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How to negotiate in Greece: What to do and what not to do

Looking at a deal in Greece but not sure which lines to cross and which to avoid? Local culture often shapes the way in which deals are negotiated and Greece is no exception. talks to the experts to get the lowdown on how best to clinch that home on a beach at a super cheap price.


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Greek negotiation style

Historic ties and close proximity to the Middle East have left Greeks with a love for kebab and bargaining tactics. Giorgos Palaios, who trains industry leaders on negotiations at The Purpose, says the tactics adopted at eastern bazaars commonly appear in negotiations across Greece “even on the largest corporate deals.”

“It is necessary to be aware of the fact that the initial price is not what the seller expects to earn,” says Mr Palaios.


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Do you barter in Greece?

So you want to bargain but want to avoid those uncomfortable silences? Go for the 20% rule, say brokers.

Katerina Stavrinou, chief executive of real estate agent KappaSigma Partners, says negotiations often kick off with an offer that is 20% below the asking price. But keep in mind though that this rule is not made in stone. Buyers need to be flexible, particularly when the initial price looks to be fair, adds Ms Stavrinou.

Arthur Asimis, head of sales and management at ADAK real estate, adopts a similar logic. When he advises property owners on the right selling price, he asks them what they want to pocket at the end of the day and adds 20%.

“This way we have a 20% buffer zone. Any other offer made below that is a no deal,” he says.

Home or a house?

With the country going through its worst economic crisis in 70 years, there is a lot of real estate coming onto the market that has been in families for generations. Buyers need to be aware of this, says Guy Waysman, a real estate entrepreneur with investments in the US, Greece and Israel. The handling of this detail could determine the outcome of the deal.

Greek residential properties are homes not houses The emotional link to a property needs to be understood and respected,” he said.

Good cop or bad cop?

Greece’s eight year economic downturn has prompted a freeze on the construction sector and this has weighed on the number of prime assets up for sale, say brokers.

So if you find a property you like, you might have to think twice about how hard you are going to bargain since there is a limited supply to choose from (on some categories).

“If the price is right, and the property matches their requirements, buyers shouldn’t play hardball as they stand to lose the property, especially if it is the type of property which is in high demand. They have to be really decisive sometimes,” says Ms Stavrinou.

Lots of baskets

Along with the RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH mantra, negotiators should keep another golden rule in mind: keep your options open and show it. This tip applies to negotiations anywhere in the world, but is such a gem that it made our list.

“The most common mistake we see is when a participating party shows determination from the start. Whether it is from the side of the buyer, or the side of the seller, you need to show that you have choices and that you are not under any pressure,” said Mr Palaios.

”This gives you more room and comfort to move in the process.”

This story was updated in November 2022.

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