site. In Greece, all areas are divided into 2 categories:

  1. Land included in the plan of the village
    The coefficient of building such a site legally varies depending on the region of 0.4 to 2.4, and sometimes can be a great way of exception. The exact ratio of the each land plot have to be proved by local authority.
  2. the land that is not included in the plan of the settlement: building on this site it is possible only if its area is non-divided plot of 4,000 sq.m. And more. Exceptions are areas adjacent to the road.

So, on the land plot of  4,000 m2 you can built 200 sq.m.
For the area, ranging from 4,000 up to 8,000 sq.m. you can built-up 200 sq.m. plus the remaining m2 multiplied by a factor of 0.02
For the area, that is more than 8,000 sq.m. you can built-up 280 sq.m. plus the remaining m2 multiplied by a factor of 0.01
The coefficient for the construction of commercial real estate (hotels, villas for rent, offices, etc.) is 0.2 for the whole area.
At these land plots it’s not allowed to build more than two floors (there is the possibility of building basement, attic in advance, and the height of which must not exceed two meters).

To increase the development large land plots are often divided into several areas of 4,000 sq.m. each.

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