Don't lose money in Greece

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

How to conduct proper due diligence for your property in Greece

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, a local real estate expert has reviewed and approved the final article.

risks pitfalls buying real estate Greece

Everything you need to know is included in our Greece Property Pack

Buying a property in Greece is a substantial and potentially life-changing decision that should not be taken lightly.

Whether you are in pursuit of a new home, an investment opportunity, or a charming vacation retreat, stepping into the world of Greek real estate can be an invigorating endeavor.

Nevertheless, it is imperative to approach this process with caution and thorough consideration. Conducting diligent due diligence is a fundamental step in the property acquisition journey that should never be underestimated.

In this article, we will delve into the importance of due diligence when buying a property in Greece. We will shine a light on the crucial factors and considerations that every prospective buyer should be well-informed about. From understanding legal regulations to carrying out meticulous property inspections, we aim to provide you with invaluable insights to ensure that your real estate investment in Greece is not only thrilling but also secure.

Finally, please know that the full due diligence cheklist is included in our property pack for Greece.

What is a due diligence when you buy a property in Greece?

In Greece, the due diligence process in a residential real estate transaction, particularly from the buyer's perspective, is a crucial step. It involves thoroughly investigating and verifying various aspects of the property you're interested in buying.

This process is essential to ensure that the property is legally clear, structurally sound, and financially viable.

One of the key reasons you would undertake due diligence is to protect yourself from potential legal and financial issues. It's not legally mandatory, but skipping it could lead to unpleasant surprises like undisclosed debts, legal disputes, or structural problems with the property.

In essence, due diligence is about peace of mind and making an informed decision.

Typically, the due diligence process involves checking the legal title of the property, ensuring there are no outstanding mortgages or liens, and verifying that the property complies with all zoning and building regulations.

You should also investigate if there are any pending legal disputes or claims against the property.

The process is usually taken care of by a team of professionals, including a real estate lawyer, a notary, and possibly a surveyor or architect. The real estate lawyer plays a pivotal role in reviewing legal documents and providing advice on any potential issues. The notary is responsible for verifying and recording the transaction, while a surveyor or architect can assess the physical condition of the property.

Regarding timing, due diligence should be initiated as soon as you have a serious interest in a property, ideally before you make any formal offer or sign a preliminary contract.

The duration of the process can vary, typically taking a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the complexity of the property’s legal and physical status.

Yes, this process does involve costs.

You'll need to pay for the services of the legal and technical professionals involved. These costs can vary but are generally a small percentage of the property’s value.

While it might seem like an extra expense, it's a worthwhile investment considering the significant financial and legal implications of buying property.

Get the full checklist for your due diligence in Greece

Don't repeat the same mistakes others have made before you. Make sure everything is in order before signing your sales contract.

due diligence Greece

What to check during a due diligence in Greece?

We'll give here a very brief overview of the elements you have to check when you conduct a due diligence in Greece ; if you want a full checklist, please check the "Due Diligence" document in our property pack for Greece.

When you're buying a house in Greece, doing your homework, known as due diligence, is crucial.

It's all about making sure that the property you're eyeing is legally sound, financially clear, and in good physical condition.

First up, checking the property's title.

In Greece, this means looking into the Land Registry and the National Cadastre. These are the official records where all the details about who owns what land are kept. Your lawyer will help you out here, ensuring the seller really owns the property and there are no hidden debts or claims against it.

Now, let's talk about local regulations.

Greece has specific rules about building and land use. You'll want to make sure the property meets these regulations. This is where a local architect or your lawyer can guide you, checking that everything's in line with local zoning laws.

Financial checks are next.

This isn't just about the price of the property. You need to ensure there are no unpaid taxes or utility bills. Usually, the seller provides recent statements for utilities, and your lawyer can check for outstanding taxes.

In Greece, environmental assessments aren't always mandatory, but they're good to have, especially if the property is near industrial areas. This assessment can reveal if there are any environmental risks like pollution.

Building inspections are also key. They're not required by law, but they're a smart move. A professional can inspect the property to make sure it's structurally sound and there are no major repair needs.

Utility access is another thing.

You want to be sure that the property has proper access to water, electricity, and sewage. Your lawyer can help confirm this with the utility companies.

Understanding the neighborhood is also important.

Take a walk around the area, see what amenities are available, and maybe chat with some locals. This gives you a feel for what living there would be like.

