Land buying guide
If you are considering buying real property on Crete, you should make a decision which will change your life for the better; a decision you will never regret.
As soon as you have chosen a real estate and agreed on its price, you must do the following:
You will need a lawyer who will provide you with all necessary information and will take care of all details and aspects of the purchase process.
We will be happy to suggest you a lawyer specialising in procedures of this kind. Of course, you can hire a lawyer of your own choice.
After choosing your real estate and before carrying on with anything else, you will have to authorise the lawyer to examine the title of this property at the local land registry, where all relevant information is filed.
The lawyer will check the ownership status of the property and the number of individuals holding ownership rights in it; make sure that all taxes have been paid; find out whether the property has been mortgaged to a bank etc. As soon as it has been established that there is no problem with any of the above aspects, the buyer must make an advance payment.
You must make an advance payment (based on the value of the property), so that the real estate you have chosen is removed from the market and the agreed price gets fixed. Then, a private contract (also serving as proof of payment) is signed.
The private contract includes the following:
- The price of the property.
- The way of payment.
- Possible modifications in the construction of the property.
- The deadline for the signature of the final contract.
- Provisions on the possibility of repudiation of the buyer or the seller.
Tax identification number
Before signing the final contract, you must be given a tax identification number. Our company will be happy to assist you in this procedure.
Lawyer of the buyer and notary
According to the Greek Law, the lawyer of the buyer must be present at the purchase of any kind of real property. S/he, along with the notary, will check the legal correctness of the contract.
Real estate transfer tax return
Before signing the final contract, a real estate transfer tax return must be submitted to the Tax Office. This tax return is drafted by the notary and must be accompanied by a spreadsheet in which the objective value of the property is calculated. This tax must be paid by the buyer and is calculated based on the objective value of the property, according to the relevant lists issued by the Tax Office for each area on a yearly basis. The attorney and notary fees are calculated depending on the value mentioned in the contract.
What is the objective value of a real estate?
The objective value of a real estate is its value per m² as determined by the Tax Office according to data provided by the State, depending on its location and its characteristics. Lists of the objective value of real property can be found in the country’s Tax Offices. The objective value of a real estate is usually smaller than its market value.
Registration of your property
As soon as all fees have been paid, the final contract is signed by the buyer (in presence of his/her lawyer) and the seller’s lawyer. Then, the notary submits the contract at the local land registry, which keeps a copy of it.
The notary also keeps a copy of the contract and gives the buyer a number of certified copies.
Real estate taxes in Greece
There are three main real estate taxes in Greece:
- The real property levy (TAP)
- The special real estate levy (ΕΤΑ)
- The income tax
The first two taxes are relatively low – at the moment they are no more 2 euros per m² of living area/year .
Real property owners from foreign countries must also submit an income tax return. If this tax return proves that all the money used for the purchase of the real property comes from abroad, the owner does not have to pay any taxes. A certificate of foreign currency (pink voucher), which is issued by the bank when a withdrawal is made from the foreign owner’s account, can serve as proof for the Tax Office.