Procedure of property transfer
The procedure of a property acquisition usually has the following steps:
1.Finding of the property, with the possible contribution of an estate agent. The estate agent's fee is not specified by law, but is subject to an agreement. Usually a fee of a percentage of 2%-4% of actual price paid for the property is agreed in writing, but this may vary, depending on property value and other factors.
2.Legal due diligence (title search) of the property.
After finding the property of his choice and before signing any contract, the buyer should assign to a lawyer the complete legal due diligence of the property.
It is noted that the obligation for the presence of a lawyer before the notary applies where the contractual value of the property is above ?29.347,03 for the jurisdiction of Athens & Piraeus. For all other jurisdictions the relevant threshold is ?11.738,81.
The title search takes place at the Land Registry Office and/or at the Cadastre Office at the property?s region and includes the right of the vendor and his predecessors in title (for a time period of at least 20 years, which is the time of the basic rule of prescription of rights, according to article of C.C 249), and any encumbrances ( such as mortgages, pre-notices of a mortgage, foreclosures and court claims) against those persons.
3.Technical survey of the property.
When the property to be transferred is land or lies off the town plan, it is necessary to recruit an engineer, who will check whether the property meets the legal conditions for construction. Also, it is advisable to check the compliance with the new arrangements for settlement of illegal constructions.
4. The property transfer tax return.
Before signing the contract, the buyer or an authorized person has to submit at the competent Tax Office the property transfer tax return, that is drafted by the notary and is signed by both the seller and the buyer. After the transfer tax is paid, the department of Capital of the Tax Office grants a copy of this transfer tax return, that must be attached to the notary?s contractual act.
5.The signature and the recordation of the notarial act of property transfer.
The signature of the act of property transfer takes place before a notary, after the collection of necessary legal and appropriate supporting documents, such as an official copy of the building permit, a solemn protestation by the seller, concerning the statement of his property income before the competent tax authorities, a certificate of conformity for payment of Local Authorities taxes, a certificate for the declaration of inheritance tax or gift tax to the competent tax authority, when the property is acquired by virtue of succession or gift, a tax and insurance certificate for the seller, a certificate of payment of the transfer taxes to the competent Tax Authority of the property, an Energy Performance Certificate, etc.
6. The recordation of the transfer title takes places either at the Land Registry Office or at the Hellenic National Land Registry (cadastre) of the region where the property is located, after the submission of the notarial act and a summary of it, along with an application and the payment of the recordation fees. The certificates of recordation of the transfer act are granted within a reasonable period of time.