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Property Transfer in Greece

The Process in General

In order to transfer a property, a specific procedure needs to be followed. For the most accurate result to be achieved, the use of professionals like a lawyer, notary, accountant, and engineer is usually necessary. The procedure includes the collection of the documents required and the conduction of legal and technical reviews of the property that is going to be transferred, before the transition to the new owner / buyer.
In order to result in a smooth transaction, technical and legal research must be thorough, so in case of any illegalities, liabilities, or pending procedures, the property owner will be able to resolve them before the transaction. Thus, the lawyer’s and engineer’s assistance is considered essential. Specifically, the legal research refers to the deed search of the property, the burdens, claims and liabilities of any kind and to the resolution of any legal issues, whilst the engineer’s research refers to reviewing the topographic plan of the property, the conformity of the buildings to the issued building license and their compliance with the town planning regulations. The engineer will also perform due diligence on legalization procedures that have been undertaken.
Finalizing the research, the seller is liable of providing the required documents for the transfer to the notary, in order to complete the act of sale. Following, the buyer is eligible to pay the transfer tax. Then, both contracting parties must sign the act of sale, and the transfer of the property to its new owner is finalized by the registration of the purchase contract at the relevant land registry/cadastral office.
Below, you can find a list of the stages of the transfer.

 

The Stages

 

Primary Survey of the Supporting Documents

At this stage, the seller will provide all necessary documents in order to assist with the due diligence of the technical and legal surveys, so any involvement of authorities (land registry, urban planning department etc.) will be kept to minimum. If any technical or legal issues arise during this stage, actions to overcome those will be implemented in order to proceed with the subsequent property transfer. Any costs or expenses occur, will be covered by the seller.

 

Preliminary Agreement (optional)

The preliminary agreement (consists in a notary’s act), binds the buyer and the seller to proceed with the property sale. Specifically, the seller to proceed with transferring the ownership of the property to the buyer, and the buyer to pay the price that is agreed by both parties. The preliminary agreement includes all the terms that are agreed as preconditions for finalizing the sale and signing the final act of sale. Also, the agreement combines the act of sale either to a specific period of time after which the act should be signed, or to the fulfilment of specific obligations or conditions by the contracting parties.

 

Seller’s – Buyer’s Obligations

The seller is asked to provide to the notary the required documents for the act of sale.
The buyer has to obtain a Greek tax number and provide all his identifications to the notary and then pay the transfer tax and notary fee. If he can’t be present when the contract or the preliminary agreement is signed, he needs to provide special authorization to a specific proxy by signing a power of attorney.

 

Contract Signing

To complete and sign the contract, the notary has to check and confirm that all documents needed for the property transfer are delivered and valid. Then, he prepares the property transfer declaration, which includes the seller’s and buyer’s details, the description of the property and the declared price of the sale, to be submitted by the buyer to his assigned tax office. For the procedure of contract signing, all parties or their legally designated proxies should be present in on front of the notary with optionally their lawyers, an estate agent (if involved) and an interpreter in case of any of the parties is not fluent with Greek.

 

Property Transfer Completion

Finally, after signing the contract, the buyer will be responsible for the registration of a certified copy of the contract to the local land registry/cadastral office, in order to get the registration certificate. After doing all the above, the buyer is now officially declared the new property owner.

 

Required Documents

For transferring a property, the seller needs to:

  1. Provide to the notary certifications of his property rights and
  2. Proof that there are no debts to any authority

The list below covers the required documents, for 100% ownership related to all types of built properties. In certain cases, additional certificates by local authorities might be requested.

THE DEED

Deed is the documents proving the property rights of the seller. Usually, the seller holds an official copy of his deed. In some occasions the deed may not be a notarial act, but a court decision, an act of implementing the city plan, act of expropriation, an act before the secretary of the district court, etc.

 

THE DEED REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE

The certificate is issued by the competent land registry office to the property owner, after the registration of his deed. in case of loss, the certificate can be reissued, upon owners request.

 

A COPY OF THE CADASTRAL SHEET / LAND REGISTER

The cadastral sheet applies to properties that are located in regions that are under cadastral survey. Each property has a cadastral sheet that represents the legal status of the property, states the Hellenic Cadastre Code Number (KAEK) of the property, the current owners and the acts registered are listed. Any interested party can issue the cadastral sheet at the property’s cadastral office.

 

CADASTRAL DIAGRAM EXTRACT

The cadastral diagram extract represents the defined borderlines and surfaces of each property situated in regions under cadastral survey. The coordinates are specifically defined by the National Reference System (EGSA 87).

 

TOPOGRAPHICAL PLAN

Latest topographical plan, including the engineer’s declaration (laws 651/1977 and 1337/ 1983), based on the state coordinates system E.G.S.A.'87.

 

BUILDING PERMIT

The Building Permit is a certified copy of the property listed for sale. It can be found at the corresponding civil authority office, that is responsible for the building permit.

 

BUILDING PERMIT DRAWINGS

With the building permit file are also submitted the certified copies of topographical, floor, and site plans and the sections. These can be found at the archive of the competent planning authority office.

 

TAP CERTIFICATE

The TAP Certificate proves that all municipal taxes are paid. These taxes are usually paid through power utility bills. The certificate is provided by the corresponding municipality of where the property is located. In order to acquire the certificate, the seller must provide a copy the property deed, the E9 tax document, and the latest electricity bill.

 

PROPERTY TAX CERTIFICATE

The Property Tax Certificate is issued to the property owner by the competent ta authority verifying that the property has been included in his real estate declaration for the last five years and that he does not owe any real estate tax for the specific property in these corresponding years. In case of additional legalized square meters, they should also be included in the respective property tax certificate for the period after legalization.

 

CERTIFICATE OF TAX CLEARANCE

It is the certificate that verifies that the property owner has paid off all his taxes to public authorities and organizations and he can acquire it from the competent tax authority and specifically, granted through the website of the Ministry of Finance. If the owner has debts due –meaning that the acquisition of the certificate is blocked – he should apply for a tax clearance certificate at the tax office, provided that out of the sale price the debt will be covered, which applies only if the amount withheld is lower than the sale price.

 

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE

The Energy Performance Certificate, a document recognized by the Ministry of Environment, is granted by the energy auditor and represents the energy efficiency of the building, in a scale from A+ to H, and includes suggestions from the auditor for energy improvements the specific property. It is required for all buildings of 50 square meters and above.

 

ENGINEER’S CERTIFICATE (L. 4495/17)

It is the certificate that verifies that the building was built legally and that the existing building and its usage are in compliance with the building permit, according to L. 4495/2017. If the construction and the uses of the property do not correspond to the actual, the certificate proves that all additional sqm. and fees have been settled following legalization procedures. In case of legalized constructions or uses, the certificate of the completion of the legalization procedure along with the new drawings that correspond to the current property status will be included.

 

CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE CLEARANCE

It is a Certificate that is only required if the seller is a natural person, a legal entity of any kind, or a member of a company, a manager in a Ltd., or an executive director in a SA, obliged to pay insurance contributions to public insurance organization (EFKA), or if a building permit has been issued in the seller's name (not necessarily referring to the selling property) within the last decade before the sale contract.