Appoint a Greek Lawyer
Unless you plan to make frequent visits to Crete during this ‘pre-purchase’ period, I recommend that you consider appointing a Lawyer, and giving him/her a limited Power of Attorney (do not appoint a Lawyer that has been recommended by the Vendor).
This procedure can generally be arranged at fairly short notice, is relatively inexpensive and is executed in the presence of a Notary Public. This will enable your Lawyer to sign official forms and papers on your behalf.
Red tape and local business practices can make buying a plot of land, renovating or building your home a complex procedure, and so ensure you retain a reputable lawyer who is well versed in local By-Laws, specifically dealing with property and land.
Your Lawyer at this stage should:
- verify that the property belongs to the Vendor(s), or that they have the legal authority to sell,
- make sure there are no ‘tenants’, and if there are, ensuring that you will have vacant possession,
- investigate ‘Inheritance Papers’,
- carry out checks at the ‘Land Registry’,
- carry out checks for existing mortgages on the property,
- check that all Tax liens have been paid,
- carry out checks for any other claims that may exist on the land or property