Congratulations! You found your dream property in Greece and the buying process started. Can you just travel back home? Or should you consider paying the customary 10% deposit directly, before returning to your home country?
Elias and I used to answer “yes” to this question in the first years because it is the most common way to “ensure” that “your” property is not sold to other clients. It is also the most common way to invest in real estate in most European countries.
In Greece, when property investments are made, a so-called “Private Down Payment Agreement” is usually written. But even if you pay the deposit to the broker responsible for the property, it is not completely risk-free that no one else can bid or buy your “dream property”. Plus there can be conflicts in those cases where legal inaccuracies are discovered with, for example, ownership relationships.
Buying a property through HouseFinders Peloponnese: step by step guide
If you choose to buy through our company, after consulting several lawyers specializing in real estate investments in Greece, we recommend the following:
- The buyer and seller agree on the price for the property
- The buyer, seller and HouseFinders agree on the size of the deposit and all parties sign a “Private Down Payment Agreement” which clearly states that agreement on the purchase will be legally binding after the pre-contract is signed by the seller and buyer
- The buyer pays the deposit (always!) to HouseFinder’s Peloponnese client account in Piraeus bank. Until the legally binding pre-contract is created, both parties can cancel and the deposit will always be returned to the buyer
- HouseFinders Peloponnese sends the signed “Private Down Payment Agreement” as well as the necessary documents to the buyer’s lawyer who in turn shares documents with a notary whose task is to ensure that the property has “clean” title deeds and correct topographical map
- For the next 14-20 days, your “dream property” will be off the market and the seller may not accept other offers on the property
- The notary returns to the buyer’s lawyer after examining the documents received and the lawyer gives the “green light” to write a pre-contract with a notary. The contract specifies which other documents/documents the seller must provide in order for the purchase to go through. Note that from this moment on, if you regret it, you will lose your deposit!
- It takes a little longer than three months until the final contract is signed and the purchase is completed
Note that although the cost of maintaining a preliminary contract is paid by the buyer, this amount will reduce the price of the final contract. Sometimes the “Private Down Payment Agreement” document can be replaced by a so-called “Private Reservations Agreement”. However, all other steps with pre-contract and so on remain the same.
For those who cannot be at the location until the preliminary contract is signed
Most of our customers go back to their home countries shortly after point one, we all live in stressful times. Before you fly back home, we make sure you meet a lawyer and sign a Power of Attorney (PoA) document with her/him. A PoA is used to allow another person to sign a contract or legal document. This means that you don’t need to go back to Greece during the entire purchase process. It is also possible to arrange PoA without your personal meeting with the lawyer, however, expect longer time and a slightly higher cost for the service. For PoA you need to prepare:
- Copy of passport
- Father’s full name and surname
- Mother’s full name and maiden name
- Place and date of birth
- Residential address
Do you want to know more about additional costs for real estate investment in Greece? Check FAQ as and point number 5.