Finding the right estate agent
We discuss how you should find the right estate agent to help you successfully buy property in Greece.
Greece has far less nationwide data on its property market. You won’t find the kind of Rightmove/Zoopla/OnTheMarket type property websites, brimming with the data and features that we use in most of Europe and the US. Nor will you find the regional price data that all of our building societies release. This means that you really will need to go to Greece and find your property in person, but that isn’t exactly a chore! Make the most of your viewing trips to Greece and get to know the areas and the estate agents operating there.
Before you go, however, you can look at APlaceintheSun.com and Rightmove Overseas’ property websites, each of which have thousands of Greek properties for you to get a good idea of prices and speak to local agents. Another advantage is that most Greeks involved in the property business – at least in the islands – will speak English.
The Greek for house is spíti. Greece licenses and regulates its estate agents, who must all be qualified. Check out the site of the Hellenic Association of Realtors (www.sek.gr) for a suitably qualified agent. There is also a branch of FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation in Greece, and any member of the London based Association of International Property Professionals should be of the highest quality.
Agents normally charge between two and five percent of the property price, which is split between buyer and seller. You will also find some property search companies, offering to do your search for you, either in return for a commission when you buy, but also asking for a fee up-front. Online expat forums are an excellent way of finding a good agent, or indeed bypassing the agent entirely and buying direct from a seller. Agents will normally accompany you on viewing trips, as in the UK. If buying a brand new home, check whether the price includes VAT.
Greece has a lot of public holidays and celebrates Easter according to the Greek Orthodox Church, which is a month separate from when we celebrate it in the UK, so it is wise to check your agent will be working before booking any flights.
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