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The process of buying a property in Crete - Greece

Prices of properties in Crete are in Euro and generally do not include lawyer fees, notary and registration fees, transfer tax and estate agency fees. Calculating the costs, it is easier to budget for an additional 9-12% as a guide for total purchase costs. Our Agency fee is 3% of the final purchase price plus VAT 24%.

Legal advice: It is highly recommended that you use a lawyer to deal with all legal and administrative formalities. Using a lawyer based in Crete is more efficient as he/she can visit and liaise with the various parties involved. We can recommend qualified lawyers who are based in Crete and familiar with the process. You can then sign a Power of Attorney for the lawyer to act on your behalf, issue a Greek Tax Number (AFM), open a Greek bank account, carry out the necessary legal surveys, deal with the various payments required and represent you and sign the final contract.

The Private Agreement is the name of the first document issued during the purchase process. It will be signed by you or your chosen lawyer and the seller and will stipulate the terms of the sale and specifics of the property or plot of land you are purchasing (location, size, price, identity of seller etc...). The 10% deposit is due at this stage. We can assist you with foreign exchange and free currency transfers.

The Final Contract will then be signed a few weeks later in the presence of a local Notary Public by you or your chosen lawyer, who will send you the title deeds and other relevant documents. This includes the original Import Documents from the bank, which will be needed by your Greek accountant to fill in your annual tax declaration.

Balance or staged payments: If you are purchasing a plot of land or existing property, the balance of the purchase price must be paid at the signing of the final contract. If you are purchasing an off-plan property, the balance is paid in stages according to the various stages of construction.

Your chosen lawyer will advise you of the necessary steps to take and we will remain by your side throughout the process to ensure your purchase is a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is property ownership secure in Crete?

The Registry of Mortgages is the State authority charged with securing property ownership. All property titles are held, and all encumbrances registered, there. Property is filed under the owner's name; lawyers/attorneys are entitled to check under the name of any individual or organisation. A thorough property title search here will uncover any/all extra hidden claims, covenants or charges attached to the property; it will also confirm the proper previous transfer of the property. This must always be done as part of the transactional process.

Who can purchase property in Greece/Crete?

EU citizens
Generally speaking, all EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete.
Non-EU citizens
Generally, Non-EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete. For details of current regulations, contact the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country.
Residence Permits for Non EU citizens
Greece can grant residence permits, for Non-EU citizens and their families with the acquisition of property worth more than 250.000 Euros [Read more]

Am I required to purchase property in my own name?

Not necessarily. You can purchase property in joint name, with spouse and/or other third parties, in the names of children, legal heirs or a company.

Do I need a Greek Tax Registration?

Yes. Anyone purchasing a property is required to have a Greek Tax Registration Number. You should apply to the local (Greek) tax office, with your passport/ID and sometimes birth certificate. Your appointed solicitor can make the application on your behalf, if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.

Can I obtain a mortgage in Greece?

Yes. Each bank or financial institution may have its own stipulated requirements of the applicant; but generally, with your passport/ID, you will need to provide proof of earnings (P60's, payslips or tax returns if self employed) for 2-3 years. You should also bear in mind that you must be able to pay all closing costs before the bank will release any funds.

What is a Notary Public, and do I need one?

The Notary Public is a lawyer who represents the Greek government in the property purchase transaction. You must appoint a Notary or you will not be able to legally purchase a property. It is his/her responsibility to process and certify the transaction. He/she will draw up all the necessary legal documentation. The contracts must be signed in the presence of the Notary who must be happy that they have been read and understood by all parties.

Do I need a lawyer?

It is highly recommended to have legal representation throughout the transaction. Your lawyer is also responsible for carrying out the necessary legal surveys and property title search.

Do I need a Greek bank account?

Yes. You need a Greek bank account for the transfer of funds. Among other things this account shows that the money has come from an external country; and so is not subject to local taxation. Opening an account is usually easy. You will need to show your passport/ID and tax registration. It takes no time at all, and you are not required to make an opening deposit on the day.

Am I required to sign the contract personally?

Not necessarily. If you wish, your solicitor can sign on your behalf if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.

What and how much are ‘closing costs'?

Closing costs include all legal expenses, fees and taxes. There is no set figure for this; but it is generally prudent to budget for an additional 9 - 12% as a guide for total purchase costs. You or your appointed representative should clarify this at the earliest opportunity.

How should I best insure my new property?

The building industry on Crete is subject to EU regulations and standards. In addition there are strict local regulations for earthquake protection. It is therefore prudent to insure your new property in the standard manner against fire, water damage, storm damage, earthquake, theft and third party.

As a property owner, will I have to file Tax Returns in Greece?

Yes. Anyone owning a property in Greece is legally bound to file annually an E9 form with the Greek tax authorities. This must be filed in conjunction with the basic Income tax E1 form. If you don't actually have an income in Greece you should enter "0" income in the E1. Your accountant will help with this.

What is meant by the Tax Objective Value of property?

The Tax Objective Value of a property is assessed by the Greek tax authorities for the purpose of levying taxes. It is not the purchase price of the property; generally being significantly lower than that.

How are utilities bills generally paid?

Generally, these can be paid by standing order by your bank. You can, of course, pay in person at the relevant office.


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