Selling & Buying Property in Greece - Step By Step

This is an out line of the process of selling and buying property in Greece. An offer is accepted and details are exchanged, which should include:

  • Names, addresses and contact details of each party.

  • Names and contact details of lawyers representing both parties.

  • And usually the seller should give the buyer a copy of BOTH the existing title deed ( " symvolaio" ) and associated plan ("topografiko") plus if the original was dated before 2000, a new legally complete plan.
    (Please note that as yet it is not required by law for the seller to provide the buyer with a full structural plan (kartopsi). If the buyer requires one then they must have it drawn up and pay for it themselves using their own nominated structural engineer. It is recommend that you do this so you have an independent, true survey of the number of square meters you are buying.) 

Both parties must by law have legal representation. Both the buyer and the seller must instruct a lawyer to act on their behalf, each giving their lawyer their power of attorney to act for them for the purpose of the sale. If a real estate agent was used for the introduction, they will require both the seller and the buyer to sign their agreement for payment (due usually when the contract is signed). The buyer or their lawyer nominates a Public Notary (Symvolaiografos, Συμβολαιογραφο ς ) paid for by the buyer, who will produce a draft contract of sale (Neo Symvol e o). If the proposed signing date is likely to be longer than 2 or 3 weeks from the date of offer, then it is normal for a deposit to be requested by the seller. The buyer will require:

  • an AFM (ΑΦΜ)

  • A Greek Bank Account in the name of the buyer especially for foreign buyers who will later need to prove funds came from outside Greece so as to ensure they don't at a later stage have to pay income tax because they don't have proof of where the money came from to make the purchase.

The seller will be required to present:

  • Proof of ownership, previous title deed, inheritance papers and proof that they paid any tax due.

  • A1 tax declaration.

  • Local community tax TAP papers.

The Public Notary draws up the draft contract of sale, including any stipulations and conditions agreed to during the sale price negotions (ie sale inclusive of furniture) and issues the draft to both lawyers for approval. The Public Notary will calculate the objective value of the property to be sold. This value will be noted on the contract along with the agreed selling price. The Public Notary will also calculate all other fees due:

  • tax due for payment by the buyer based on the objective value or the agreed selling price WHICHEVER is the higher.

  • fees due to the Greek Law Association which must be paid by both lawyers (and passed on to their respective clients) and

  • fees due to the land registry office.

The buyer's lawyer will perform searches and other checks to ensure that the property is clear of debts or legal action and that the seller has clear title to sell and that boundaries are also clearly defined. Once the draft contract is agreed a date for signing will be set. A couple of days prior to the contract signing, both lawyers will pay their fees due to the Greek Law Association, and the buyer (or their lawyer) will pay the Property Purchase Tax. As part of the signing process, the Public Notary will request all the papers and receipts needed from the seller and the buyer to append to the contract. The contract is signed and payment is exchanged in the Public Notary's office. The method of payment is noted on the contract, ie banker's draft, along with the method of payment for the deposit if one was given. Before everyone leaves, the seller is required to hand over all keys and the receipts for the most recent utility bills, ie water and electricity and closure of the phone line. Ideally the meters for the utilities should be read and agreed between the buyer and seller as close to the date/time of signing. After signing, the Public Notary will issue papers which must be taken by the buyer or their lawyer to the appropriate land registry office. Property owners are required by law to complete a form called an E9 which must be deposited with their local tax office by the end of the March following the transfer of the property. This must be done by both the seller and the buyer. Property owners are legally obliged to complete and submit an E1 declaration annually. The buyer or their representative, will need to visit the local administrative office of the DEH (electricity supplier) and water office to change the name on the bills. They must take the meter readings, a copy of the last paid bill (in previous owners  name) and a full copy of their new title deed, plus a photocopy of their passport.