BUYING A PROPERTY IN GREECE

Buying a property in Greece is an excellent investment considering that the housing prices in Greece are still low due to the financial crisis. We shall not forget that despite the financial crisis, Greece remains a European country with a unique climate, great private health and educational infrastructure, and with very low crime rate. The prices for buying a Greek property are considerably lower than those in Italy, Spain, France and other European countries. From a legal perspective, buying a property in Greece is a complicated procedure which could be proved tricky for a foreign investor. Our Greek lawyers can responsibly undertake all the necessary actions regarding the purchase of a Greek property. Mainly, our Greek lawyers can objectively and with honesty make a financial assessment of the property, by taking into account the buyer’s – investor’s interests, and not the other parties’ interests, such as the buyer or the real estate agent who get involved into the transaction. Our long experience in the Greek land market and our professionalism may guarantee to you that we will complete the purchase of a Greek property with success and safety.

The procedure for buying a Greek property includes many stages and the legal support by our Greek lawyers – specialised in such matters – is provided in every step. More analytically

 

1.Finding a suitable property.

 

Our Law Firm may bring you into touch with the most serious real estate agencies in Greece which you can trust. Above this, after finding the best property for you, our Greek lawyers may make an independent financial assessment in order to assure you that the property’s sale price is indeed a fair one, considering matters, such as the location, the ‘’fair value’’ set by the Greek Government, other past purchases in the same location, and generally comparative data.

 

2.Negotiations for buying a property in Greece – Presale agreement.

 

Usually, the sellers treat the foreign investors as an opportunity for selling their property in a higher price compared to the one, had the buyer been a Greek citizen., or for imposing unfair sale conditions. The presence of a Greek lawyer during the negotiations will guarantee to you that no unfair conditions will be imposed neither will anyone exploit you.

When the whole procedure is complete, a presale agreement is usually signed between the buyer and the seller, where the terms and conditions of the final purchase are described and a payment in advance is given.

It should be underlined that this presale agreement has a minor legal force, and this is not known to the foreign investors. Our Law Firm will take care so that the terms and conditions of the presale agreement are suitable and do not jeopardise your interests, that the advance payment is reasonable, and that you are not at risk of losing it.

 

3.Due diligence of the property.

 

The due diligence procedure for buying a property includes the check of deeds, mainly whether the property has a mortgage or other weights. Considering that in Greece the Land Register is not yet completed, the due diligence procedure is very important and absolutely necessary for every investor, and it should be done by an experienced Greek lawyer in order that the buyer is certain about his investment.

Our Greek lawyers, specialised in the Greek land market, will inform you about the building regulation regarding the use of the building and its shared parts. Many times, when a foreign investor buys a property for a special use, either professional or commercial, he later discovers that this use is prohibited according to the building regulation. Our Greek lawyers will check the building regulation and will inform you whether this specific use is permitted or not.

In case that the property is near the sea or a forest, it should be checked whether there are restrictions imposed by the law in favor of the sea and the forests protection. This check is absolutely necessary when the investor wishes to buy a land or a building which is located in such an area.

 

4.The urban legality of property.

 

Regarding the property you may buy in Greece, it needs to be checked whether it was built according to its planning permission or not, if it is legal or there are parts of the building which were built later, something very common in the Greek land market. Our Greek lawyers will indicate a specialised engineer to do this check, in order to be certain that your property satisfies all the requirements set out by the law and by the planning permission, before you proceed to the purchase. In case that there are some illegal parts of the property, there is a possibility, according to the Greek legislation, of presenting the necessary documents and paying a penalty, so that your property gets ‘’legalized’’. Our Law Firm is in a position of undertaking the whole procedure.

 

5.Tax procedure.

 

Our specialised Greek lawyers will undertake the submission of your tax statement for buying a property in the tax authorities and the payment of the necessary taxes, in order to be able to proceed with the purchase.

 

6.Preparing and signing the contract.

 

Our Greek lawyers in cooperation with our notary, or any notary indicated by you, will prepare the purchase contract and will guarantee that you do not have any problem with the transfer of the property. During the signing of the contract our lawyers will represent you so that you have a legal support, and they will also proceed with other important matters such as the issue of cheques.

 

7.Registration of the purchase contract to the Land Register.

 

Our Greek lawyers will register the purchase contract to the Land Register and will deliver to you a complete file with copies of your contract and copies of the necessary certificates, which prove that the specific property is now belonging to you and is free from mortgages or other weights.

 

8.Support after the purchase.

 

Owning a property in Greece makes necessary some further actions and care. We can undertake or support you with everything, such as:

Acting as your local representative for tax and legal issues.

Managing your property. We can help you lease your property, pay the utility bills, find and pay a cleaning service and all the other daily care.