We at CORFU PROPERTY EXPERTS do everything we can to make the buying process run as smoothly as possible starting by assisting in finding the right property for you, at the right price.
We then continue to support you whilst assisting with your buying process from start to finish and beyond.
Here is a guide to some additional information about buying property in Corfu
and the legal aspects that might affect the sale completion.
Legal restrictions and representation:
Firstly, as Greece is a member of the European Union (E.U.), there are not many limits on who may freely opt to purchase property in Corfu. All citizens of the E.U. may purchase land and property under the same terms as a Greek citizen may. There are very few exceptions for some territories within the E.U. as well as citizens from outside the E.U. that will require a simple license easily obtained from the Greek government.
As with most countries, a lawyer is required to represent the buyer and to protect their interests. We are able to recommend several reliable lawyers who specialise in real estate who represent the majority of our satisfied clients should you not have your own already.
The lawyer’s role will be as follows:
1. To ensure the ownership and title of any property in question, and that any contracts over the property are signed legally and are up to date.
2. To ensure the current legal status of the property, and that there are no outstanding mortgages, incumbencies, claims or real property rights registered to the property, ensuring that there will be no legal claims to the property after purchase.
3. To ensure that all building permits are legal, complete and conform to necessary building regulations.
4. In cases where a residence permit is required to be issued due to the purchase of property, to assist with the procedure in attaining one with the relevant Greek authorities.
As part of the procedure of purchasing property in Greece, you will be required to have a Greek tax number and Greek bank account.
You can obtain these items yourself, although most choose to take the normal procedure of granting power of attorney to their lawyer to act as their representative, this then enables your lawyer to obtain all of your necessary documents.
The power of attorney may also allow them to sign any documentation including the sale completion contract on your behalf. This means that even if you have to return to your home country for a period of time, you can do so, safe in the knowledge that your lawyer will be able to deal with the procedure even in your absence.
Once your lawyer has undertaken the search and collated all the necessary documents required it is then the task of a notary to draw up the contracts between buyer and seller.
Notaries are public servants who will represent the state in all property contracts. They keep records and copies of all contracts in their own archives, as well as issue authorised copies of contracts to the parties involved.
The notary will require topographic diagrams of any property involved in these contracts from a civil engineer, and the authorisation of the civil engineer that the property is legal as well as its energy efficiency rating. The notary is responsible for checking that these documents are valid for a legal sale to cover both parties.
The notary is then required to register the contract showing new property ownership at the local land registry as part of their duty.
Building and renovations:
If you are looking to build from fresh or undertake external renovation work, you will also need additional permits that we can help with by recommending several acknowledged and reputable civil engineers. We know that this can be a very personal and important part of your endeavour and so we always aim to choose the right professional for your needs.
As is to be expected, there are charges incurred to a buyer when purchasing property.
As agents of the sale, we charge a fee of 2% for the buyers and 3% for the sellers (with a minimum of 1500 Euros) , as well as most lawyers charging roughly 2% depending on the complexity of their involvement in any dealings.
Similarly, the notary involved will charge a percentage (normally 2%) of the “tax value” of the property involved, although this value is most often lower than the purchase price as it is a static value by the land registry office based on criteria such as distance from coast, age of buildings on the property, size of the property and so on.
(The above percentages are subject to additional V.A.T. charges)
There is also a transfer tax involved which will be a percentage of the purchase price, approximately 3% although this varies from property to property.
Finally, there is an annual property tax that will need to be paid each year after completion of the transfer, although the amount of this tax is dependent on each property and the tax value of the property set by the local tax office.
All these charges can be estimated with some good degree of accuracy and we can make enquiries towards these figures beforehand in most cases.
We are here for your peace of mind
We hope that this guide helps you to understand the property buying process in our beautiful island of Corfu but please be safe in the knowledge that we are here for you throughout the whole buying process and beyond.
We are happy to assist if you require any further information that may not be included in the guide.
All of our contact details can be found on our Contacts page.