Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a guide to some of the most frequent questions that we are asked. We aim to answer your queries about moving to the beautiful paradise that is Corfu. Please contact us if there is anything else you would like to know.
Q: Can anyone buy a property on Corfu?
Yes, it is legal for anyone to purchase a property or land on the island of Corfu. If you are from the EU then you have the same rights as any Greek citizen. If you are from a place outside of the EU, then the rights are different and will have to be discussed and explained.
Q: What are the legal requirements of purchasing a property or land on Corfu?
When you have decided to buy a piece of land or property on Corfu, you will have to discuss with a lawyer, who will check the necessary papers/deeds to make sure that there are no issues. We would be able to assist you in finding a lawyer that is respected in this area. The lawyer would find and appoint a Notary Public who prepares the paperwork and contracts. The Notary Public official would register the property with the Land registry and keep a copy of the final contract, they will then give you official copies. You would also be required to have a Greek bank account and a Greek tax number before the final contract has been signed. We would be able to assist you with this, if you allow us to have the power of attorney.
Q: What will happen after the sale has been agreed?
After the sale has been agreed upon, you would sign a pre-contract agreement. This would be prepared by our lawyer and signed by you. This commits you to the purchase price and date for completion (completion reference to the time frame within which your lawyer must determine and be satisfied that clear title exists on the property and that no mortgages or tax liability exist). The completion period is usually a maximum of 60 to 90 days.
Q: How much deposit would I pay?
When you sign the pre-contract agreement, you would be asked to pay a 10% deposit of the agreed asking price. This deposit would be held in a trust account until the sale has been completed.
Q: What other expenses would I have to pay?
- Transfer Tax - 3%
- Notary Public fees - the Notary public fees are usually 2.5% of the full purchase price (includes Registry office fees)
- Your Lawyer’s fees - the Lawyer’s fees are 2% of the sale price plus VAT
Q: Do I need a Greek Tax Number (AFM)?
Yes. This tax number (AFM) is mandatory for all buyers, including permanent residents abroad, as well as local residents. It is issued on the spot at tax offices, free of charge. All applicants must present their passport, and complete a standard application form as part of the process.
If you have granted your Lawyer full power of attorney, they can apply for an AFM on your behalf. Alternatively, we can assist you with this process.
Q: As a non Greek speaker, how can I be sure of the validity of the documents when I am buying land or property?
This is why you must have a lawyer, they will execute all necessary procedures and validate them. You will also be able to find a good translator, who can translate documents for you at an additional cost.
Q: Do I have to pay annual tax on my property?
Property taxes are calculated based on the size of the accommodation and paid annually, the tax office will inform you by letter of the cost. Tax values are varied, based on the age and the location of the property. Most values tend to range between 3-8 Euros per square meter of accommodation (per year). Please note that tax laws are changing in Greece and for the most up to date information, please ask us.
However, as a property owner you would need to complete an annual tax return. Provided you have proof that the purchase was made with funds coming from abroad.
Q: What if I want to buy a plot of land and build my own home?
A building permit must be obtained and this service is normally carried out by a state registered Engineer or Architect who, in conjunction with you, will complete the plans of the proposed house and submit these together with the other information required to the Building Permit Office for approval. The Engineer or Architect would also make an application on your behalf for a connection to the electricity and water supplies if needed. Once the building permit is obtained, we can assist you in finding an engineer, architect and other needed workers for your project. We can also complete work and manage your project for you. The process of obtaining the building permit normally takes between 45 and 90 days and depending on the site, the building process itself can then take a further 9 to 15 months.
Q: Do properties in Greece come under any general rules?
Yes - all land and properties are listed on the land registry, or the registry of mortgages. All properties in Greece are freehold. Buildings in Greece are constructed according to European standards and regulations and most new buildings are earthquake protected. Most apartment blocks do not exceed five stories and in some areas the height of buildings is restricted.
If you have any questions please contact us.