BUYERS GUIDE TO PROPERTY IN SPAIN
Buying property in your home country can be nerve-wracking enough; buying property in Spain adds extra challenges. But don’t be put off – you can do it, with our help and that of our trusted partners. We will be with you every step of the way in the journey to finding your home in the Sun.
Once you have found the property you would like to purchase. The next step is for us to put you in touch with a lawyer or solicitor to act on your behalf. The lawyer will carry out all the necessary searches on the property and advise you on proof of ownership and any charges (mortgages, unpaid bills etc.) which would need to be lifted before, or at the point of sale. Once these initial checks have been carried out, a holding deposit (€3000) can be paid to the vendor to secure the property, and a reservation agreement signed, and the property taken off the market. It is essential at this stage to apply for an NIE number (foreigner identification number), open a bank account and leave Power of Attorney (if this is required) with the lawyer before leaving Spain.
Within 30 days of signing the reservation agreement, you will need to sign a formal and much more detailed contract. This should include completion dates, inventory, and paperwork anomalies to be resolved prior to completion etc. and at this stage you would usually make payment of 10% (minus the reservation fee of 3,000€) of the purchase price.
The completion and signing of title deeds will take place before a public notary on a date mutually agreed between vendor and buyer, usually within three months from the initial reservation. The balance of the purchase price is due upon signing the deeds, as are the lawyers’ fees. The title deeds must be taken to the tax office and property registry within 30 working days of the signing. Taxes and notary fees must be paid within the same 30 working days. Most lawyers will retain all of the tax amounts on the day of signing to pay the taxes on your behalf.
An NIE certificate (Certificado de Numero de Identificación de Extranjero) is necessary for the purchase of a Property in Spain. However, this cannot be applied for prior to finding a suitable property. This certificate must be applied for in person by the interested party at the foreign office closest to their proposed property purchase. It may be obtained through the embassies/consulates in the UK, but this process is often not ideal and takes a lot longer than applying in Spain.
PURCHASE FEES AND TAXES
A brief indication of the type of expenses you will be required to pay on your property purchase. You will typically be looking at 10% on top of the property price to cover all fees and taxes..
We hope this information is of help to you in your search so that right from the start you clearly understand how much a property will cost you, what price bracket can you look at.
It is advisable to appoint a good lawyer when buying something so important. Your lawyer can help to advise you on any problems or issues and also help to prevent any future problems by checking all the paperwork associated with the property you are interested in buying. Your lawyer will also conduct searches on the paperwork and ensure that all is legal with the following:
- The property is free from any debts, problems, charges and is up to date with all their payments.
- Property and land match the details registered, and the seller is registered as the legal owner
- Everything is in order with the title deeds and the property is legal
- All the taxes and costs are correct.
- Other essential paperwork is applied for i.e. Id number for Foreigners (NIE)
- Council documents for IBI and rubbish fees are transferred into the buyers’ name.
- Direct debits set up for electric, water, community fees, rubbish fees and IBI.
- If there are garages or storage cupboards, then these should be included in the Escritura.
- If purchasing on an urbanization – obtain a signed document from the president of the community to declare there are no outstanding community debts.
Typically, lawyer’s fees are between 0.5 and 1% of the purchase price.