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Buy a House in Greece - Legal Representation for Foreigners

Property Lawyers in Greece

Updated on Thursday 01st September 2022
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The purchase of real estate in Greece involves several issues and procedures that will inevitably make you deal with the bureaucracy of the local government.
 
The legal framework in which these types of transactions are framed is the Greek Civil Code, which has some similarities with other European jurisdictions.
 
To buy a property in Greece, you will need the help of our Greek real estate lawyers who can help you because generally, you will require, in addition to a sale and purchase contract, also the the Land Registry certificate.
 
 
 Quick Facts  
Types of properties foreigners can purchase 

- residential,

- commercial

Mandatory legal representation (yes/no)

No, but it is highly recommended

Main legal responsibilities of property lawyers 

- intermediate the sale on behalf of the client,

- verify the stipulations of the contract,

- verify the property's documents,

- assist the client in changing the ownership

- complete any other legal procedures after the sale 

Due diligence (yes/no) 

Yes

Documents necessary for the property purchase 

 - the passport,

- the Greek visa (necessary for non-EU citizens),

- the Tax Registry Number (foreigners can obtain it too),

- information on the current residency in Greece (where applicable),

- bank returns and others 

Main property taxes 

- transfer tax,

- registration fees,

- notary fees,

- the lawyers' fee,

- real estate fee (if the property is sold through a real estate agency) 

Parties involved in the sale/purchase of a property 

- the seller,

- the buyer,

- the lawyer,

- the notary,

- the real estate agent

Fees charged by notaries/lawyers (if applicable)

- notary: maximum 1% of the value of the property (+VAT) ;

- lawyer: between 0.4% and 2% of the value of the property (+ VAT)

Law regulating property and property sales in Greece

- the Greek Civil Code,

- the Code of Civil Procedure,

- the Law 2308/1995,

- the Law 2664/1998

Conditions to purchase for EU nationals  EU citizens can easily purchase properties in Greece, without any restrictions imposed by the local institutions 
Conditions to purchase for non-EU nationals 

They have to comply with certain rules, including visa requirements. In certain parts of the country, less restrictions can apply.

Documents necessary for the purchase of commercial/industrial property 

For companies:

- the corporate documents,

- the ID and passport of the person representing the company,

- information of the seller,

- the deeds of owernship,

- the declarations of the parties for the transfer of ownership,

- evidence on having the funds to purchase the property

Institutions involved in the registration of new ownership 

The Land Registry 

The mandatory provisions of a property sale contract 

- the accurate description of the property,

- the obligations of the parties,

- the price,

- the methods of payment,

- the date at which the buyer must transfer the money etc.

Types of property contracts to sign in Greece

- preliminary contract,

- sale contract

 
 
It will do you no good just to get the title of your new property if you do not have a team of Greek lawyers to help you register this document with the real estate registration authority in Greece.
 
Observing these requirements on your own not only takes a lot of time, but it also takes experience dealing with the Greek authorities to expedite the process as much as possible.
 
Our law firm in Greece can assist you in the process of acquiring property in any part of the country, so you can rely on us if you want to buy a property in Crete or buy a house in Corfu
 
This way, you only have to worry about choosing the type of real estate project you would like to participate in, and our real estate lawyers in Greece will take care of the paperwork.
 

Is it necessary to have a property lawyer in Greece to buy real estate?

 
It is recommended to be represented by a team of real estate lawyers in Greece to purchase properties in this country regardless of the purpose for which the acquisition is being made (residential or commercial purposes). 
 
Although the Greek law does not impose buyers or sellers to be represented by lawyers, this is almost always the case, as the services of property lawyers are rather necessary throughout this procedure, in order to avoid any types of legal issues.
 
Property lawyers in Greece are mainly involved in the drafting and ratification of the sales contract. Still, it is common for them to also represent you in the cadastral search and in assisting the owner of the property in entering its title in the Greek property registry.
 
A consequence of having legal representation in Greece is that buying a property is a clear process without misunderstandings because both parties are properly represented by Greek lawyers who protect their interests following the rules of law.
 
If you want to know more about the requirements to be fulfilled in order to acquire a real estate property on the Greek market, we recommend you to address to a team of specialists in the field and to a law firm in Greece that can give you detailed information about the local legislation.
 

How much should one expect to pay for real estate in Greece? 

 
The prices are heavily influenced by the Greek region and by the type of property available for sale. Of course, the quality of the property can increase the price, the available surface, but also the economic content of the country.
 
Currently, the prices of real estate properties have gradually increased in the last 2 years, especially for properties located in urban areas, where the demand is higher. 
 
