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Buying real estate in Greece

A foreigner can freely purchase property in Greece. There are only some restrictions for non-EU nationals: purchasing property near military bases, national borders and in some islands, like Santorini, requires special permission from the Ministry of Defence.

Once you have selected the property to purchase in Greece, the first step is to hire a real estate lawyer. He will be responsible for performing due diligence and making sure your interests are protected throughout the whole transaction. The lawyer is responsible for performing the due diligence and draw up an initial purchase agreement, if such thing is necessary. The lawyer must also perform title search, check if there are any charges on the property, if the construction followed government planning regulations, and all taxes due have been paid by the seller. This can be accomplished at the Registry of Mortgages and depending on the case, the buyer may need to hire an engineer.

You will also need an accountant who will secure on your behalf a Tax Registry Number from the Internal Revenue Service and will be your tax representative, if you do not reside in Greece and if you do not speak the language. Your accountant will also submit your tax declaration for your property every year.

Your lawyer is obliged to get copies of the title from the seller. It is your responsibility to hire a notary public who will be in charge of initially calculating the governmental value of the property, the tax to be paid and preparing the form to be submitted at the Tax Authorities prior to the signature of the contract deed.

The notary also drafts the contract and ensures that all certificates required obligatorily by law are in place, taxes are paid and generally oversees the finalization of the purchase. Buyer and seller- or the person who legally represents them- must sign the contract deed in the presence of the notary public who will validate the transaction and keep it in public records. The original contract remains at the notary’s records and the notary may only issue official copies, which are charged by law. Upon completion of the transaction, official copy of the deed and all necessary certificates are submitted to the Land Registry and the Cadastre to change property ownership to your name. Certificates of registration at the Land Registry are issued within approximately two weeks from submission date.

The buyer is responsible to pay for the lawyer, notary public, accountant, engineer, if applicable, transfer tax and land registry fees.

In case of a Chinese buyer, KCH Law can assist the buyer to collect all necessary documents for bank account opening in Greece and for applying for the Residence Permit and officially translate from Chinese to Greek language all required documents through our verified mandarin speaking lawyer Dafni Korobeli.