1. LEGAL PROCEDURE
Greek laws authorise foreigners to own properties in most areas of Greece. Restrictions apply for Non European Union citizens who wish to purchase property in border areas (East Aegean, Dodecanese islands, regions of Northern Greece, Crete, Rhodes) Non European Union citizens who wish to purchase property in border areas should apply to the Council of local Prefecture which grants authorisation. Some agents offer assistance with this procedure.
To secure a chosen property, a 10% deposit on the purchase price is usually required on signing the agreement. This agreement contains the names and description of the parties, the description of the property, the price, the methods of payment and any general conditions negotiated by the parties. Sometimes in the case of a very cheap property this agreement does not take place and the parties move straight to an exchange of contract phase executed before a Notary Public with the two lawyers representing the parties. The Notary Public will not authorise any sale without making sure that all the appropriate tax papers and deeds are in order. The purchaser will lose the deposit if he backs out of the deal. If the vendor backs out and a pre contract has been signed, he will have to pay a sum equal to the deposit, as an indemnity to the purchaser, who, of course, gets the original deposit back.
The property transaction is always executed before a Notary and in the presence of lawyers representing the seller and the purchaser. A purchaser needs a lawyer to act on his/her behalf in order to assist with the Local Regulations to fix the "assessed value" and ensure that he/she obtain a clean property title. Before the transaction takes place, the lawyer representing the purchaser carries out searches with the Land Registry and assures that the property has a clean title Legal procedures in Greece are simple and if all the papers are ready and in order a sale can be completed quite quickly by signing an official contract prepared by the Notary.
The Purchase tax, Notary and ~ fees, in Greece, are always paid by the purchaser and they are calculated on the "officially estimated price" of the property, which is usually lower than the true purchase price.
II. LOCAL TAXES Owners of properties are subject to a very small Public Tax
III. PLANNING PERMISSION
According to the Greek laws, if a plot of land is not within the town plan and if there are no forest or archaeology restrictions, permission to build can be granted for any plot of minimum of 4,000m2. Permission can be granted for plots of land of 2,000m2 or less, if they are located within the planning zone or with frontage to principal municipal road. Inside villages, towns and cities planning permission can be generally granted for any plot. For some Greek areas there are specific Greek laws that apply about planning permission regulations. Most reputable agents can recommend skilled architects, and engineers who will give advice, work on plans and carry out the procedure for building permission. Building permits can be obtained through registered architects or engineers in Greece