How to buy a house on Skopelos (August 2019)
If you interested in buying a property in Greece and you want to start the procedure of acquiring a property you need to get a Greek bank account and a tax number. These two things you can acquire before or after you look at properties and maybe make an offer. Sometimes it is wise to do it before you make an offer because you are then ready to move forward quickly and it helps the seller too to know that you are committed and ready.
To get a tax number; what documents are needed
At the moment (August 2019) it is possible to get a tax number on Skopelos. Go to the help tax office (ΓΕΦ) which is next to KEP and the Police. There you need to fill out a form called A1 which has all your personal details on it. Then you fill out a statement (Υπεύθυνη Δήλωση) that says that you agree that somebody on this island will vouch (φορολογικος εκπρωσοπος/forologikos ekprosopos) for you. This person could be your lawyer, the real estate agent, a friend living here on the island. The person that you choose also needs to fill out a statement that they agree to vouch for you and represent you. The person you named on your paper will also fill out an A7 paper that is available in the ΓΕΦ
These papers you need to sign in front of somebody who can vouch that the signature (γνήσιο της υπογραφής) you put on paper was yours (you can do that at KEP, the police or the harbor police) He/She will also fill out a statement saying they are willing to represent this person. Take your passport with you when you go and have arranged for a lawyer to represent you. The tax help office (ΓΕΦ) is open daily from 09.00 hours until 13.30 hours.
Opening a bank account; what documents are needed:
As of January 2019 it is very difficult to have a bank account opened on Skopelos by somebody else then yourself. The bank wants to see the person(s) who opens the account. If you have a tax number and you go to the bank and start with opening the bank account your lawyer can usually finish the job for you. This information is from the National Bank of Greece and Skopelos has a branch here. At the moment it is the only bank here. We have ATM’s of other banks like Euro bank and Piraeus bank but they don’t have offices.
To open the account bring with you the following documents. If they are not in English or Greek you need to have them translated and with a stamp from the translator (lawyer or translator) See below for the list of documents.
They need to show:
1) Full name etc. so a passport, an identity card will suffice (you also have to state your father’s name and surname and mother’s maiden name and surname)
2) Copy and show your passport or identity card. It must show the authority that issued this document and your date and place of birth.
3) Income tax slip, P60 and your VAT number in the country of residence.
4) A document that shows your home address; a utility bill for electricity for instance.
5) A telephone number shown on a telephone bill (landline or mobile number)
6) Your profession and your business address via an employer’s letter or statement or a chamber of commerce paper.
7) Place of residency information with stamp and signature of authority in town/village
Also take with you your Greek tax number
*You also need to fill out a questionnaire here at the bank on Skopelos which has to do with your income, what the money in the bank account is used for etc.
*Don’t forget to ask for internet banking and a bank pass if you want one.
Power of attorney:
You can give a power of attorney to a lawyer who can help you with the purchase of the property. You need to hire a lawyer to check the property for you and make sure the purchase is legal. If you are on the island you can have a power of attorney for the lawyer made up by the local notary here. It is not expensive and it is quick. If you want a power of attorney done at home you need to contact a Greek embassy.
If you have a power of attorney done here the translation to you from Greek to English (German or Dutch if you want) is done by a local from the island and can be arranged.
The power of attorney usually gives the lawyer the power to get you a tax number if necessary, to buy for you the property, to check the property out for you and see if everything is legal, to act on your behalf for various companies and authorities like the electricity company, the water company, the telephone company, the municipality, the police, the building society etc.
The lawyer will work closely with you in order to purchase the property for you. You will be in contact with him/her mainly via email. He/She will ask you to send/email documents that are necessary for the purchase of the property. We, as your real estate agent, will be by your side during the whole process.
If you are not here on the island but you would like to give a power of attorney to the lawyer, we can send a draft for a power of attorney (written by the notary on Skopelos) to a Greek embassy or consulate in your country nearby where you live and they can complete the power of attorney with your personal details. Before the power of attorney draft is send you get in contact with the embassy or consulate and explain that a draft power of attorney is coming their way. You get an appointment and ask them if they have a translator who can translate the power of attorney to you. You go there, hear the translation of the power of attorney and if you agree you sign and the power of attorney will be send by you or the embassy to the lawyer who can now act on your behalf.
!! The lawyer will need a marriage certificate (if you are married) and on the back of the certificate an apostille stamp. Please look up what an apostille stamp is and where you can get one in your country. I f you cannot obtain it before you come you can do it later and send it.
Costs for buying a property:
The costs for buying a property are between 10 and 15 percent on top of the purchase price.
The property tax, a little over 3 % (over the purchase price) paid one time before the deed is signed when a property is purchased.
It is paid at the tax office in Volos. Your lawyer or the notary takes care of this for you.
The real estate office fees are 2% over the purchase price and over that amount 24% VAT (over that amount)
You receive a receipt after the fee is paid.
The lawyers fees, when you speak with the lawyer you can ask her/his fee for the whole purchase process.
The notary and land registry fees depend on the difficulty of the contract and the length. When the deed is signed the new owner is registered in the land registry office.
Other costs that come up when you own the house (monthly, yearly)
-ENFIA: The last couple of years every house owner pays ENFIA which is a property tax. It is based on the m2 of your house.
You can pay the whole amount at once or with installments. You can pay via e-banking. You can find out what you pay with your tax number and your tax codes for your tax file. Your accountant can do it for you too.
- The water bill, payable via e-banking. The bill can come via an email. You have to request this at the water company. Take your deed of the property and an old water bill.
- The electricity bill, payable via e-banking, can be paid via a standing order at the bank. Take the deed of your house plus identification.
- The telephone bill, for internet etc. if you choose to have this connected. Payable via e-banking.
- You can use an accountant who will charge a yearly fee to update your tax file and warn you about ENFIA (property tax) which you need to pay.
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