Berlin: +49 30 88702382 | Thessaloniki: +30 2310 284408 [email protected]

Real Estate Law

Sell House in Greece. 2024 Guide about Cost, Tax and the Process

Selling a property can be a complex and daunting task, especially when it comes to navigating the intricate legal landscape of a country like Greece. If you are considering or have decided that “I want to sell a house in Greece”, understanding the procedural and legal nuances of the Greek real estate market is crucial.

The decision to sell a house in Greece brings with it a multitude of considerations, including the costs associated with the sale, the taxes to be paid, and the mandatory involvement of professional services such as real estate agents and lawyers. The process involves several key steps, from preparing your property for sale and setting the right price, to completing legal formalities and negotiating with potential buyers.

Hiring a lawyer is a legal requirement when selling a home in Greece.

Our law firm is here to provide expert guidance in navigating the sale process, from ensuring legal compliance and protecting your interests to efficiently handling all formalities. With the right preparation and our professional assistance, selling a house in Greece will be a rewarding and successful endeavor.

Are you ready to sell a house in Greece? We will help you through the whole process.

Thessaloniki
+30 2310 284408

Berlin
+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

The Process of selling a house in Greece

Selling a house in Greece requires careful planning and execution if you want to ensure that you are legally covered, compliant and get the most out of the sale.

There are a number of steps you should follow, including navigating the legal requirements, working with professionals, and marketing your property effectively.

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

  • Property Assessment and Valuation: Begin by assessing the condition of your property and consider making necessary repairs or improvements to increase its appeal and value. Hire a professional real estate agent to determine the market value of your property. This step is critical to setting a competitive and realistic selling price.
  • Legal preparation: Gather all necessary legal documents, including the title deed, proof of identity, and any other certificates or permits related to the property, such as the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which assesses the energy efficiency of the property and is mandatory for selling property in Greece. Consult a Greek real estate lawyer to ensure that all your paperwork is in order and to navigate the legal requirements smoothly.
  • Hire a real estate agent: Research and select a reputable real estate agent with experience selling property in your area. Discuss and agree on the terms of their services, including their commission rates and marketing strategy for your property.
    Marketing Your Property: Your agent will list your property on various platforms to maximize exposure. Be sure to arrange for professional photographs and possibly virtual tours of your property to attract potential buyers. Be prepared to host showings for interested buyers, either by yourself or through your agent.
  • Negotiate offers: Your agent will receive offers from potential buyers and present them to you. With your agent’s help, you can negotiate the terms of the sale, including price and closing date, with prospective buyers to reach an agreement.
  • Legal Process and Purchase Agreement: Once you accept an offer, a preliminary agreement is drawn up outlining the terms of the sale. Both parties sign this agreement and the buyer may pay a deposit. Your lawyer will conduct the necessary legal checks on the property to ensure there are no legal impediments to the sale. Upon successful completion of the legal due diligence and financing arrangements by the buyer, the final purchase agreement is drafted by the attorney.
  • Closing and transfer: The final purchase agreement is signed by both parties in the presence of a notary. The buyer completes the payment according to the agreed terms. The transfer is registered in the Land Registry and ownership is officially transferred to the buyer.
  • Taxes and Fees: Pay all necessary taxes and fees associated with the sale. Be aware of capital gains tax and other tax implications when selling property in Greece. As your attorney, we can help you understand and handle these payments.However, it is important to consider that by 2024, the Greek real estate market will be more mature, with stabilized prices and a more structured investment environment.

Selling an Inherited Property in Greece

Selling an inherited property in Greece involves several specific steps and legal considerations due to the country’s unique property laws and tax regulations.

First and foremost, it is imperative that you establish your legal right to the property. In Greece, inheritance is governed by the Greek Civil Code, and upon the death of the property owner, the estate must go through a probate process. This process includes examining the will, if there is one, or following statutory inheritance laws, which determine heirship in the absence of a will.

Once the legal inheritance is determined, the next step is to pay off any debts or encumbrances on the property. Inherited real estate can sometimes come with encumbrances, such as outstanding taxes or mortgages. These must be paid before the property can be sold. It’s also important to make sure the property taxes are up to date, as delinquencies can significantly complicate the sale process.

Before listing the property for sale, it is advisable to obtain an accurate appraisal.

The valuation will not only establish a competitive market price, but will also determine the taxable value of the property for inheritance tax purposes. Inheritance tax in Greece is calculated based on the relationship between the deceased and the heir, and the value of the inherited property.

With the legal and financial aspects in order, marketing the property effectively is the next step. Using a local real estate agent can provide access to potential buyers and help navigate local market trends.

The final sale of the property involves several detailed steps, usually coordinated by a notary and your attorney. This includes the drafting and signing of the final contract of sale. All parties involved must be present at the signing of the contract or appoint legal representatives by power of attorney. Once the contract is signed and payment is secured, title is officially transferred to the buyer and the proceeds of the sale can be paid.

Costs of selling a house in Greece

There are several costs associated with selling a home in Greece. As these can vary depending on the location, value of the property and the professionals involved, it’s important to discuss all potential costs with your real estate agent and lawyer early in the process in order to budget effectively.

The main costs to consider are real estate agent fees, legal fees and notary fees.

Estate agent commissions are usually a percentage of the final sale price. This percentage can vary, but is usually between 2% and 5%.

