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How To Send Money To Greece Once You’ve Found Your Dream Home

How to send money to Greece from the United Kingdom

What money transfer services are there?

  • Bank Transfer – The vast majority will simply opt to use their bank when sending money to Greece. Those that do will incur a transfer on each transaction and receive a far less competitive exchange rate than individuals that use a foreign exchange broker to manage their bank transfer to Greece.
  • Debit Card – can be used for buying goods or paying for some services but tend to offer less competitive exchange rates than foreign exchange brokers. You will also most certainly be charged a fee for the exchange on top of a less attractive rate. In many cases a foreign exchange broker will accept a debit card as payment, allowing you to enjoy the convenience and gain a better exchange rate.
  • Credit Card – rarely offers the best exchange rate and certainly will charge for the convenience. A good idea if booking rental accommodation in terms of recourse if you encounter issues but a highly uncompetitive way of sending money to greece.
  • Swift/SEPA transfers – SEPA is typically used by the majority of credible banks and brokers to expedite funds quickly. The SEPA payments process functions throughout the EU and is a very quick way to send funds.

What you’ll need to send money to Greece

If you opt to use your bank to send money to Greece you’ll need very little but most likely will have to visit the bank. The bank clerk will request a form of ID and ask for you to explain why you are wanting to send money to Greece.

If you have set up an account to use the services of a foreign exchange broker they will most likely have a good understanding of your requirement, be able to provide competitive pricing and arrange the transfer to Greece promptly.

Both will require your greek bank details or beneficiary details to make payment. The Iban will be 27 characters long and begin with GR. You will also need the individuals name or business name and the amount in € required.

Currency transfer account set up – transfer money to Greece

In anticipation of your Greek property search and eventual money transfer to Greece, we advise opening an account to both verify your budget and be able to make an informed decision. Your provider will be to keep you up to speed with the foreign exchange market and advise when the rates sway in your favour or move against you. When you send money to Greece via a Foreign exchange broker  you rarely incur a fee and foreign exchange rates are notably better than the banks. Setting up your currency transfer account won’t take more than ten minutes and rarely requires paperwork (UK). If you are located outside of the UK a small amount of paperwork will be required to approve your account, this typically consists of

  • Valid form of photo ID
  • Utility bill or banks statement (less than 3-months old)

For those based in the US you will need to find a US regulated provider to assist. Once gain the process is very straightforward and can be dealt with in a few minutes. Once your account is approved you can send money to Greece within hours and funds are typically received within 1-3 days subject to your current location.

What ID do I need to send money to Greece?

Your bank could request to see 1-2 forms of photo ID subject to how much you are looking to send to greece. You will almost certainly be quizzed on the reason for your money transfer to Greece.

At this point if you’ve already opened an account with a foreign exchange broker who will have already provided any ID or address proof to validate your application, you can simply call up or access your online trading account and make a transfer.

Is sending money to Greece safe & secure?

Absolutely, providing you have made all the due diligence on the person or company you are transferring to, you should encounter no issues. Normal rules apply, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is and if beneficiary details do not tally with the company or individual you are dealing with, ask questions. If you are dealing with a developer or property promoteur check his trading history and research the overseas property forums before committing to send money to greece.

Save money when sending money to Greece

Considering the services of a credible foreign exchange broker is the best way of guaranteeing to save money. Typically they quote savings of between 1-4% which will be significant on regular transfers and a greek property purchase money transfers. They can also provide you with a number of solutions to maximise the amount of euros you send to greece.

How to compare transfer services/companies when transferring money to Greece

Clients can compare the offerings of transfer services and foreign exchange brokers in many ways when they need to transfer money to Greece.

  • Length of time in business – typically indicating knowledge of the market, number of clients they’ve helped, stability in the market. They are most likely to have helped many other clients have transferred money to Greece and dealt with many different scenarios.
  • Transfer fee or no transfer fee – especially worth considering when the payments being transferred to Greece are small.  A transfer fee can typically outweigh the advantages of sending the money to Greece via a bank or broker even if the rate offered is competitive. Fortunately the majority of foreign exchange brokers charge no fee and sending money to Greece this way is cost effective.
  • Online transfer , telephone transfers or both – online Apps are also great for quick small transfers to Greece however recourse can be slow if money goes astray.It can be hard to get any solid customer service when dealing solely online. Typically you will have to do much of this via a chat/text box or email. An established foreign exchange broker will operate both an online and telephone dealing service. Meaning you speak directly to an account manager who will be assisted by a back office team or customer service division.

