NOTARY PUBLIC - NOTARY FEES
The first thing one ought to bear in mind before purchasing any property in Greece is that the purchase is concluded only by signing a notary deed, which is a public document drawn up, signed and ascertained by a Notary Public. The Notary Public functions as a public servant; he comes within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and refers to the Public Prosecutor Authorities.
As a public document the notary deed reassures the accuracy and validity of the agreement between the contracting parties.
The Greek law forbids the purchase of any property by signing a private document and, in case such thing occurs, the purchase is null and void.
Usually, it is the purchaser’s right to choose and appoint the notary public, since he bears the notary fees.
The work of the notary public is of great importance given that the deed safeguards and guarantees the vested rights of both contracting parties and is the legal title of ownership.
As far as the notary fees are concerned, these vary according to the purchase price.
In any case, a percentage of 1,2%, more or less, is charged on the contract value. In addition, extra money will be paid to the notary on behalf of third parties (Greek Fund’s rights etc) and for the notary’ s rights arising from the total number of pages of the contract and from the number of certified copies that will be issued.
Apart from the above charges, a percentage of approximately 0,5%, estimated on the purchase price will be demanded by the Registry of Mortgages for the conveyance of the title.
APPOINTMENT OF A LAWYER - FEES
The most important person during the whole process of property purchase is the lawyer, especially the purchaser’s lawyer, whose contribution to the drawing of the deed is decisive since he is the one who protects and secures his client’s interests.
We should point out a peculiarity of the Greek Law, which imposes as obligatory the lawyer’s presence during the conclusion of a property transfer if the value of the transaction exceeds the amount of 29,347 € for assets located in the area of Athens / Piraeus, or the amount of 11,739 € for all other parts of Greece. The obligatory presence of a lawyer means that not only he will be present during the conclusion of the contract, but that he will sign the document himself as well.
The Greek Law does not impose a maximum limitation concerning the lawyer’s fees for any property transaction and these shall be agreed by mutual consent (between the lawyer and the purchaser).
On the contrary, the law defines the following minimum amounts of remuneration for any property transaction, below which it is forbidden to agree on any fee:
• For contract value* up to €44,020, the minimum fee is 1%.
• For contract value* from €44,020 up to €1,467,351, the minimum fee is 0.5%.
• For contract value* from €1,467,351 up to €2,934,702, the minimum fee is 0.4%.
• For contract value* from €2,934,702 up to €5,869,405, the minimum fee is 0.3%.
• For contract value* from €5,869,405 up to €14,673,514, the minimum fee is 0.2%.
• For contract value* from €14,673,514 up to €29,347,028, the minimum fee is 0.1%.
• For contract value* from €29,347,028 up to €58,694,057, the minimum fee is 0.05%
• For any amount exceeding the €58,694,057, the minimum fee is 0.01%
* purchase price
The aforementioned minimum fees must be paid prior to the signature of the contract at the relevant Bar Association. Part of the fee is retained by the Bar Association (Athenian Bar Association retains 35% of the fee) and the rest of the amount is attributed to the lawyer.
LAND REGISTRY - NATIONAL CADASTRE
The Land Registry system has only recently been launched in Greece. Law 2308/95 introduced the National Land Registry (National Cadastre), which gradually replaces the existing Registries of Mortgages. For the time being, Land Registries cover a minor part of the country and it’s worth saying that as far as the islands of Rhodes and Kos are concerned there is an operative Land Registry system, which dates back to the period of the Italian occupation.
The notary deed, by which the purchase of any property is attested, is registered to the competent Registry of Mortgages or to the National Land Registry and by that time the purchaser obtains full right of ownership.
The expenses of Land Registry burden the purchaser. It is about 0,5 % on the value of the contract.
Real Estate Transfer Tax
Property purchase in Greece is subject to taxation. The tax is calculated on the contract value and is obligatory to be paid, by the purchaser, prior to the signature of the notary deed.
According to the Greek taxation law the tax for properties built before 01/01/2006, is calculated taking into consideration the following factors: a percentage of 9% is calculated to the part of the price up to € 15,000 and a percentage of 11% is calculated to the part of the price exceeding the amount of € 15,000. In some areas of the country (usually out of the cities) the aforementioned factors are reduced to 7% and 9% respectively. To the amount of the tax (not to the amount of the purchasing price) an additional public tax equal to 3% is added. On the other hand, properties built after 01/01/2006 are subject to a Value Added Tax (VAT) which at the present time is set at 19%, calculated on the contract value.
Tax free purchase of first ever residence may be applicable according to the respective legislation.
Capital Gains Tax
Properties purchased, donated etc on or after 01/01/2006 are subject to the Capital Gains Tax. This tax ought to be fully paid before the execution of the transfer of the property and is calculated on the difference between the purchase price of the real estate property to be transferred and its sale price. The said duty burdens the Seller. The rate of Capital Gains Tax is inversely proportionate to the time of ownership of the real estate to be transferred, therefore charging higher Capital Gains Tax for shorter term ownership.
• 20% in case the real estate property remained at the ownership of the seller for less than five years.
• 10% in case the real estate property remained at the ownership of the seller for more than 5 but less than 15 years.
• 5% in case the real estate property remained at the ownership of the seller for more than 15 but less than 25 years.
• 0% in case the real estate property remained at the ownership of the seller for more than 25 years.
Real Estate Transaction Duty
Subsequent transfer of property bears a Real Estate Transaction Duty of 1%. The said duty burdens the purchaser.
Exceptionally for subsequent sale of land acquired before 01/01/2006 Real Estate Transfer Tax has to be paid according to the respective legislation.
The above information is valid as per the current legislation in Greece and is subject to change at any time.
Our Company assumes no responsibility for any errors contained or omissions made in the above information. Purchasers are strongly recommended to obtain the advice of a tax consultant and a lawyer before proceeding with the purchase of a real estate property.
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