The following is a GUIDELINE only on the Purchase Process, from agreeing to purchase a property or plot, to Contract stage and the final receipt of the property key.
- The client goes to English speaking Lawyer and a Notary Public and with his/her passport and details of his/her parents, profession and address. If the client does not speak English, then a Lawyer with knowledge of the client’s language should be found, if this possible and one is available and if not, then a translator is recommended.
- The Notary draws up a generic (or specific if so requested) Power of Attorney, which will give the named Lawyer the Power of Attorney to act on the client’s behalf in all aspects of purchasing a property within the Greek State or the local prefecture, including withdrawing the relevant funds for this purpose from the client’s bank account specifically set up for that purpose. A Birth Certificate (specifically stating parents’ names) for each named purchaser and proof of address in home country (e.g. via utility bill, bank statement etc.) should also be supplied at this point, so that the Lawyer will be quickly able to apply for a Greek tax number required in order to open up the bank account. The Birth Certificate need not be the original, but certainly a good quality copy that is clearly legible.
The fee for the Notary for making this Power of Attorney document is from 70 -100 Euros. No other money needs to be paid out at this point.
- If there is no time for the client to arrange the Power of Attorney before he/she leaves Crete, he/she will have to do this at a Greek Consulate in the country of his/her residence, although this can be a more time consuming and expensive procedure.
- Because of the above points, the client is not under any pressure to make a decision while he/she is still in Crete, but can decide at leisure back in his/her own country. The Power of Attorney lasts indefinitely and is generic, for any property or plot within Crete. It can be cancelled at any point personally at the Notary, or via the Greek Consulate in the relevant country.
- Once the decision is made to go ahead and purchase the chosen property or plot, the client writes to the Estate Agent and to the Lawyer for whom he/she has given Power of Attorney, confirming his/her intention to purchase the property.
The client formally asks the Lawyer to carry out a Search at the Land Registry on the property, to ensure the titles are clean and that there are no debts owing on the property.
Usually it is the same Lawyer that assists and is present, by law, with the Notary when contracts are exchanged.
- If the Birth Certificate has not been supplied yet, then a good quality copy must be sent to the Lawyer via fax, post or scanned for email attachment. If the Birth Certificate is hand written, then a good quality printed version must also be supplied. This can be an informal document. The Lawyer can then apply for a Greek Tax Number and open up the bank account. If a married couple is buying the property or plot, then the Marriage Certificate can also be sent at the same time.
Additional documents required to open up a bank account in Greece are now required. These are: Utility bill showing proof of address; telephone or mobile phone bill; tax declaration or pay slip showing client’s tax number in their home country.
- The Lawyer will confirm the amount to send for the Search, the deposit for the Lawyer’s fees for acting as Power of Attorney and the 10% deposit for the property or plot, to the client’s bank account in Crete, which the Lawyer has now opened on behalf of the client.
- The Lawyer completes the Search and a written report is produced with the results. Only then and with the Lawyer’s and client’s agreement, will the deposit be passed to the vendor, signing an agreement or a pre-contract if this is requested.
- If, for ANY reason, the customer changes his/her mind and does not proceed with the purchase of the property, THIS DEPOSIT IS NOT REFUNDED. If, for ANY reason, the property cannot be sold due to complications or problems arising from the vendor or his agent, the deposit will be fully refunded, without interest.
- Documents of bank transfers are considered receipts and important for presentation to the Tax Office.
- What follows is carried out by the NOTARY PUBLIC. After all documents are collated, the necessary costs and taxes which must be paid are calculated and presented to the Tax Office.
For a typical purchase, the indicative and approximate costs should be estimated at between 8% and 10% of the contract price. The costs are precise at the time of signing the contract and go higher if the Tax Value of the property is higher than the selling price, upon which all the legal costs are calculated. In addition to these costs is the Lawyer’s fee. Extra work by the Lawyer, Notary and Real Estate Agent can result in higher costs.
The Tax Office property value assessments are per individual property and based on pre-established and known assessed prices per area. These are updated every couple of years by the Greek state. The purchase taxes (always paid by the purchaser) and the fees for the Notary Public, Land Registry etc. are calculated on the contract price.
- As soon as the information on the taxes and fees is available, all the costs related to the property price, the taxes and the Notary Public and Lawyer’s fees are to be paid by the purchaser via his/her Power of Attorney. The customer is asked to send these costs, together with the remainder of the purchase price to his/her bank account in Crete, for the lawyer, using the Power of Attorney to withdraw.
Indicative Fees & Costs
Lawyer’s fee including Search: Generally 1 – 1.5% plus 24% VAT of the selling price (or whatever has been pre-agreed).
Topographical Survey (if necessary): From 350 Euros + 24% VAT. depending on plot size.
Purchase Tax: 3 % of the contract price.
Notary Public: Fees vary according to the price of the property on the contract. For example for a contract price up to 120,000 Euros the fee is 1% and becomes lower for prices higher than 120,000 Euros. Additionally (and paid with the Notary fee) is a 200-250 Euros fee payable for official copies of contracts etc..
Land Registry: 0.475% plus 24% VAT on the contract price for properties that are outside the cadastral area and 0.575 % plus 24% VAT for properties that are inside the cadastral area.
Estate Agency fees: upon agreement between the two parties. Following the last law 4072/2012 for Real Estate Agents the agreement between the two parties should be written (and not verbal). E-mail or fax is also proof of agreement. The Estate Agent’s participation is necessary to be also declared in the purchase contract. Extra work involved in the sale or purchase outside the remit of the Real Estate Agent, but carried out by the Agent on behalf of the client so that the sale or purchase can proceed, can sometimes result in an additional fee, again under agreement.
- Contracts are exchanged in front of the Notary Public and in the presence of the Lawyer. Also present is the Estate Agent who should also sign the Contract in order to show legal responsibility for the purchase.
- The registration at the Land Registry is made within the next few days after Contract signature and is the definite and irrevocable proof that the purchaser now owns the property. THE KEY IS HANDED OVER.
YOU NOW OWN YOUR OWN HOME OR PLOT OF LAND IN CRETE! CONGRATULATIONS!