Selling land in Greece can bring expensive surprises if not properly taken care of, learn how an expert lawyer can assist you through it.
The decisions you make during the property selling process can save you money and avoid delays and there are a number of important questions in this regard that you need to ask yourself before proceeding.
Checklist – Selling Land in Greece
- Do you have a legally valid property title? According to Greek law real estate passes from one to another only with a notarial deed. Therefore, if you have only a private agreement with the previous owner of property or even perhaps a handwritten Will drafted by your grandfather, you should acquire a notarized property title before attempting to sell the land.
- Have you registered your ownership title at the Greek Land Registry (Ypothikofylakeion)? If not your notarial deed has no legal power against third persons, which means that you cannot sell it until you register your property title in the Greek Land Registry.
- Is there a Land Registry Cadastre Office in the region where your land is situated? If so, you should also register your land at the Land Registry Cadastre before trying to sell it.
- Is your property in an area classified as “border area”? In that case there are legal restrictions that apply to foreigners that are potential property buyers, for national security reasons. In case your land is classified as being in a “border area”, it is better for you to search for buyers that have either Greek nationality or are descendants of Greek nationals, or even are EU citizens. Otherwise, you should apply to the Ministry of Defence for a special permission for your foreigner buyer, but such permissions are very rare in Greece and you may lose valuable time you could spend selling your property to another buyer.
- Do you have an updated topographic plan dully signed and stamped by a topographic-construction engineer? If not, you should prepare one in order to have the exact boundaries and the recent size of your plot calculated. These will be described in the notarial deed of sales and purchase of land. The sign of the topographer should also report the plot building terms.
- Are there any objections by the relevant Archeology Authorities about the land for sale? Do you have certifications from all the relevant Archeology Authorities (i.e. Ancient Authority and/or Modern Monuments Authority)?
- Do you have a clearance certificate by the local Forest Authority? Keep in mind that if your land is classified as forestry land it may not be built upon.
- Do you have an affirmation by the local municipality that it does not occupy municipal land?
- Do you have an affirmation by the Agricultural authorities that the land is not highly productive, which can also affect its use by the potential buyer?
- Are there any liens or encumbrances by a bank or other debtors? In that case you should try to release your land from such burdens. However, in case you have a debt with a bank or a third-party still due, you should contact with them and have a pre-agreement of the release terms in case you sell it.
As you can imagine all these questions affect your decision to sell your land as well as the potential sale value of the land. To these costs you should also add the estate agent’s fees, the notarial fees and the various taxes.
A property sale expert lawyer authorised by virtue of a Power of Attorney can take care of any of the above “preparatory actions” necessary to for sell your land in Greece, as well all the actions needed in order for you to complete the sale process, such as:
- Represent you in the negotiation process, usually together with the estate agent of your choice.
- Draft the pre-sales agreement, which will contain all the terms and conditions of the selling process and of the final SPA agreement (i.e. price, who pays any of the above mentioned costs, completion date of the legal and technical checks by the other party etc.)
- Issue the tax registration number and the certificate of tax clearance needed,
- Issue a certification that no inheritance or gift tax is due if the property was acquired by the previous owner by inheritance or as a gift,
- Issue a municipal tax clearance
- Submit the conveyance tax statement by virtue of which both parties (seller and buyer) declare to the relevant Tax Authorities that the tax due for the transaction has been paid.
- Check the notarial agreement. Please note that according to Greek Law, public notaries have no responsibility for the context of the notarial deed they sign. They will only ever verify that under their public authority, that whatever is contained in the deed, was read before them and that all parties – who are capable of acting on their own behalf and are not deaf- have heard it.
History may have a role when selling Land in Greece
Keep in mind the region your plot is located at if you are willing to go for selling the land: being Greece cradle for modern Europe (and probably whole western world), such a rich archeological country might hide a -highly valuable in heritage terms but- nasty surprise for your plans.