Property Transfer in Greece

The Process in general...


Real estate property transfer demands that specific procedures are performed with the assistance of various professionals (lawyer,notary, accountant, engineer, etc.) so that all documents required are collected and a thorough legal and technical survey of the property to be transferred is carried out before its safe transfer to the buyer.

The legal and technical property research is a priority in order to identify possible legal and technical issues and resolve them before the property transfer. Hence, the lawyer's and engineer's assistance is considered essential. A legal research refers to the deed search of the property, the burdens, claims and liabilities of any kind and to the resolution of any legal issue, while an engineer's research refers to checking the topographic plan of the property, the conformity of the buildings to the issued building license and their compliance with the town planning regulations.

Following the surveys, the seller undertakes the obligation to provide the necessary documents for the transfer to the notary preparing the act of sale. The payment of the transfer tax by the buyer comes next. The procedure is completed when the signature of the act of sale by the contracting parties takes place. The transfer of the ownership of the property to its new owner is concluded by the registration of the purchase contract at the relevant land registry/cadastral office. The stages of the transfer are briefly listed below.


The Stages


Primary survey of the supporting documents

It's the stage dealing with the legal and technical survey at which the seller has to assist the buyer by providing all documents required for the quicker completion of the searches needed before the competent authorities (land registry, urban planning department etc.). In case legal or technical issues arise during this stage which have to be dealt with before the property transfer and the seller needs to cover relevant costs or expenses, it's possible that he may raise the issue of a deposit to be paid upfront when a preliminary agreement is signed.


Preliminary agreement (optional)

The preliminary agreement consists in a notary's act binding both parties to proceed to the sale, in other words the seller to transfer the ownership of the property to the buyer, and the buyer to pay the agreed price. It includes all terms which are agreed as conditional for the sale to be concluded and the final act of sale to be signed. It links the act of sale either to a specific period of time after which the act should be signed, or to the fulfilment of specific obligations or conditions by the contracting parties. Among the rights provided to the parties, basically the buyer reserves the right to claim a refund of the deposit in duplicate in case the seller fails to fulfil his commitments and the seller to keep the deposit if the buyer withdraws from the sale. The cost of the preliminary agreement (generally) burdens the buyer, as it's a part of the total notary' s fee for the act of sale.


Seller's- Buyer's obligations

The seller is asked to provide the notary the documents indicated needed for the act of sale, while the buyer will just have to obtain a Greek tax number and provide all his identity information to the notary and pay the transfer tax. In case he can't be present when the contract or the preliminary agreement are signed, he needs to provide special authorisation to a specific proxy by signing a power of attorney.


Contract signing

As soon as the notary confirms that all documents required for the property transfer have been delivered and confirms they are valid and correct, heprepares the property transfer declaration to be submitted by the buyer to the tax office prior to the contract signing. This declaration, including seller's and buyer's details, the description of the property and the declared price of the sale, is submitted by the buyer to the tax office where the property is located and the relevant transfer tax is paid by the buyer (3% on the sale price+ 3% on the result) within 3 days after the tax invoice is issued by the tax office (after that the amount due is burdened with the legal increments). During the contract signing before the notary, the contracting parties are present either on their own either represented by their proxies legally designated, possibly their lawyers, an interpreter in case the contracting parties are not fluent Greek language speakers and an estate agent if there is one intervening in the transaction.


Property transfer completion

After the contract signing the buyer will undertake the responsibility to register an certified copy of the contract to the local land registry/cadastral office and get the registration certificate, becoming right after that officially the legal owner of the property. 

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