 

Relocating or buying a second home in Greece

Greece has a total population of just 11 million and roughly the same land mass as the United Kingdom, meaning if you decide to buy a second home or relocate there you shouldn’t be short of space. Its cost line reaches for 17,000 kilometres four times that of Spain. Despite the country’s economic troubles tourism continues to increase. The property market as with tourism has also enjoyed somewhat of a rebirth and prices have improved along with the economy.

Whilst the islands such as Corfu and Crete once again prove popular with English second home buyers and retirees. Other nationalities including, Germans, Scandinavians and French opt to relocate to other areas of the country. The country has also proven attractive to foreigners from the middle east, India and Israel who purchase via golden visa. The investment threshold in Greece is €250,000 which offers golden visa investors a five-year residency.

When considering purchasing a second home or relocating to Greece it’s worth thinking about what your objectives are. Islands closer to Athens tend to be more expensive as demand is high from wealthy Athenians buying second homes. Its also worth considering when you plan to spend time in Greece, despite government efforts to encourage resorts to remain open longer you will be hard pushed to find anything open long after October. Meaning relocation to a resort can be a non-starter for those planning on spending winter months there.

Popular areas in Greece and top Greek isles

Crete – has proved a popular area with British second homeowners for many years with many opting to buy in Chania and Rethymno. The island caters for all budgets with village properties changing hands for as little as €60,000. Crete geographically is one of the most southern Greek islands meaning the climate is exceptional with temperatures touching 29c in august and rarely falling below 10c in winter. The island also benefits from two international airports offering great accessibility.

Aegian islands – islands such as Mykonos and Santorini prove popular with party goers and newlyweds. The picturesque locations provide perfect postcard backdrops. These islands are far from the cheapest with traditional sugar cube houses selling for around €150,000 and contemporary beach side villas running into the millions.

Ionian islands – normally very popular with sea lovers, islands such as Corfu and Kassiopi can command a premium with luxury properties surpassing €5m. This being said, it’s very tangible to purchase a 3-bed home in Kassiopi for €185,000 which might even include a sea view. Corfu is considered slightly more cosmopolitan and therefore commands a higher average price.

Kefalonia – considered one of the most rural Greek islands, you will have certainly seen areas like Myrtos used in countless travel brochures. The area won’t appeal to those coming from a city life with things moving very slowly. Public transport is virtually non-existent therefore a car is a must to get about. The area has a strong Italian influence due to historic Venetian rule. Properties start at around €120,00 which will get a small apartment in good order with prices running into multi million-euro villas with sea views.

Greek property buying process

Once you’ve settled on an area of Greece and potentially selected the town now the work begins. Before hopping on a flight its worth contacting a few agents, compare services levels and ask yourself the following

  • Do they reply in a prompt and orderly fashion?
  • Are the answers to your questions clear or do the dance around your queries?
  • Have they been in business long?
  • Is their head office disclosed on the website?

Once you’ve found a company which you feel comfortable with, it’s now worth speaking to legal and financial professionals. Never agree to send money to Greece before you’ve seen a property.

If you are considering buying in a more rural location or one of the quieter islands it might be harder to find an English-speaking legal expert. In this instance we advise speaking to an international solicitor who will likely be able to recommend someone. It’s critical that you research this sufficiently as the solicitor will be the one that looks after your purchase, best interests and ensures you aren’t sold a headache.

If you are looking at financing a home in Greece with a mortgage its worth contacting a few brokers before you begin you search. Loan to value rates are roughly 70% and terms run up to 25 years, as with many mortgage calculations affordability will also be scrutinised. If you opt for a mortgage its worth discussing how to transfer money to Greece on a regular basis to pay for your mortgage. Foreign exchange brokers typically offer a regular international money transfer plan, so you wont forget to pay a mortgage.

Once you have a clear picture of your budget and if required have an idea of the mortgage you are opting for its worth getting in touch with a foreign exchange broker. These experts will guide you through the advantages of each solution and help you  transfer money to Greece in a timely and effective fashion. They offer much more competitive rates and work hard to scope out the best time to execute your transfer. They also work on a fee free basis. Meaning you’ll incur no charges to send money to Greece.

Once you’ve explored all of these avenues you are now prepared to start your property hunt in Greece. Once you’ve visited a property and lodged an offer which I accepted you will need to open a Greek bank account. See below

All funds including legal, registration and property funds must be sent to this account and the transfer be logged. This means the transaction will be compliant and approved by the Greek tax authorities. The transfer will then need to be recorded by the bank of Greece, you can then secure a Tax registration number. If you are in a couple or married, you will require two numbers.

