How to Buy Property in Greece as a Foreigner

Who can buy property in Greece?

Purchasing real estate in Greece as a foreigner is relatively simple. Foreigners can buy property, including land, and their rights as property owners are largely similar to those of Greek citizens. This includes the ability to buy, sell, and inherit property without significant restrictions.

Do the research

Investing in Greek real estate offers several compelling advantages, driven by a combination of economic, strategic, and lifestyle factors. The Greek real estate market is rebounding strongly after a decade-long financial crisis, showing signs of sustained growth and stability. This recovery is bolstered by Greece´s improving economic indicators, such as increased GDP and rising tourism numbers, which enhance investor confidence and market attractiveness.

The country´s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa makes it a prime spot for real estate investment. This is particularly true for properties in major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as popular tourist destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete. These locations not only draw significant tourist traffic, boosting rental yields, but also offer vibrant cultural and historical experiences, making them desirable for both short-term visitors and long-term residents.

Moreover, the Greek government has implemented favorable policies to attract foreign investment. The Golden Visa program, for instance, grants residency permits to non-EU nationals who invest in Greek real estate, typically with a minimum investment of €250,000. This program has been particularly successful, drawing thousands of investors due to its relatively low entry cost, compared to similar programs in other European countries, and the benefits of visa-free travel within the Schengen Area.

Below are some sought-after destinations for real estate investment:

  • Athens - As the capital city, Athens is a prime location for both residential and commercial real estate. Key areas such as Kolonaki, Glyfada, and the historical center are particularly popular due to their vibrant lifestyle, historical significance, and accessibility​​.
  • Thessaloniki - Greece’s second-largest city offers a dynamic urban environment with a growing real estate market. Areas like the city center and Kalamaria are highly sought after for their blend of cultural attractions and modern amenities​.
  • Crete - This large island is favored for its beautiful landscapes, beaches, and historical sites. Cities like Chania and Heraklion are popular for both holiday homes and permanent residences​.
  • Mykonos and Santorini - These iconic islands are globally renowned for their stunning views, luxury properties, and vibrant nightlife. They are top choices for high-end real estate investments, especially for holiday villas and rental properties​​.
  • Chalkidiki - Known for its beautiful peninsulas and sandy beaches, Chalkidiki attracts both tourists and real estate investors. Areas like Kassandra and Sithonia are particularly popular for vacation homes and resorts​​.
  • Corfu - This Ionian island is popular for its lush landscapes and Venetian architecture. It attracts buyers looking for both summer homes and investment properties in picturesque settings​​.
  • Peloponnese - Regions like Kalamata and Nafplio are becoming increasingly popular due to their historical significance, beautiful coastlines, and relatively lower property prices compared to the islands​.

Where to find properties online:

Financing

Yes, foreigners can obtain property loans in Greece. The Greek banking system permits non-residents to apply for property loans, subject to certain conditions and requirements. You typically need a valid residence permit and must be able to prove your income or employment.

Due Diligence and Sales Contract 

The due diligence process is essential for safeguarding yourself from potential legal and financial problems. Although it´s not legally required, bypassing it can lead to unwelcome surprises like hidden debts, legal disputes, or structural issues with the property. This process involves verifying the property´s legal title, ensuring there are no outstanding mortgages or liens, and confirming compliance with zoning and building regulations. Typically, local real estate lawyers carry out this process.

In Greece, the property purchase agreement holds significant importance in real estate dealings, referred to locally as the "Συμβόλαιο Αγοράς" (Symvolaio Agoras). This document delineates the terms and conditions of the property sale, encompassing particulars about the property itself, the mutually agreed price, and the responsibilities of both buyer and seller. Legally binding, this agreement stands as a formal commitment solidifying the transaction between the parties involved.

Transaction Costs and Fees in Greece

Let’s take a closer look at the additional costs and taxes on buying property in Greece and see what both the buyer and seller will have to pay in the end.

Transaction Costs

    Who Pays?
Transfer tax 3.09% buyer
Registration fees 0.48% - 0.68% buyer
Notary fees 0.80% - 1.00% (+ 24% VAT) buyer
Legal fees 1.00% - 2.00% buyer
Real Estate Agent Fee 2.00% - 4.00%
2.00% - 4.00%
buyer
seller
Total costs paid by the buyer: 7.37% - 10.77%  
Total costs paid by the seller: 2.00% - 4.00%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 9.37% - 14.77%
* The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property - lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc.
Source: Global Property Guide

Legal Fees

Engaging the services of a lawyer is highly recommended to navigate the complexities surrounding property ownership in Greece and to conduct thorough legal due diligence on potential encumbrances such as liens or mortgages. The lawyer will ensure compliance with tax regulations and verify the legitimacy of the land title.

There is no set minimum fee for lawyer services in property transactions; the fee is typically determined through negotiation between the attorney and the client. It generally ranges from 1% to 2% of the property value, plus 24% VAT.

For first-time property transactions in Greece, additional preparatory tasks may be necessary, such as tax registration, opening a bank account, or official translations. In such cases, an extra fee is typically charged by the lawyer.

LEGAL FEES

SERVICE RATE
Preparatory work upon agreement
Property transaction legal fees upon agreement [ usually 1 -2 % (plus 24% VAT) ]

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