Buying real estate in Greece

More and more people want to buy property in Greece and for good reasons: here was the cradle of the oldest civilization in Europe and the nature is unique, the many islands scattered in the sea form a fantastic landscape.

If you want a property in Greece, you must be aware that the procedure for the purchase differs in significant respects from the procedure for the purchase of property in Denmark.
Buying property in Greece takes place at a notary’s office and you will very often need assistance from a Danish lawyer who has a connection with a local colleague and possibly also a civil engineer.

The lawyer’s task is to check the ownership of the property and assist in drawing up the documents relating to the purchase (the deed). The lawyer’s involvement is mandatory if the property’s price exceeds a certain amount (see below).

Land registers do not yet exist throughout Greece, but in all towns and in some rural areas there are real estate registries covering the entire territory, where all owners are registered and where rights over real estate are noted. In this office, which in Greek is called Ipothicofilakio, all transfers of immovable property in the area under the office are registered, as well as all liens, attachments and rights of third parties in the same area.

When the legal situation is as described, the control from the lawyer’s side consists in determining
the context of the property’s acquisition by going through all registered deeds over the last 20 years, the period required to acquire the property via claim. The purpose of the said inspection is also to establish that there are no servitudes, liens or other third-party rights on the property.

In all real estate transactions with a value above € 29,347.03 in the Athens/Piraeus area and € 11,738.81 for the rest of the country, the drawing up of the deed by the notary must be checked by the parties’ lawyers, who must sign the draft deed and their signature must be legalized by the Greek Bar Association. The same lawyers must participate in the notary business and sign the final deed together with the notary.

It is advisable to seek assistance from an engineer/architect if you want to buy an undeveloped plot where you cannot be sure that you can obtain a building permit or in cases where you are buying an old house or a house under construction.


Property transfer tax

Property transfer tax amounts to 3% of the purchase price. An additional 3% is added to the total tax paid on property transfer, which is paid to the municipality where the property is located. It is the buyer who must pay this cost.

Notary fees

Notary fees are paid by the buyer and constitute a fixed price calculated as follows:

  • 0.80% for the first €120,000
  • 0.70% for the part of the price that goes from € 120,000 to € 380,000
  • 0.65% for the part of the price that goes from € 380,000 to € 2,000,000
  • 0.60 for properties costing more than €2,000,000.

The following amount must be added to the fixed price:
€20 plus €5 for each side of the deed after the first page and €4 for each side of the copy of the deed that the partners will receive after signing the deed. Normally, the number of pages in a Greek deed is no more than 30.

VAT amounts to 24%.

Registration costs

Registration costs ½% of the purchase price, paid by the buyer.

Miscellaneous costs €200.

The Bar Association

Assistance from a lawyer is not mandatory but advisable, especially if you do not understand Greek.

Lawyer’s fee

In addition to costs for the Danish lawyer, which amount to DKK 21,000, the buyer must pay a fee to the Greek lawyer.

The fee for the Greek lawyer is freely agreed, however, the minimum lawyer’s fee for reviewing all documents and the deed is 1% of the purchase price if the purchase price does not exceed €44,000.

For the part of the sum that exceeds € 44,000 up to € 1,400,000, the minimum fee is 0.5% of the purchase price

If the purchase price exceeds € 1,400,000 but not € 3,000,000, the minimum fee is 0.4% of the purchase price.

If the property costs more than €3,000,000, the minimum fee is reduced gradually.

VAT is 24% of the purchase price.

It is good legal practice that the lawyer assesses the total cost involved in the case, including any travel to and from the location, and agrees the amount of his fee with the client before taking on the case.

Broker’s costs are paid by the seller. There is no fixed amount that the seller must pay to the broker, but an amount equivalent to 2% of the purchase price is considered usual and reasonable.

Taxation in case of resale

In case of resale within the first 5 years, a tax equivalent to 20% of profit must be paid.

In the case of resale in the period between 5 and 15 years, taxation of profit amounts to 10%, while in cases where resale takes place after 15 years but before 25 years, the tax amounts to 5% of profit.

When sold after 25 years, the profit is tax-free.