Thus, persons buying an apartment in Greece located in one of the largest cities should expect to pay more than they might have paid 2-3 years ago. 
 
According to the Bank of Greece, on a year-to-year basis, measured from the 3rd quarter of 2020 to the 3rd quarter of 2021, the prices for urban properties increased by 8.35%
 
The highest increase in prices was observed in the country’s capital, Athens. Some of the highlights of the real estate property market in Greece are presented below: 
 
  • persons buying an apartment in Greece in the city of Athens can pay minimum EUR 2,000 per 1 square meter of property (measured for 2021);
  • the price per 1 square meter is valued at EUR 2,000 – EUR 2,785 in Athens
  • measured as percentages, the increase for 2021 (compared to 2020), varies from 3.6% to 10%;
  • good news is that if you do not want to buy a house in Greece or another type of property, you can simply rent it, as the rent is valued at EUR 9 to EUR 16 per 1 square meter; 
  • over the last decade (2010- 2020), the prices charged for property rentals in Greece declined by 25%. 
 
Please mind that if you are interested in buying a house in Santorini, you should expect to pay larger sums of money, as this region is one of the most popular Greek touristic destinations
 
For instance, an apartment of only 45 square meters in Santorini can be listed for sale at a price of up to EUR 850,000 (high-end property).  
 
Those buying a house in Santorini can spend minimum EUR 445,000 for a detached property of 83 square meters to even EUR 3,500,000 for a property of 250 square meters. 
 
Persons who do not have a large budget for purchasing a property can look for real estate offers in other Greek regions, such as Corfu
 
Persons buying a house in Corfu have more affordable options – houses are listed for sale at prices of EUR 154,000 (85 square meters), EUR 175,000 (100 square meters), EUR 100,000 (154 square meters). 
 
The price of buying a house in Greece islands can vary greatly, and also the conditions the buyers (and the sellers) must abide by. 
 
Because of this, we highly recommend you to request legal assistance from our team of Greek lawyers if you want to know more details on the applicable legislation, prior to starting the purchase procedure. 
 
We invite you to watch a short presentation on how to buy a house in Greece
 
 
 

What do I need to register a property in Greece?

 
There are several requirements and conditions that you must fulfill before you can register a new property with the Greek authorities. But the most important and the ones you should mainly keep in mind are the following:
 
  1. with the help of your real estate lawyer in Greece, you should make sure that you have verified that your property documentation is properly done and that it does not need amendments or adjustments;
  2. this verification process is crucial because once you start the real estate registration process with the authorities, it is very difficult to make corrections;
  3. gather and present the documents required by the authorities to process the application.

 

Generally, the authorities will ask you to have:

 
  • copies of every deed evidencing your rights to the property (e.g. a copy of the contract);
  • proof that you have made the deposit or transfer corresponding to the registration fee in the Greek Property Registry;
  • copy of your valid identity card or valid passport;
  • the tax identification number.
 

What kind of real estate can I buy in Greece?

 
In general, the real estate projects that our property lawyers in Greece can help you buy are divided into 2 classes.
 
On the one hand, there are the properties that fall within the General Plan of Ordination, and on the other, some properties fall outside this Plan.
 
The properties within the General Management Plan are generally the ones that you will be able to access because there are more of these types of properties on the Greek market.
 
These are known in Greece as construction sites, although buildings or residences already constructed also fall into this category, which you can also buy.
 
Foreigners can buy real estate in Greece with almost any restrictions. However, you must know that there are 2 categories of foreigners. 
 
The 1st one refers to foreigners who are citizens of the European Union (EU), who can purchase properties following the same regulations available for Greek citizens
 
The 2nd one refers to non-EU citizens, who may need to comply with additional rules (many of them referring to immigration aspects – obtaining a visa, residence permit, etc.). 
 
However, both categories can easily buy a house in Greece islands. The properties foreigners can buy can be land used for residential purposes, houses, apartments and other real estate properties
 
 

Overview of the Greek real estate market

 
Of course, investing in real estate is one of the biggest commitments anyone can make to a jurisdiction. In the Greece's case, fortunately, there are figures to justify such an investment:
 
  • currently real estate purchases account for 25.3% of foreign direct investments in Greece;
  • property prices in Greece are significantly lower than in other European jurisdictions;
  • the local government has promoted tax incentives related to real estate purchase such as a 30% reduction in the single property tax;
  • on average, the yield for a property in an average area is 4%.
 
If you want to know more details about how to buy real estate in Greece, contact our team of Greek real estate lawyers right now to review your case on a personalized basis.
 
Our team of lawyers in Greece can also help foreign clients in the process of buying a land plot in Greece for the purpose of building a new residential property.