Q: What is the procedure to buy a property ?
A: A Greek lawyer is needed, we will help you on this. The lawyer will conduct title searches at the relevant land registry, and review title documents covering for the least twenty years. He ll make sure that the property is legitimate and are no claims by third parties (e.g. banks, mortgages, courts etc.). His fee is 1 per cent(gets 0.5% for the 45.000 euros + amount) for his presence at sale and also a fee based on prior agreement for the title searches that will be conducted.
We can also help you hire a civil engineer. His work is to ensure that the boundaries of the land, the forest laws,the construction capabilities, the archaeological laws, etc. are the way they should be. His fee is accordingly to agreement but its not high.
A notary public will usually by appointed by the lawyer to forward the contract to the relevant land registry. His fee is approximately 2,5 percent for notary public & land registry fees..
A pre-contract is prepared and signed by both parties. This commits both buyer and seller to a price and a date (usually within 60 days) for completion of the sale. During the period between signing the pre-contract and completion, the lawyer and the civil engineer will perform the property check. At the time of signing the Pre-contract the buyer pays an agreed deposit which is usually about 10% of the purchase price. This deposit is refundable if there are legal problems on the property. If the buyer wishes to cancel the sale for other reasons, the deposit is forfeit.
Just before the final contract is signed, the property transfer taxes are payed by the buyer. In most cases this FMA tax is 8 percent for the first 20,OOO euros and at 10 percent for the value for the rest of the amount. For new constructed buildings with licence after 2005, this tax becomes 23% FPA. If the person is member of the EU without home, and intents to stay permanent in Crete then his tax will be FMA.
Also the real estate broker's fee according to agreement (usually 2 percent with a 19% tax on this fee) must be payed with the contract.
An accountant can be useful for foreigners buying property in Greece. If you dont file income taxes in Greece already, in the following year you ll have to to declare and justify the source of the amount spent in purchasing the property, on taxes and other pertinent fees. You ll have to file bank withdrawals, bank loan statement, wire transfer documents etc. If the buyer cannot justify the amount of money they have spent, the Greek tax authorities will impute it as unreported income and the buyer will be assessed income tax. Also all buyers, including foreigners and permanent residents abroad, must have a Greek tax roll number (AFM).