Sofia Pesiou, Sunday, 10 November 2013
This article is part of a series of 8 articles about buying property in Greece. The other articles in the series cover the following topics:
Buying a house is a very important decision therefore before making a choice, you need to take into consideration the type of the house you wish to
purchase (apartment, detached house, cottage etc.),the area it is situated(in the city center, in the suburbs, in the countryside, on an island) and
how conveniently located the property is to means of transport, shops, schools and down town area in general. At the same time, it is highly
recommended for the potential buyer to make sure that the method of financing his purchase, for example a mortgage is absolutely safe mainly for the
future time before he takes on the obligation to repay it.
The negotiation of the final price can be a complicated issue in Greece. There are some rules the buyer needs to follow especially if there is no
estate agent to offer counseling. You can start the negotiation with a lower amount than the one proposed by the seller but in logical terms. If it
too low, the seller will be offended and it is likely to turn down your other proposals.
A good way is to get to know the seller and the reasons why he sells the house. If there is a family or work reason then he will be willing to
accelerate the whole buying process and maybe discuss the price, however always try to be friendly and polite. Moreover, bear in mind that what the
seller wants is a fair price for his property. If you have hired a real estate agent he will inform you about the customary process in Greece and he
will try to negotiate for both of you and ensure that the process is fair for the buyer and the seller alike.
Furthermore, try to convince the seller to make any repairs or changes so as to avoid that extra burden after you have checked the whole property. A
good idea is to specify whether some amenities such as fitted electrical appliances, air conditioning or wardrobes are included in the price and try
to prove any damage or anything that needs direct repair by taking photographs or even better try to be with the seller during the inspection.
Last but not least, in that phase of the buying process you should avoid revealing how much you like the specific property or that you do not have an
alternative. If you do so, the seller will probably not lower the price even if he initially planned to since he knows that you are eager to buy it
Always remain calm and try not to lose your temper and to maintain a good atmosphere during the negotiation stage. A common advice for buyers in
Greece is “Ask a little bit more to get what you want when you retreat, but not too many because you will get nothing at the end.”
Once the property is found, a lawyer realizes all the necessary checks of the titles of ownership and the legal state of the property at the Land
Registry. It is really crucial that the seller does not owe any money to the Tax Office or to the Insurance Companies. Then, the construction
certificates and the building regulations should be checked thoroughly as well as the authenticity of all the documents attached to the contract by
the seller and the ones that the buyer has produced. As soon as the contracts have been signed, the lawyer submits all the documents at the local
A technical inspection of the property is not obligatory but it is advisable so as for the price to be determined and to assure the new buyer that
construction is in line with all the current construction rules that exist. A civil engineer is most suitable to conduct this check and to consult
new owner about the actions he needs to do in case the property is out of town plans or on a reforestation area, shoreline or area of archaeological
Documents for the purchase of property
When the buyer and the seller go to the notary to complete the transaction, the buyer needs to have certain documents for the contract to be signed.
- Identity card or passport
- Proof of payment of the Property Transfer Tax (FMA). In case of tax exemption, he has to produce a sworn declaration that he is not the owner of
other property in the country, a certificate of his marital status, a copy of tax statement from his country and a certificate from the topographical
- A sworn declaration that the property is not on a stream, coastline or beach either on the borders of the country
All the above buyer’s documents must be thoroughly checked by the lawyer before the submission of the contract.