Legal Advice

Purchasing a property in Greece: A comprehensive guide with everything you need to know

The purchase of a property in Greece is a process that requires careful handling from the buyer, in order to avoid finding himself in front of unpleasant surprises. In this context, regardless of the fact that the representation of a lawyer when signing a contract of property purchase is no longer mandatory by law, the contribution of a lawyer specialized in real estate law is absolutely crucial and decisive in any case, since the lawyer is the one who will foresee and ascertain all the possible risks involved in the purchase of a property.

In this article, we will try to describe briefly and in a comprehensible way all the necessary steps for the purchase of a property, without of course this description replacing the necessity of entrusting the purchase and sale of a property to a lawyer of your choice, which in any case is absolutely necessary.

I. Legal inspection of property

The stage of legal inspection of a property is perhaps the most essential point of the process, since it prevents the buyer from finding himself in unpleasant situations and ensures that the property he is buying does not present any legal complications. For this reason, the legal review of the property should be entrusted to a lawyer specialized in real estate law.

What the lawyer checks during the legal inspection of the property is the legality and regularity of the title deeds for at least the last 20 years (time of exceptional use), i.e. he checks whether the title or title deeds of the seller and his licensors are correctly transcribed, if there is any heresy in them, if the price of them has been paid, etc. Furthermore, the existence of any encumbrances on the property (mortgage or pre-mortgage note) is checked, as well as the existence of any encumbrances (encumbrance, housing, usufruct, etc.) encumbering the property. Also, any existing contract is checked, as well as the terms of the horizontal ownership contract, as well as the possible existence of apartment building regulations and their possible amendments and the agreed uses of the horizontal properties contained therein.

II. Procedure followed up to the signing of the final purchase and sale contracts

After the legal inspection of the property has been successfully completed and the issue of the down payment has been settled, the buyer should indicate to the seller the notary of his choice, who will undertake the drawing up of the contract of sale and the handling of all the necessary matters, always of course with the assistance of the parties’ attorneys.

In this context, the notary will ask the parties (mainly the seller) to provide him with a series of documents that are necessary for the signing of the contract (such as an engineer’s certificate that there are no irregularities in the property, TAP certificate, tax awareness, extract of cadastral chart, etc.). After the notary has ensured that he has at his disposal all the necessary documents for signing the contracts and checked their correctness and completeness, he must draw up the transfer tax declaration, which is submitted to the tax office, accompanied by a calculation sheet of the objective value of the property. The property transfer tax amounts to 3% of the market value or any higher objective value of the property and must be paid once by the buyer before the signing of the final contracts, for which proof of payment must be presented and be attached to the contract.

After the above bureaucratic procedures have been completed, the final contract of purchase and sale is signed before the Notary, which should then be transferred to the competent Mortgage Office or registered with the competent Land Office in the event that one operates in the area of the property. The cost of the transfer or registration shall be borne entirely by the buyer. The transfer of the contract is also the last step for the completion of the sale and the final transfer of ownership of the property to the buyer.

III. Peculiarities of the property purchase process in case the buyer is a non-Greek citizen

Given the great purchasing interest observed in recent years by foreign nationals (either citizens of European states or citizens of third countries) in the purchase of real estate in Greece, mainly for investment purposes, it is considered appropriate to mention some points worthy of attention for the specific categories of buyers.

First of all, it should be noted that the foreign buyer should arrange through his attorney the issuance of a tax registration number (TIN) in Greece and for the appointment of a person (usually his lawyer or an accountant) as his tax representative in Hellas. This procedure can be done either by the foreigner’s personal presence at the competent tax office or by authorization (power of attorney) to a third party.

In the event that the foreign buyer does not wish or is unable to be present during the process of signing the final contract of sale, he may sign a power of attorney to his attorney (either before a Greek notary public or before the competent Greek consular authority of the place of residence of), by virtue of which the buyer’s attorney will be able to carry out independently any action required for the signing of the final contract (signing of transfer tax declarations, signing of the contract, etc.). Practically, this means that it is possible for someone to buy a property in Greece, without ever visiting the country, since all actions can be handled by a lawyer under a power of attorney document. In the event, however, that the final contract is signed by the buyer himself and he is a citizen of a third country (outside the EU), it is necessary for him to be equipped with a valid entry visa (visa) of any type or to be the holder of a valid residence permit which has been issued by the competent Greek authorities or the competent authorities of another European country.

Finally, it is noted that in the event that the buyer is a citizen of a third country (outside the EU) and the purchase price is more than 250,000 Euros, he has the possibility to request and receive after signing the contract and its transcription 5-year residence permit (Golden Visa), both for him and for his family members (spouse or civil partner, children under 21 and parents).

*Our office has great experience in all kinds of real estate cases and can effectively assist you in any case of buying and selling real estate in Greece. For more information or legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at +30 2313 079293 or by email at*

Dafni I. Siopi

Attorney at Law, LLM

52 Tsimiski Str. – 54623 Thessaloniki

Tel. +30 2313079293, +30 6977568673


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