Any foreigner can become a property owner in Greece. The country does not apply any restrictions on purchase for all EU citizens. Following are the basic steps of buying a property in Greece:
Find a lawyer
You will need to find a lawyer (preferably speaking your language) if you are not present in the country during the purchase process.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is recommended for him/her to perform all necessary actions for the purchase on your behalf. The POA is drawn by a Notary public in Greek in the presence of a translator (compulsory).
The lawyer has to carry out a legal search on the property at the Land Registry/National Cadaster, to ensure that the titles are clean and that there are no debts or third party claims on the property that you are interested.
Greek Tax Number (AFM) Issuance
This is required by the Greek law and is needed for all owners of assets in Greece such as a plot of land, a house, a vehicle as well as for the opening of a bank account.
Your Passport and birth certificate are required in this step. If a married couple is buying a property in both names, then the Marriage Certificate is needed too.
Bank account opening
The lawyer has to open a bank account in your name.
Through this account, all necessary payments will be made and will prove that money used for your property purchase came into Greece from abroad and are not taxable in the country.
Documents required to open a Greek bank account are standard regardless of the bank.
You will be informed for these from your lawyer.
Collection of documentation
The lawyer and the Notary Public are collecting the necessary property documents which are essential for the purchase procedure.
These documents are: the property deed, building licenses and plans, topographic survey, Forestal, Cadastral and Archeological certificates.
The Lawyer completes the legal search and when this is done, a written report is produced with the results and sent to the client. Only then and with the Lawyer’s and client’s agreement, the deposit is passed to the vendor by signing an agreement or a pre-contract at the Notary’s and then the property is blocked off the market.
This deposit is usually the 10% of the purchase price.
Purchase costs calculation
The notary is calculating the purchase taxes and all the required fees for the contract (notary fees, lawyer fees, land registry fees, agency fees) and the client is informed.
These costs have to be sent together with the remainder of the purchase price of the property, from the client to the bank account in Greece.
Taxes and contract preparation
The notary is filling the necessary purchase tax forms and the taxes are paid to the State from the lawyer.
In the meantime the purchase contract is drawn up by the notary together with the necessary paperwork.
Signing the purchase contract
When all paperwork is in order, the lawyer signs the purchase contract at the notary’s office together with the vendor and is paying the agreed price to him. If the buyer is present a translator is required.
After the contract signature, the following and final step is the contract’s registration on the Land Registry. This is the confirmation that you are a property owner in Crete.