Easements or rights of way can affect how you use your property. These are legal rights others might have on your land, and your lawyer can check for these in the Land Registry.

Future development plans can impact your property's value and your enjoyment of it.

Check with the local municipality to see if there are any big projects planned in the area.

Lastly, you might want to check if the property has any historical significance or past disputes. This can affect what changes you can make to the property. Again, your lawyer can help dig into this, ensuring there are no surprises.

real estate Greece

Everything you need to know is included in our Greece Property Pack

What's the process and who are the professionals involved in a property due diligence in Greece?

In Greece, when you're buying a house, the due diligence process is a team effort involving several professionals.

Each plays a specific role to ensure the transaction is smooth and secure.

First, a real estate lawyer is key. They'll handle all the legal aspects, like checking the property title and ensuring there are no legal issues.

In Greece, lawyers are regulated by local bar associations, which set standards for their practice. Your lawyer will be your main point of contact, handling legal documentation and advising you on Greek property laws.

Then, you might involve a surveyor or an architect, especially if the property is older or you're planning renovations.

They'll assess the property's condition, check for any structural issues, and ensure compliance with local building codes. These professionals are regulated by their respective professional bodies in Greece, ensuring they meet certain standards of practice.

If you're not fluent in Greek, language barriers can be a challenge.

It's common for foreign buyers to hire lawyers and agents who are fluent in both Greek and the buyer's language. This helps ensure clear communication and that you fully understand all documents and agreements.

Regarding the contract, once it's signed, making amendments isn't straightforward. Both parties must agree to any changes, and these changes must be documented legally. It's best to be thorough before signing to avoid the need for later changes.

After signing the contract, completing all paperwork and approvals can take a bit of time.

Typically, you're looking at a few weeks to a couple of months. This timeframe includes completing all legal checks, registering the property, and settling any tax obligations.

The exact time can vary based on the complexity of the transaction and the efficiency of the local authorities.

A mistake in your due diligence could cost you thousands of dollars

Make sure you don't overlook critical checks when assessing the condition of your prospective property purchase. Avoid legal complications. Stay prepared, get our comprehensive guide.

risks and mistakes Greece

What are the common pitfalls happening during a property due diligence in Greece?

After our research and the feedback collected from our local real estate partners, we have written an article about the risks and pitfalls when buying a property in Greece.

In Greece, buying a residential property comes with unique risks and pitfalls, especially for foreigners. Understanding these can help you navigate the process more smoothly.

One specific pitfall in Greece is the complexity of property rights due to historical factors.

The country has a history of fragmented land ownership and unclear property boundaries, especially in rural areas. This can lead to disputes over land boundaries and ownership, which aren't common in many other countries. For instance, a property might have been passed down through generations without formal documentation, leading to unclear ownership.

Foreigners often face risks related to language barriers and unfamiliarity with local laws and practices.

Real-life examples include misunderstandings in contracts due to translation issues or being unaware of specific legal requirements for property transactions in Greece.

There are also cultural nuances in negotiations and transactions that might be unfamiliar to someone from another country.

Greek law has its specificities, especially around property rights and transaction processes. One common pitfall in contracts is not fully understanding or neglecting the terms related to property taxes or fees.

It's crucial to ensure all contractual terms are clear and understood.

To mitigate these risks, it’s advisable to work with a local lawyer who is fluent in your language and Greek. They can help navigate the legal intricacies and ensure you understand all aspects of the contract.

Also, conducting a thorough due diligence process, including a detailed property survey and legal checks, is crucial.

Regarding property insurance, it’s not legally required in Greece but highly recommended. Standard insurance policies cover risks like fire, earthquake, and theft. Given Greece's seismic activity, earthquake insurance is particularly advisable.

In case of a dispute, legal avenues for resolution include mediation, arbitration, or going through the Greek court system.

The first step is usually to try to resolve the issue through direct negotiation or mediation, which can be quicker and less costly than court proceedings. If these methods fail, the matter can be taken to court.

The responsible authorities for settling disputes in Greece are the local courts ('Dikastiria').

Each region has its own court system, and cases are typically handled in the court jurisdiction where the property is located.

Get the full checklist for your due diligence in Greece

Don't repeat the same mistakes others have made before you. Make sure everything is in order before signing your sales contract.

due diligence Greece

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.