Legal fees for an attorney to handle the sale can vary widely depending on the complexity of the transaction and the attorney’s rates. It’s usually a percentage of the property value or a fixed fee.

The notary’s fee for notarizing the sale contract and other legal documents is usually around 1% to 1.5% of the property value, but this can vary.

If a survey of the property is required to assess its condition or boundaries, the cost may vary depending on the scope of the survey and the surveyor’s fees.

You may also incur costs if you decide to make repairs or improvements to increase the property’s appeal and value, and these will vary depending on the extent of the work.

In some cases, if your real estate agent doesn’t cover all marketing expenses, you may have to pay for additional advertising, professional photography, and possibly staging services, which can vary widely.

The final cost is to obtain the mandatory Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The cost depends on the size and type of property, but typically ranges from €100 to €300.

Taxes to pay when selling a house in Greece

When selling a property in Greece, there are several taxes and fiscal obligations you may need to consider.

The tax landscape can be complex and the details can change. This overview provides a general idea of the taxes involved in selling property in Greece, but keep in mind that the actual tax burden can vary greatly depending on specific circumstances and the ever-changing tax regulations.

It’s always a good idea to consult a local tax advisor or lawyer for the most up-to-date information!

  • Capital gains tax: Capital gains tax on property sales has been reintroduced in Greece and applies to properties purchased after January 1, 2014. The rate may vary, but the general approach is to tax the difference between the acquisition cost and the sale price of the property. Specific exemptions and reductions may apply based on the length of time the property has been owned and other factors.
  • Real estate transfer tax: If the property was purchased before 2014, you may be subject to a real estate transfer tax instead of capital gains tax. This tax is calculated on the “objective value” of the property (an officially determined value based on location, size, and other criteria) rather than the actual sale price. The rate has historically been around 3%, but it is important to always check the current rate as it can vary.
  • Municipal tax: In addition to the property transfer tax, there’s also a municipal tax, which is a percentage of the transfer tax (usually around 3%).
  • Value Added Tax (VAT): New buildings sold by developers may be subject to VAT in lieu of transfer tax. The VAT rate is 24% of the sale price. However, this mainly applies to properties for which the building permit was issued after January 1, 2006.
  • Withholding Tax: In certain situations, if the seller is a non-resident, the buyer may be required to withhold a percentage of the purchase price as an advance tax payment on behalf of the seller.
  • Social Security Contributions: There may be situations where social security contributions are applicable, particularly in cases where the sale of the property is considered a business activity.

There are various exemptions and deductions available, especially for primary residences, long-term ownership, and under certain conditions.

It’s important to declare the sale on your annual tax return in the year following the sale.

Given the complexity of property and tax laws in Greece, which can also vary by location and specific circumstances, professional advice is essential to fully understand your tax liability.

Why hiring a lawyer is recommended when selling a house in Greece

The involvement of a real estate lawyer when selling a house in Greece is not only recommended, it’s a legal requirement.

The Greek legal system requires the presence of a lawyer to ensure the legality of the real estate transaction, to protect the rights of both the buyer and the seller, and to formally record the transfer of ownership.

The legal process of selling property in Greece involves various formalities, from obtaining the necessary certificates to registering the sale. A lawyer will coordinate these tasks and ensure that they are completed efficiently and correctly. Ensuring that all legal aspects are handled correctly the first time will help avoid delays and additional costs that could arise from non-compliance or errors in the paperwork.

  • A real estate lawyer in Greece will ensure that all legal documents required for the sale of the property are accurate, complete and properly processed. This includes, but is not limited to, title deeds, building permits, and energy performance certificates.
  • Attorneys are required to facilitate the transfer of property titles and ensure that the transaction complies with all local regulations and tax laws.
  • Lawyers draft and review sales agreements to ensure they reflect the agreed terms accurately and protect the seller’s interests. This includes specifying the conditions of the sale, payment terms, and any contingencies.
  • If any disputes or legal issues arise before, during or after the sale, an attorney will represent your interests and work toward a resolution.
  • Greek real estate laws can be complicated and vary from region to region. An attorney with expertise in real estate law can navigate these complexities and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.
  • Lawyers often work closely with tax advisors to help sellers understand their tax liabilities, including capital gains tax, real estate transfer tax, and any applicable exemptions or deductions.

Hiring a lawyer is not only a legal requirement, but also a prudent step when selling a house in Greece. Given the significant financial and legal implications of selling property, the expertise and guidance of a qualified lawyer is invaluable.

Contact us today if you are selling your house in Greece. Our law firm will ensure that the transaction is legally sound, your interests are protected and the process is as smooth as possible.

* The information on this site is provided for the sole purpose of illustrating the subject matter. It in no way constitutes legal advice nor a substitute for individual legal advice provided by counsel. Each case is unique, presents unique circumstances, and should be evaluated in detail by an attorney who will verify its specific circumstances.

Contact Leptokaridou Law Firm

Sell a House in Greece Safely

We are here to protect your interests when selling a home in Greece, ensuring that the transaction is legally sound and that the process is as smooth as possible. Contact Leptokaridou Law Firm today to sell your house in Greece with confidence.

Contact us if you are in the process of selling a house in Greece.

Thessaloniki
+30 2310 284408

Berlin
+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

We Help You Sell a House in Greece

An international lawyer experienced in Greek real estate law is your ideal partner when selling a home in Greece. We will be by your side to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

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+49 30 88702382
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