Chania Property Buyers Guide

Chania Property Guides are an innovative way to discover the pragmatic process of buying or selling a property in Crete. The Chania Property Buyers guide is a free and excellent resource for anyone looking to buy a property in Chania, Crete. We explain step by step what you need to know, including tips for viewing properties, how to make an offer, what your responsibilities are as the buyer and much, much more.

Chania Property Sellers Guide

Chania Property Sellers guide is a part of our Chania Property Guides dedicated to the property owners in Chania. Pointers and tips about what you should expect while selling your property, unseen risks, uncertainties and opportunities. Your property, your savings, your investment, your most valuable asset, this is the message you want everyone to know. Learn more about the property selling process.

Chania Property Investors Guide

How can I expand my commercial or residential property portfolio in Chania, Crete? Should I invest in Chania real estate? What kind of rental income can I expect? These are all critical questions when becoming a property investor, regardless of how experienced you may or may not be. Understanding market is key to success.
Read our Chania Property Guides to find out more.

Buying property in Chania – step by step

Dreaming of buying a property in Chania is the easy part – it’s turning the dream into reality that can be tricky and complex! Knowing where to buy and which properties represent good value for money with good rates of investment return can be time-consuming and confusing, particularly when you are buying from abroad. Chania Property Buyers Guide provides usefull information to the basic legal framework and the main points potential investors should know about the acquisition and ownership of real estate assets in Greece and Chania, Crete.

A. Rights in real estate

Real estate owners in Greece may have different rights.

  • Full ownership (absolute or joint)
  • Bare ownership (absolute or joint)
  • Usufruct (absolute or joint)

It is essential that the buyer establishes which (among the aforementioned) is the right of the seller to be transferred in every transaction, in order to ensure that the value of the real estate is reflected in the rights that come along with the sale.

B. Acquisition of real estate in Greece

There are various ways of acquiring real estate in Greece. For investors, these mainly concern the two following:

– Acquisition by contract: The buyer and seller appear before a notary public and sign a deed which is subsequently registered at the local cadaster or land registry.

– Acquisition of property through public auction: As of 2017, the Greek State has conducted electronic auctions. Greeks and foreigners (whether natural persons or legal entities) can subscribe online. The procedure is open to the public and the properties offered are easily accessible via a weekly journal.

1. After selection of the property, the buyer appoints a lawyer to perform all the necessary legal searches. The title search takes place at the Land Registry and ensures that the asset in question indeed belongs to the seller and that it is clear of any encumbrances (such as mortgages, liens, foreclosures etc). The lawyer also checks the suitability of the asset and if this is located in an area where prohibitions or restrictions apply.

2. Issuance of a tax number. It is a requirement of the Greek State that every transacting party (natural person or legal entity) has its unique tax number before acquiring real estate.

3. Technical survey of the property. This is not a compulsory stage, but it is highly recommended as planning and or structural issues may occur that could render the sale invalid or the investment poor.

4. Payment of stamp duty (transfer tax). Currently at 3% of the value of the transaction.

5. Completion of the acquisition contract before a notary public. The buyer gets the title deed, which is the first step to ownership of the property.

6. The registration of the title deed takes place at the local Land Registry and is the absolute proof of ownership.

7. Registration of the property online with the tax authorities

A pre-contract will then be prepared and signed by both parties at the Notary Public, usually by their prospective lawyers. This commits both the buyer and vendor to a price and a date for completion of the sale.

At the time of signing the pre-contract, the buyer pays an agreed deposit which is usually around 10% of the purchase price.

This deposit (less handling charges) is refundable in the event that the buyers’ lawyer is unable satisfy himself with respect to the searches mentioned above. However, should the buyer wish to cancel the sale for any other reason, the deposit is forfeited.

A.(ENFIA) which is calculated based on the value of each property and in conjunction with the total value of the assets one may have in their portfolio. Currently the annual tax is payable in 5 installments and it is applicable in all types of real estate assets – including cases of rights on properties (as mentioned in 1. above). This kind of tax applies to both natural persons and legal entities regardless of whether they are resident and/or have their registered seat in Greece.

B. Property-based income (short or long-term rentals, Airbnb, long-term leases etc) are subject to taxation. Natural persons who benefit from rental income are taxed at various rates (thresholds are in place depending on the amount of revenue produced). Legal entities owning real estate assets are taxed differently as the rental income is regarded as revenue and is subject to 29% corporate tax.

As in every country, certain restrictions apply to investors who buy real estate in Greece. The main framework of the Chania Property Guides has been created to identify the most important of these critical restrictions:

A. Acquisitions in forest areas: Subject to the Hellenic Constitution, land uses in areas regarded as forest cannot be changed.

B. Acquisitions of real estate in regions close to the border: There are specific prerequisites for acquisitions in areas close to the borders. In these areas, foreign investors can acquire real estate upon receipt of special permission by joint ministerial approval. A publicly available list identifies such areas. Strict restrictions apply and investors should conduct thorough research into such plots prior to purchase.

C. Acquisitions outside urban zoning: Special attention must be paid to plots which happen to be outside urban or residential areas as they often have limitations with regard to the development capacity they offer and in most cases plots cannot be divided in smaller segments.

D. Acquisitions on the coastline: Development of real estate that is situated close to the coast may be prohibited or allowed under very specific terms set by the State.

