Opening account in Greece

Legal

One of the stages in preparation for acquisition of real property in Greece is opening of a bank account in the Bank of Greece on the name of the buyer. To do this, the buyer needs: - passport (or inter-country passport with a stamp for registration), - statement from work on a letter headed paper stating occupation, - statement of income tax paid for last couple of years. The reason for opening an account is that it gives the possibility to send money for the transaction (cost of the purchased property and costs for the transaction – notarial and registration fees, taxes). Thus, these sums can be accumulated on the account and taken from it at the finalising of the deal, close to the signing of the sale and purchase agreement.   View More »

Notarial deed of sale and purchase

Legal

The current Greek legislation provides that a sale and purchase contract of real estate must be made in writing and notarised. A notary will prepare the contract and then fill in and submit an appropriate tax application to the authorised tax authority. The tax (for transfer of ownership or VAT) is paid by the buyer before the signing of the Basic, notarised contract of sale and purchase of real estate. The transaction itself is conducted in the following way: the lawyer of the buyer pays appropriate tax; on the same, or the following, day the Basic agreement is signed by both buyer and seller. The notary negotiates with the parties in advance and agrees the date and time of signing of the contract and then reads it to the parties present at the signing. Each party signing the contract may transfer the authority to represent their interests to another person (usually, it is a lawyer of our company) granting him or her power of attorney. The power of attorney may be signed by a notary (in Greece or place of residency) or in a Greek consulate abroad. Power of attorney certified by a foreign notary should be formally recognised in Greece, which means it must have an apostille on it. The duties of a notary include explaining to the parties their treaty obligations and rights arising out of the sale and purchase, as well as making sure that the parties understand their responsibilities. This is usually done by reading the contract aloud to the parties before signing. The sale and purchase agreement must be drafted in Greek language because it is an official language. The buyer takes an interpreter to the process of signing the agreement. This usually is an employee of our company who produces oral translation of all provisions of the agreement and in witness whereof he or she also signs the contract. After the signing, the agreement is sent for registration in the Register of real estate and this is the final stage of the transaction. View More »

Receiving Greek VAT identification number

Legal

One of the stages in preparation for acquisition of real estate in Greece is obtaining by the buyer a Greek VAT identification number (or AFM, as it is called in Greek). A notary must insert this number in the appropriate tax application (on transfer of ownership or VAT), which is paid by the buyer prior to signing the contract of sale and purchase. There are two options for receiving VAT identification number or AFM: 1) the buyer can get a VAT identification number personally. To do this, he will be accompanied by a lawyer of our company in order to contact the tax office during his stay in Greece; 2) the buyer can use a notary (in Greece or at their place of residence) to create a power of attorney on a lawyer of our company. A power of attorney drawn up abroad must also be certified by the Apostille. In this case, the lawyer will go to the tax office with the power of attorney and copy of the buyer's passport and receive VAT identification number on the buyer's name. After consideration of the documents, the tax authorities will produce a certificate of issue of VAT identification number, a copy of which the lawyer will pass on to the notary to insert this information in the tax application and in the sale and purchase contract. View More »

Extending residence permit of property owner

Legal

Residence permits for property owners may be extended for the same period an unlimited number of times. To extend residence, the following conditions must be fulfilled: property must remain in the ownership of the applicant; leases and timeshare should remain in force. The applicant's trips outside of Greece are not an obstacle for extension of residence permit.   View More »

Registration of ownership rights

Legal

After signing and certifying by a notary of the Basic agreement of sale and purchase of property, the agreement will be sent for registration in the Register of real estate. This is the final stage of transaction. Registration is performed, depending on the region, on average, during one month and then the buyer will be given a certificate of registration of the agreement, which, together with the Basic contract of sale and purchase, confirms the transition of ownership of the property. View More »

Residence permits for family members of owner of real estate

Legal

On 10 April 2013, Greece adopted a new law under which the owner of property worth €250,000 or more is entitled to obtain residence permit in Greece for a period of five years, with the right of renewal. Thus, the acquisition of real estate is not only a good investment, but it also gives the opportunity to have long legal residence in one of the countries of the European Union. The right to receive residence permit also applies to married couples and minors. View More »