The more information a buyer has about acquiring a house in Greece, the better the decision. At Elxis we have outlined below the costs involved in getting that dream home in a simple, easy-to-understand manner.
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As a rough guideline, investors are faced with fixed buying costs amounting to 5.6 percent of the purchase price, in a figure that can increase, depending on whether a real estate agent and/or a lawyer is involved.
- Transfer tax. This tax is paid for by the buyer and amounts to 3.09 percent of the commercial value of the home or its taxable value, whichever is higher. This amount needs to be paid to the Greek Ministry of Finance before the purchase deed is signed, as the notary needs to attach the proof of payment to the deed.
- Notary fees. The notary prepares the deed which is signed in the presence of the parties or their lawyers, if appointed. The minimum notaries’ fees are defined by the Greek Law. Notaries normally charge about 2% of the sales price (plus VAT), or the tax value of the property, again whichever is higher.
- Land registry fees. Following the signing of the deed, the notary prepares an application and a summary of the deed signed to be sent and registered at the local land registry so that the property transfer is by law completed. The land registry fees due amount to about 0.5 percent of the property sold.
Beyond those charges, the buyer should also take into consideration:
- Lawyer’s costs. It is not obligatory to have a lawyer take part in the process though it is highly recommended to have a legal expert check over what exactly it is that you are buying and to guide you through the whole process. Their fees range between 1-2 percent (plus VAT), depending on the provider services.
Real estate agent’s commission. Commission is due if a real estate agent is involved in the sale. Most agencies charge a commission that ranges between 2-4 percent of the agreed purchase price (plus VAT).
NEWLY BUILT HOMES
In the event that a completed newly-built home is sold by a construction company then VAT of 24 percent applies. In a bid, however, to support the real estate sector, the Greek government allows construction companies to apply for an exemption of this tax.
This 24% VAT on the full purchase price is not due for new homes that are sold off-plan. In that case, the buyer starts by buying the building plot before construction starts, paying the 3.09% transfer tax on the price of the plot.
In the last few years, Greece has been implementing reforms in real estate to make the sector more competitive. Among the changes being introduced are simplifications to the sales process and the placement of procedures online.
More work needs to be done but the reforms are helping boost Greece’s competitiveness.
Data from the Global Property Guide show that the transaction costs of acquiring a 250,000 euro used home from an individual in Greece are lower than those charged in Portugal and Spain, while global rankings prepared by the International Tax Competitiveness Index for 2021, place Greece above other neighbouring countries, such as Italy.