Good to know when you are buying property
ince 1990, citizens of the European community have been allowed to own property in most areas of Greece. Prices are considerably lower than in other parts of the Mediterranean, but are estimated to rise considerably in the future, making the purchase a particularly good investment now.
Legal Aspects of Property Purchase
Buying property in Crete is in no way like the cutthroat market practices of some parts of Europe. However, be assured that the legal protection of our customers is among the highest of our concerns. Therefore we have the best lawyers and advisers to assist you in this matters.
The basic process requires that you place a deposit of 10% upon the property that you are interested in purchasing which guarantees sole negotiation. This eliminates the risk of being galumphed. On payment of the deposit an agreement is signed which confirms both parties' details, the description of the property and other conditions pertinent to the sale.
The appointed lawyer holds the payment until all the requirements have been satisfied and the sale has been authorized.
The deposit is non-refundable should the prospective purchaser back out after the agreement has been signed. If the vendor backs out of the sale the deposit is refunded plus a 10% indemnity paid by the vendor.
Property transactions are always executed by a notary and in the presence of two lawyers who represent the vendor and the prospective purchaser. The new owner is registered in the land registry immediately after the exchange of contracts and the key is handed over. The lawyer of your choice and the Notary will carry out the necessary searches to ensure that the property has a clean title. Your lawyer will deal with the local regulations concerning the "assessed value" [see below] for tax purposes, and carry out the searches. The Notary will not allow any sale to proceed should any of the papers or deeds not be in order. This process is relatively straightforward and can be completed in about a week. Should the prospective purchaser not be present, the usual procedure is to give Power of Attorney to the purchaser's lawyer or us. Power of Attorney can also be arranged in the respective purchasers country of origin, via the Greek Consulate. Should the purchaser change his/her mind then this Power of Attorney can be cancelled at any time.