E. Acquisitions in areas where antiquities are located: Development may be prohibited or allowed under very specific terms in areas where historic monuments may be located. In most cases, special permission is required by the Ministry of Culture’s competent directorate.

F. Acquisitions in areas of outstanding natural beauty (Natura) or under a special environmental protection regime. Both acquisition and development of real estate in such areas may be blocked by the Ministry of Environment due to restrictions that may apply

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Selling property in Chania – step by step

Selling a property in Chania, Crete can be much less stressful when you better understand the process. The prospect of selling your home can be exciting, but occasionally daunting and stressful too. This part of the dedicated Chania Property Guides focus on those looking to succesfully sell a property.

The decisions you make along the property selling process could save you time and money. ARENCORES provides a property selling process guide which explains each step of the property sale process and lists what you can do to ensure your move goes through as smoothly as possible.

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Ensure legal status of your property is compliant with the new laws regarding selling a property.

Offer your property at a competitive price following Chania Real estate or ARENCORES assessment. We are known for providing up to date, realistic valuations to property owners, not hesitating to turn down listings of overpriced properties.

We believe that an overpriced and overexposed property to several real estate agencies will have an unnecessary handicap in the property selling and marketing efforts, it will “burn” and ultimately will sell for much mor less than the original valuation or the initial asking price.

A pre-contract will then be prepared and signed by both parties at the Notary Public, usually by their prospective lawyers. This commits both the buyer and vendor to a price and a date for completion of the sale.

Book an appointment with Chania Real estate or ARENCORES bringing with you the documentation required; a) A copy of your purchase contract or certificate of ownership b) A copy of the license for the property (deed) c) A copy of the ‘Horizontal’ if the property is on a shared plot and d) Floor plans.

We will arrange to visit your property for a photo shooting – see our property selling guide for preparing your house for sale.

Inform us how to arrange access to the property for viewings.Please be sure to well-prepare your property before every viewing to present it in the best way possible to the potential buyer. Learn more from our marketing tips for property sellers or discover our guide to ensure the property selling effectivness.

When we have found you a buyer, we will represent you throughout the negotiation, ensuring that all parties are happy and establish a win-win situation!

As soon as the negotiation is complete we will prepare a document which outlines the terms of the agreement, including final acquisition price, deposits, completion date. Tt is compulsory for both parties to sign this pre-contract agreement.

The costs associated with selling a property in Chania are: capital gains between 5% – 15%, Engineer’s certificate, green certificate, Lawyer’s fees, Estate Agent’s fees. You can leran more about the costs and necessary documents required here.

At this point you will instruct your Lawyer/Notary to arrange the details for the sale. Completion usually takes between 4-6 weeks from the time we have successfully found a buyer.

Chania property investments – Golden Visa – Immigration by Investment

The residential and commercial real-estate market in Chania, as it currently formed, is a highly profitable market, that sets the ground for many property investments.

The stabilization of the economy, along with the great growth of tourism in the island of Crete, have made the prefecture of Chania, a place of opportunities. Our step-by-step Chania Property Guides explain everything you need to know, from saving for a mortgage deposit to making an offer and proceed forward.

According to the provisions of Article 20 Law 4251/2014 (Immigration and Social Integration Code) third country nationals (and parents, spouses and children under 21) who purchase real estate property the value of which exceeds € 250,000. are granted residence permits renewed every five years, so long as they keep ownership of the property.

These permits – among others – allow for free travel within the EU and Schengen areas.

Under the auspices of Laws 4141/2013, 4209/2013, 4281/2014, Real Estate Investment companies are companies limited by shares (special purpose S.A. companies), established with the sole aim to acquire and manage real estate property in Greece.

Their minimum share capital must be twenty five million Euros (€25,000,000) at a minimum, fully payable upon establishment of the company.

The share capital of the company consists of contributions of cash, money market instruments, securities and property, immovable or movable, which serve the operational needs of the company.

The acquisition of real estate property through donation is subject to the same tax categories as inheritance tax. The respective tax return should be filed with the tax authorities before the signing of the donation contract before a notary.

In general, the notarial contract and the certificate of the civil engineer that is required for the notary contract secures that the property being sold is legally built and transferred by the legal owner, while the legal search ensures that the property is free of any burdens (e.g mortgages).

Moreover, the Land Registry in Greece (and especially in big urban centers) is well established and the registration of the deed is made quickly and easily.

The growing foreign investments in Greece indicate that the legal procedure and the transactions are transparent and fully secure.

Although the transaction can be completed via a bank transfer from a bank account outside of Greece, it is advised to the foreign investors who seek to invest in Greece, to open a bank account, so that they have easy and flexible payment options, especially when the lease their property and receive income.

However, in case of larger transactions, the legal form of the investment company should be decided, after thorough tax planning, according to the needs of the investors and the country that the final dividend will be given.

Currently the income by individuals, deriving from buying and reselling a property is not taxed. In the coming year(s) and income tax of 15% will be put. The same income for companies is 29%.

Regarding the income of individuals produced by renting the property, this is taxed on progressive scale, as shown below.

Income from property Rate %
0 – 12.000 15%
12.001 – 35.000 35%
35.001 – 45%

In case, a company is renting the property, the income is taxed with a flat rate of 29%, as it is considered income from business activity. Specific rules may apply to the short-term leases, via platforms such as Airbnb or Booking.

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You can discover more about Chania Property Guides for property sellers, buyers and investors in ARENCORES website.

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