ILN: BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE - AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE

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[BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE IN GREECE]

KEY FACTS OF REAL ESTATE ACQUISITIONS UNDER GREEK LAW 1. PROCEDURE – MAIN STEPS OF REAL ESTATE ACQUISITION UNDER GREEK LAW. Acquisition of a real estate property in Greece includes mainly the following steps: •

any illegal constructions which need to be settled, according to the relevant laws. Issuance of the required certificates and other documents. In order for a property purchase to take place, a number of certificates must be produced to the notary public, which however pertain to the seller. Execution of the notarial purchase deed. In Greece, purchase of any real estate property is performed solely by virtue of a notarial deed. Execution of such a deed takes place before a notary public. The notary public is usually chosen by the purchaser, who also pays the relevant notary fees. Both the seller and the purchaser may either appear in person before the notary in order to execute the deed, or they may appoint someone else to execute it in their name and on their behalf, by virtue of a notarized Power of Attorney. Registration of the notarial purchase deed with the Land Registry or Cadastre. In Greece, a purchaser of a property becomes the property’s owner only after the notarial purchase deed is registered with the competent Land Registry or Cadastre. Such registration entails certain fees which are paid by the purchaser (and their amount is indicated herein below). 2. TIMELINE The time required for the conclusion of a purchase of a real estate property depends on the complexity of each case. In regular cases, after the property has been found, purchase procedures are normally concluded within a period of 1,5 – 3 months approximately. 3. MAIN CONTENT OF THE PURCHASE DEED - The Contracting Parties - Detailed description of the property

• Finding of the property to be purchased, with the possible assistance of a real estate agent. Usually, the agent’s fee amounts to 2% upon the purchase price but can be negotiated between the parties. Obtain a Greek Tax Registration Number. This procedure is simple and does not require the presence of the foreigner in Greece, since it can be carried out by a third party, by virtue of a Power of Attorney. • Legal due diligence of the property. After having found the property and before proceeding to the execution of any deed or agreement, the purchaser should appoint a lawyer to perform a complete legal due diligence of the property, which includes a detailed audit of the rights of the seller and his predecessors, as well as a research on any possibly existing encumbrances (mortgages, claims, etc.). Legal due diligence is performed with the Land Registry or Cadastre of the region in which the property lies. It is noted that the responsibility for this very important step lies with the purchaser, given that Greek notaries are not obliged to (and will not) perform such a due diligence. Technical due diligence. It is performed by a civil engineer and is mostly needed in cases where the property to be purchased is a non-constructed land or lies outside the urban plan. Technical due diligence aims to ensure that the property meets all legal requirements for the construction of buildings to be allowed, and, in cases where the property to be purchased is already built, to determine whether the already existing building(s) include • •

ILN Real Estate Group – Buying and Selling Real Estate Series

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