You will then need to authorise a solicitor or attorney to work on your behalf. They will undertake and perform all checks on the property and raise any queries. An initial purchase agreement can then be drawn up which will trigger a transfer of 10% deposit to hold the property for you.

Your lawyer will then check all searches and ensure there are no charges on the property. They will also verify planning and ensure the property follows government building regulations. If all of these searches etc are in order closing takes roughly 4-6 weeks.

Top tips when buying a home in Greece

  • Spend time locating a solicitor your feel comfortable with
  • If you opt to purchase a new build property be aware of payment schedules – transfer money to Greece to meet this schedule
  • Speak to financial experts before your property hunt and know your budget and how you plan to pay for your property – you can then send money to Greece with a clear budget in mind.
  • If you are moving/purchasing on a rural island is it more cost effective to take furniture or buy it once you are there.
  • Be aware of any community charges – if you are due to pay a fee your foreign exchange broker can help transfer money to Greece for this purpose
  • How do you plan to navigate around the island – do you need a vehicle?
  • Be aware of all taxes and fees beforehand and ensure this meets budget
  • Prepare yourself to learn the language – whilst many speak English if in a rural location you could feel isolated without the language.

Getting a bank account in Greece

In order to make the first steps toward owning a home in Greece you will need to deposit the funds in full before starting the legal process. Thankfully you needn’t be intimidated by the process, once opened the majority of major banks operate in English.

If you have allowed your solicitor to work on your behalf by power of attorney, they might be able to open an account for you. However, if this isn’t the case the following documents should cover the opening process –

  • Recent mobile and landline telephone bill
  • Recent utility bill (electricity, water or gas)
  • Last tax return (UK p60 or p45)
  • Any document which states your national insurance number or social security
  • Proof of occupation (pay slip)
  • 12 months’ worth of bank account statements
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copies of passports
  • Marriage certificate
  • Tax residency certificate from HM revenue or IRS

Your bank will normally wish to meet you at least once and therefore its worth combining your viewing trip with an appointment at a local bank. Once your account is open you are free to transfer money to Greece.

How to send money to Greece at a great exchange rate

FAQ – sending money to Greece

Is there any limit on how much money I can send to Greece?

No providing you or your company can justify the payment and it is approved by the foreign exchange broker there is no limit to how much you can trade. Occasionally if a money  transfer to Greece exceeds £500,000+ your foreign exchange broker might request a copy of a bank statement showing proof of funds or a document explaining the reason for transfer (e.g greek property purchase contract).

Do foreign exchange brokers transfer money to all Greek banks?

Absolutely, providing your greek bank or your beneficiaries greek bank is regulated and approved you will have no issue sending money to switzerland.

How can a Foreign exchange broker help you manage GBP/EUR exchange rate swings?

A foreign exchange broker offers a number of supplementary services not available in banks or on many money transfer apps. These include

Forward contracts – fix today’s exchange rate for payment up to 2 years in the future. Essentially guaranteeing the cost of your purchase avoiding any surprises foreign exchange volatility can throw up.

Stop loss – stopping foreign exchange loss if your base currency is weakening by agreeing a worse case scenario rate. Protecting your purchase in Greece from being unviable and too expensive because of currency depreciation.

Firm order – allowing you to target a rate superior to the current foreign exchange market rate. Once the desired exchange rate is  reached, currency is purchased automatically day or night allowing you to purchase swiftly.

Option contract – as with the forward contract but also having the ability to opt for a superior rate is the market rate improves. This is typically offered to businesses rather than private clients.

How fast will my money be transferred to Greece?

A broker will typically take 1-2 days to receive, exchange and send money to switzerland. The process with a bank takes a few days later, typically 2-4 days to send money to Greece.

How much does it cost to make an international money transfer to Greece?

A bank will charge between £10-30 per international transfer, a foreign exchange broker will typically work on a no transfer fee basis when sending money to Greece. Their rates are also significantly better.

How to send bank deposits to Greece?

A bank and foreign exchange provider will help you deposit funds into your greek bank account. Just ensure any documents required and your greek bank account details are to hand and they’ll both be able to help with your bank deposit transfer to Greece and any other money transfers to Greece that you are looking to make .

 

We cover foreign exchange, currency and cryptocurrency news and guides. Our readers can find currency-specific foreign exchange news, political updates affecting currency and insight into where foreign exchange trends may go, as well as the latest cryptocurrency analyses and trends.
Foreign Exchange Live

Foreign Exchange Live

We cover foreign exchange, currency and cryptocurrency news and guides. Our readers can find currency-specific foreign exchange news, political updates affecting currency and insight into where foreign exchange trends may go, as well as the latest cryptocurrency analyses and trends.