Is it necessary to have a lawyer in Greece?
Lawyers are mandatory for the buyer and seller and carry out necessary legal surveys and conduct a property title check for the past 20 years; they ensure the property is free of any mortgage notes, claims, expropriations, rights-of-way and, in general, any legal encumbrances. In addition, solicitors ensure that all property taxes burdening the vendor have been paid.
Is it necessary to come to contact and use a notary?
Yes. A notary public is a government-appointed lawyer who processes and certifies all real estate transactions, including drawing up and reviewing all official documents, to ensure the legal transfer of the property.
Must all logistic issues go through a local Accountant?
Well, yes. It is essential to hire an accountant early on to help you with tax returns and explain taxation laws to you.
What is AFM and what do I need it for?
The tax number (AFM) is compulsory to all buyers, including foreigners and permanent residents abroad. It is issued on the spot at tax offices, and does not cost you a penny. All applicants must present their passport and sometimes also their birth certificate. If you have granted your solicitor full Power of Attorney, s/he can apply for a Tax number for you.
What about banking services in Greece?
You will need them since most payments would normally be made through this account; also, this account will prove that funds used for property purchase have come into Greece from another country and are, therefore, not taxable in Greece. Opening a bank account inGreece only takes a few minutes and requires no minimum opening deposit. All you need is your ID or passport and your newly acquired tax number.
Do I need a permission of residence to buy the property?
If you stay in an EU country, a resident’s permit is not frequently asked for. However, should you wish to buy a car you will need one. If you don’t stay in an EU country yes.
Will a deposit be required?
To secure the house or apartment, to show your serious interest and to take the property off the market a down payment is required. In case of off-plan properties and projects just under construction the stage payments can vary.
Do I have to be present at the signing of the contract?
You can be here or you can prepare a Power of Attorney to enable signing of the contract in your absence. Depending on the seller’s situation as well as the location of the land, the time from your decision to purchase to the actual signing of the contract can take anywhere from five days to over a month. If you are not in Zakynthos, your Power of Attorney enables the lawyer of your choice here in Greece to sign the land contract for you.