Buying a house in Greece: time you need to count on and the impact on the buying process because of the Covid

Buying a home in Greece is a safe but a time consuming investment. Periods of Covid lockdown have further increased the time for the buying process itself. I explain below the time frames that you need to calculate during the buying process. Note, however, that all the facts below are only approximate and should not be seen as the only possible scenario.

Buying a house in Greece: scheduling

Let’s say you plan to move to or have a vacation in your own house in Greece in the summer of 2022. To do so, you need to start the buying process by spring 2021.

  1. Before you come to the showings, you need to find out which documents you need to have with you (more info under the link here) and you need to be prepared to pay 10% deposit (more info below the link here)
  2. Finding a house in Greece does not have to be a lengthy process but you need to expect to be in place in about 2-3 weeks. The screenings themselves take about 3 days, but you need to count on a week. You need to have time between screenings to digest the impressions. Are you interested in both areas we work with: Messinia and Argolis (more about areas here) expect about 10 days
  3. Once you find your dream house (or a house that can be your dream house in the future: it is important to be flexible!) You leave a bid and wait for the seller to approve it.
  4. For two weeks, you should book the meeting with a lawyer that you find before or that is recommended by the broker or by Elias and me.
  5. Hopefully the seller will accept the offer and during week three you will spend a lot of time with your lawyer and your broker. The bank account of a Greek bank must be opened and the power of attorney agreement with the lawyer must be signed
  6. You pay a 10% deposit to the broker’s or lawyer’s client account to ensure that your house is taken down from the sales market.
  7. It’s time for you to go back to your home country and for the lawyer to begin the investigation of ownership and legalization of the buying process
  8. After the lawyer has done his part, it is time for the civil engineer to examine the condition of the house, check the building permit and more.
  9. When they are both ready, the notary public will take over
  10. After the lawyer has once again checked that everything is in order, you will pay land transfer tax
  11. Finally, it’s time to certify and sign the purchase agreement
  12. The last step is to pay the remaining money and gain access to the property

The whole process takes about 6-9 months and depends on several factors. Good for you to know: if you sign a power of attorney with your lawyer, you do not have to fly to Greece during this period to complete the purchase yourself.

Buying a house in Greece: has Covid19 affected the buying process?

The answer is “yes”: during the lockdown periods, communication is longer, some authorities are only partially open and this negatively affects the time for completion of the process. Worth noting: during the first lockdown in Greece, we and our lawyer managed to complete the purchase for a customer who bought without even seeing visiting and looking at the property! The first fully digital purchase! Elias and I met the customer between the lockdown periods: fun story with a happy ending!

Useful links