USEFUL INFO – FAQs
First step for a Seller is to valuate his own property.Based on the expenses made on this property,the Market prices at the time of his sale.Then get a a professional opinion for the price.“How fast do you want to sell” is a great factor now a days!Entrust the property to a professional Realtor.Keep the property in good state at the time waiting for the sale.
A seller is free to appoint several Realtors.Be careful though,all Agents must have the same selling price.The property looks bad when the prices concerning it, are different in the market.When the Buyer is found you need to appoint a lawyer and an engineer.The first will take care of agreements on payments,contract check etc and the engineer will issue all necessary documents for the property.From 1/1/2014 these are,in general:
1.Updated topograph with cords.
2.Building permit(if the property is a build)
3. Certificate that the property is 100 % legal.(if its a plot that’s there is no build on it,if its a build that all constructions are legal or settled)
4.Energy Certificate (if the property is a build)
5.Property Tax paid for years 2009-2014.(ENFIA)
6.Photocopies of ID of seller.
7. IKA clearance if a build or if the seller is a constructor.
Through all the above we there to guide you,advise you and even do it for you.Cooperate with your Lawyer,Engineer,Accountant so the sale goes through safely and fast.
Entrust your property to a Professional Realtor. Advertisements on the internet with allot of photos will minimize your potential tenants to the ones that are really interested. The ones that will visit the property will have already got an idea of it.As soon as you have a tenant you need:
1.A contract of Lease.As there are certain points that you need to be aware of .We will show you how to fill it in correctly or the Contract can be filled in by us and signed in our office.A deposit of a months rent is required at a minimum from the tenant as a quaranty.It is returned to him/her when the property is free again and checked for no damages or dept.
2.Note your electricity and water measurements if the property doesn’t have its own meters
3.Visit your property every now and then (upon agreement with your tenant).
Actions & Documents required when buying:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Do I need a lawyer / solicitor?
Yes. Solicitors are no longer mandatory for the buyers or sellers but DO appoint one.They carry out necessary legal surveys and conduct a property title check for the past 20 years. They ensure the property is free of any mortgage notes, claims, expropriations, rights-of-way and, in general, any legal encumbrances. In addition, solicitors ensure that all property taxes burdening the vendor have been paid.
2. Do I need a notary?
Yes. A notary public is a government-appointed lawyer who processes and certifies all real estate transactions, including drawing up and reviewing all official documents, to ensure the legal transfer of the property.
Yes. Surveyors ensure that all acts associated with the construction of the property are based on lawful planning permissions.
4. Do I need an accountant?
Yes. It is essential to hire an accountant early on to help you with tax returns and explain taxation laws to you.
5. Do I need a Tax Registry Number (AFM)?
Yes. This tax number (AFM) is mandatory for all buyers, including foreigners and permanent residents abroad. It is issued on the spot at tax offices, free of charge. All applicants must present their passport and sometimes also their birth certificate. If you have granted your solicitor full Power of Attorney, he / she can apply for an AFM on your behalf.Do I need a Greek bank account?
6. Do I need a Greek bank account?
Yes. All necessary payments will be made through this account; also, this account will prove that funds used for property purchase have come into Greece from another country and are, therefore, not taxable in Greece.Opening a bank account in Greece only takes a few minutes and requires no minimum opening deposit. All you need is your ID or passport and your AFM (tax number).
7. Do I need a residence permit in order to purchase property in Greece?
a.For EU nationals a residents permit is not asked for. However, should you wish to buy a car you will need one.
b.For non-EU nationals
Granting of visa permits in May 2013
Granting of visa permits to buyers who invest in properties over 250.000 Euros in Greece, begins in May
The Greek government gives the opportunity to foreign investors that are willing to buy or lease for at least 10 years properties over 250.000 Euros, to acquire a five-year visa permit that can be renewed, both for themselves and their family members.
