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Greek Laws You Should Know Before Buying Property in Greece

Thinking of buying a property in Greece? Do you fully understand the process of buying and the Greek laws on buying property in Greece?
When people decide to purchase property in Greece, it is essential to run thorough checks on this property and certainly prior of giving any down payment to the seller.
The future buyer must run the following checks on the property:
A. Investment’s control:
1. On this stage is essential to decide on the type of property you wish to purchase, i.e. a plot, a house in the city or in the suburbs, a shop, etc.
2. Once you have made the decision, you have to find out the financial source/sources which will allow you to purchase the specific property, especially if you do not have funds of your own, i.e. take a loan, discuss the loan terms with the bank, etc.
3. Choose the area you wish your property to be i.e. If you have children, close to a school, bus station, if you have grandparents living with you, close to a medical centre, etc.
4. Before you make up your mind, try to see as many properties as you can, so that you would have the option to choose the one, which really applies to your needs.
5. Evaluate the properties found, so that you will choose the best one for you, with fewer disadvantages.
B. Deeds Check of the property
A lawyer is the only person appointed by the law to:
1. check the deeds
2. form and prepare the various legal and financial terms of the contract
3. find out if there are mortgages on the property you want to buy, or other law suits against it.
The mortgages and the law suits may be against the seller, or, previous owners of the specific property. When a property has legal problems, these problems can never disappear, unless we take certain legal actions. Failing to take these actions, mortgages and law suits will follow the property for ever. The new buyer would be obliged to erase those suits and mortgages, with his/her own expenses.
C. Building’s control
The purchasing property must also be checked from an engineer.
If you purchase a house, then the engineer will check:
1. the quality of the building’s cement
2. the building’s plans
3. if you were allowed to built this specific house/building, from the town planning office
4. if the amount of square meters of the house are the exact ones, which were announced from the town planning office
If you purchase a plot, then the engineer will check:
1. if the plot’s owner owes money to the town planning office
2. if the plot’s owner owes money to the social security office
3. if the plot is free from any archaeological attachments. The seller must provide the buyer with the specific certificate
4. if the plot is free from any forestry attachments. The seller must provide the buyer with the specific certificate
D. Financial check
1. We have to search if the constructor or the private person who built the building /flat /house, owes money to the social security regarding the employees hired, to built the property.
Always consult the right persons when you decide to purchase property. It will save you a lot of troubles, money, and most important, agony.
Finding the Experts
You will undoubtedly need a good team of four and a fair amount of patience. You will need a:
• bi-lingual agent
• notary public
• lawyer
• banker.
Liaising with an agent
The agent will normally barter the purchase consideration on your behalf. If you choose to attend this ritual, be prepared for a long duration as the relevant merits of the family, the property, the village/town, etc. are proudly promoted by the seller. When the shenanigans are finally over, and a price is agreed upon, the ouzoand mezedhes will appear and suddenly everyone will be part of one large happy family, with promises of much merriment and rejoicing. The agent, in coordinating the purchase process, is also likely to establish via the lawyer who the owners are of the adjoining properties. The boundaries are then fixed by topographical survey. Such a survey carried out by an expert could cost in the region of €150.
Appointing a notary public
Your first experience of this official will be the visit together with your agent to sign your Sale Agreement using the Greek bible as the swearing oath. The notary public works with your lawyer to ensure that the contracts are drawn up in an orderly fashion and presented to the taxation authorities on time. Before any transaction takes place, your lawyer will carry out searches with the Land Registry. The notary public will not proceed with a contract concerning a property which does not have a clean title, free of mortgage obligations, etc. You will normally be expected to pay a fee of up to 1.6 per cent of the ‘notional value’ of the property as recorded in the Contract of Sale.
Finding a lawyer
A good, English speaking, well-qualified conveyance solicitor is absolutely essential. The lawyer will draw up the Contract of Sale on your behalf, in Greek, arrange the signing ceremony with the vendors, normally at the office of the local notary public, and also negotiate the purchase tax with the local taxation office. You should allow 1-1.5 per cent of the purchase price for this service.
Getting a banker
The vendor will probably require payment in euros. You will have opened a euro account in preparation at either a private or national bank. Normally, your bank will arrange to pay the vendor a ten per cent deposit at point of signing contracts and allow a further 30 days for the remaining consideration to be settled, although the settlement period can vary per transaction. Your choice of banker will depend on day to day considerations such as location, connection with UK banks, opening hours, etc.

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