When the price of a (second) house or plot of land is agreed upon, the closing of the deal can be started. A lawyer must support you in this phase. Pelops GreekHouses will guide and advise you, and we will recommend a number of lawyers who have experience with foreign purchasers. Naturally you are always free to select your own lawyer. Your lawyer will only have your interests at heart. We advise you to give your lawyer power of attorney so that he can act in your name. The costs of a Greek lawyer amount to approximately 1 to 1.5% of the selling price with a minimum fee of € 500 (depending on the value of the property and the possible extra activities). These costs are only charged after the lawyer has conducted an investigation into the legality of the sale.
From the moment that the lawyer is granted power of attorney by you he is able to:
Apply for your Greek VAT number, have your papers officially translated into Greek investigate the legality of the title of the real estate and the purchaser a proof of the introduction of a 'pink slip' to be arranged with the bank after you have transferred money into his (third party) account, make a down payment on the asking price to the seller sign the sales agreement pay transfer tax, carry out the final payment on delivery of your (second) house or plot of land, possibly take care of your keys and papers during your absences.
The purchasing of a (second) house or plot of land in Greece is done through a fixed procedure:
A pre-contract is signed by the purchasing and selling party, obligating both parties to finalize the transaction prior to an already agreed upon date at the agreed upon price. In the intervening period, your lawyer will investigate whether there are any debts on the house or land and whether all taxes have been paid. In the case of land, the lawyer will have to check whether building on it is permitted. The period between the signing of the pre-contract and the signing of the purchase contract generally lasts for 30 days. In some cases permission is needed from the Greek Forestry Commission if restrictions may be included in the zoning plan.
At the moment the pre-contract is signed the purchaser must pay a deposit of at least 10% of the purchasing price into the account of the owner. He will retain the deposit until the time of the transfer. If the transfer does not take place because your lawyer cannot grant his approval, the deposit will be returned. However, if the purchaser does not want to go through with the purchase, then he will lose his deposit. If the selling party does not want to go through with the sale, for any reason whatsoever, then he must repay double (x 2) the amount of the original down payment!
Together with the notary, your lawyer will be responsible for the preparation of the definitive purchase contract. The undersigning of the purchase contract will take place in the office of the notary.
Additional costs over and above the asking price which you must take into account are:
a) New taks low 01-01-2014: transfer tax: 3% from the definitive purchase contract.
b) Notary: 2 to 2.5 % (+ 23% VAT) of the value of the property as it is determined by the Revenue Service.
c) Lawyer: 1 to 1.5% (+ 23% VAT) of the sales price (depending on the value of the property and the possible extra activities)
d) Broker: 3 or 4% of the purchasing price (+ 21% VAT).
Once the transfer is arranged and is definitive the notary will have it registered in the national register, extra cost approximately 0,5%. This register retains a copy of the definitive contract, just as the notary does.
As a rule of thumb, it is best to expect that you will pay on average around 7% of the costs (excluding brokerage costs) born by the purchaser over and above the asking price of an extant (second) house!
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