It was actually told that at the end of May, all relevant decrees and circulars will have been signed, to put the measure into effect. However, it was clarified that the visa permit does not include permission to live and work, and the years spent in obtaining citizenship are not calculated, regarding it.
he interest of Russians, Chinese, Americans and citizens of Arab countries is more intense for the property market in our country, either as a holiday home or for investments in the tourism industry.
Concerning the smaller investments of over 250.000 Euros, (purchase property or timeshare),the Greek law states that the investor and his family members are allowed to renew the visa permits as long as he continues to have this property in his ownership. This visa is a type C Visa and gives the right to travel in the EU but not the ability to work.
This setting, which is included in the new Investment Law, benefits investors from countries such as Russia, China, the U.S. and the Arab countries, and allows them to claim opportunities offered by the Greek market for investment in high-value properties. The law removes a major bureaucratic hurdle and enhances the competition of the Greek market against this of the EU countries that already offer other incentives, such as Hungary, Spain and Portugal.An alternate and more efficient way to purchase property in these areas is through an offshore company in your name, based in an EU country. This is fairly commonplace; setting up and maintaining such a company costs approximately 2,000 euros to establish and 1,500-2,000 euros annually. To purchase property in all other regions of Greece, you do not need a residence permit.
8. Do I need to make a deposit?
To secure the property, to show your serious interest and to take the property off the market a 10% down payment is required. In case of off-plan properties and projects just under construction the stage payments can vary.
9. Do I have to be present at the signing of the contract?
No, not unless you would like to be here for the great occasion. You will need to prepare a Power of Attorney to enable signing of the contract in your absence. Depending on the seller’s situation as well as the location of the land, the time from your decision to purchase to the actual signing of the contract can take anywhere from five days to over a month. If you are not in Crete, your Power of Attorney enables the lawyer of your choice here in Greece to sign the land contract on your behalf.
10. Do I have to file tax returns in Greece once I’ve become a property owner?
Yes. The Greek State has mandated that all property ownership in Greece must be declared by filling out a form called E9 and submitting it to the Greek Tax Authorities. This is mandatory for every property owner in Greece, even for those who live abroad and have never filed tax returns in Greece or do not have an income in Greece. You can not file an E9 all by itself. E9 is a schedule which must be submitted together with the basic Income tax form E1. If you have no income in Greece, you enter “0” income in the E1 form; still, you must submit the E1 as well.
11.Do I have to pay annual property taxes?
That depends on the value of your property. You will have to pay an annual property tax if your property’s tax assessed value exceeds 243.600 euros.
12.Do I have to pay Capital Gains tax if I decide to sell my property?
No. With a new law of 2015 .
13.Do I need a license if I want to rent my property (house, villa, apartment)?
No if you are renting out annually.You do need to state your income though, from rent in our annual tax income statements.
If you want to rent for small periods(days,weeks) you need a licence. For many people buying a home in Crete, being able to rent it when they are not resident is important. In order to do this the property must have a valid license issued by the Greek National Tourist Organization called an EOT license.
14. Can I purchase property in Crete?
You can buy property in Crete (Greece) provided that you are a citizen of the European Union. In certain circumstances it is possible for nationals of other countries to buy property. Read Paragraph 7 To establish what the regulations are in these cases you would need to contact the Greek Consulate or Embassy in your home country.
15.Can I purchase property in somebody else’s name?
Yes. You may purchase property jointly with your spouse and/or other co-purchasers, in names of children or legal heirs, or in the name of a company.
16.Can I get a mortgage in Greece? If so, what are the requirements?
Maybe.It is possible to get a mortgage in Greece but based on the financial situation in Greek banks right now it will take a while.. To apply for a mortgage you will need your passport and proof of income for the last 3 years (P-60’s, payment stubs, or tax returns if self-employed). Please be aware that if you apply for a Greek mortgage, you must be able to pay all closing costs before any funds from the bank are released.
17.Can I renovate or build on my own?
Yes, it is possible, if you are a DIY enthusiast. However, major renovations or building which requires a building permit, will need locally registered tradesmen to either do the work or sign off on your work. There is an estimated number of man-days work to be covered by the National Insurance (IKA) and this will need to be paid, even if you did the work yourself. Tradesmen generally speak only Greek and you would need to rely on others to act as interpreters unless you make the heroic effort to learn to speak some Greek.
18.Can I work or open a business?
All European Union citizens have the right to live and work in Greece. You will need a residence permit that also serves as a work permit. This is now a relatively simple procedure and there is a very small fee. It is obtained for the nearest Police Headquarters. An accountant or lawyer will help you with the formalities of opening a business.
19.Can I bring my car to Greece?
Yes and No. If this is going to be your first home, then yes you are entitled to bring the car, tax free, into Greece and acquire Greek number plates. There is a fee for this registration. You do need to arrange all the paper work with the Greek Embassy in your country of origin before coming to Greece. It is not possible to initiate this procedure once you are here. If this is your second/holiday home, then you will only be able to bring the car for a 6 month period in each year. After the 6 months expires you are obliged to take the car out of Greece.
20.What is a property’s Tax Objective Value?
The Tax Objective Value is the estimated monetary value of a property according to the Greek tax authorities. As a general rule, a property’s Tax Objective value is significantly lower than its purchase price. That depends on the area that you are buying and the type of property. City, village in plan out of plan.
21. What happens if the legal searches highlight any problems with the property?
If the searches highlight any problems you will receive your deposit back in full. This is why the deposit is paid to the solicitor and not to the vendor until the search is complete.
22.What happens if I change my mind?
If you have signed a contract and paid a deposit for a property, this is considered to be an official intent to purchase. It is important that you are absolutely certain that this is the property you want, and that you feel you are under no pressure to sign a contract and pay a deposit. Should you decide to withdraw from the purchase, you will lose your deposit.
23.What happens if the vendor changes his / her mind?
If you have signed the pre-contract and made an initial deposit, your deposit will be refunded in double.
24.What type of property insurance is recommended?
Although no market standards exist as to the forms of insurance that can be taken out, it is reasonable to suggest that property be insured against the following risks: fire, earthquake, water damage, breaking glass, storm, theft, and third party.
25.Where to buy in Greece?
With over 2500 islands in Greece you will most certainly be spoilt for choice. A few tips:- coastal properties around holiday resorts will be more expensive. Try moving inland a little where you will get a lot more for your money but may still be able to take advantage of living near to a resort. The mainland can be more expensive especially around the capital Athens.
26.How do I transfer funds to purchase the property?
Open a local Bank Account. This takes no more than 15 minutes and we can recommend a bank with great experience of handling foreign customers. All you need is your passport and it is not necessary to deposit funds immediately. Your original passports (or copies) are required.
27.How long will it take to buy the property I have chosen?
If all documents are correct it would be possible to have it finalized within 3 weeks, however, our experience is that it is more likely to take 6 weeks – 3 months. Of course there are those cases where it takes even longer, but if you want to own your dream property/piece of paradise, persistence gets you there.
28.How much extra should I allow to cover costs involved with the purchase?
All expenses including legal expenses and taxes usually come to approximately 10% of the purchase price. This figure will cover all the expenses involved. These include fees charged by the lawyer, notary, courts, deeds registry, taxes and commission. There are occasions when it is less but very rarely more.
29.What is required when sending the funds for payment?
It would be prudent to have proof of transferring the currency to Crete and declare it as being for the purchase of property. In the case of those living outside of the Euro-zone, it is recommended that the currency be converted to Euros in Greece. As there seem to be some changes to the tax office requirements it would be best to check at the time of your purchase.
30.What is the difference between building within of outside of the city or village limits?
Building within the village limits means that you may build on a smaller plot, where the infrastructure is set up and you pay only connection fees to services such as electricity and telephone. The density which you may build on a village plot is much higher.
Building in the countryside, means that you are required to have a minimum of 4.000m², (there are a few exceptions.)You are responsible for costs involved for services to be brought to your house. This can be expensive and problematic, so be sure to understand how these will be provided. However, in typical Greek style there generally is more than one solution.