Buying Property in Spain

Buying a property in Spain can be a complicated process especially if you are a foreign resident and unfamiliar with both the laws and the language.

At Property Quest we pride ourselves on our professionalism and client service, so you can rest assured that we will guide you through the whole process from start to finish, to make the purchase of your new Spanish home as uncomplicated and stress free as possible.

buying property in spain

Here’s a quick run down of the most important things you should be aware of:

Use a Good Lawyer

Make sure you find a lawyer who speaks your language fluently, as this will make conversations and meetings easier and will also avoid mis-interpretation, which can be frustrating and in some instances financially costly. A good lawyer will be able to guide you through all the steps of property purchase, from ensuring that the purchase contract is correct and negotiating payment terms, taking care of the title search and ensuring that your house is registered in the property registry. Altough fees can vary in general a lawyer will charge you around 1 to 1.5 percent of the purchase price, so this really is cheap insurance against possible future problems. In some cases a lawyer will ask for a pre-payment, called a “provision de fondos” to cover expenses and fees in the event that the purchase falls through.

Deposit

Once you have located your home, the most important next step is to secure it by paying a deposit. This is negotiable but is generally €6.000 and will be held in a client account by the agent. A further percentage of is normally paid directly to the seller within a week or so of reaching an agreement.

Community Costs

If the property is on an urbanisation or part of a residential complex, then you will automatically become a member of the Community of Property Owners, which is responsible for general maintenance, gardening, etc. Your Lawyer will make sure that all fees are paid up to date and that you are aware of how much your annual community costs will be.

Title Search

Your lawyer will check at the local Property Registry to ensure there are no outstanding mortgages against the property, or whether it has been embargoed for non-payment of a mortgage or taxes.

You will receive a copy of the entry for the property in the registry books. This “Nota Simple” shows who owns the property and includes a detailed description with boundaries.

nota simple

Town Hall

Property in Spain is subject to an annual municipal tax – IBI – and the seller will provide the agent with up-to-date receipts, which will state the exact amount of this annual tax, as well as the “Valor Catastral”, which is the official value of the property as assessed for tax purposes and necessary when you prepare your annual tax return. There may be additional rates, such as for rubbish collection or other services.

Costs of Notary and Registry

The approximate cost for the notary and registry is 1.5% of the purchase price. Costs will be slightly less as the purchase price increases as they are not calculated as a strict percentage.

Plus Valia

A Municipal Tax known as the ‘Plus Valia’ is assessed on the difference in value of the property now and the last time it was transferred. This varies according to the period of time since the last transfer.

The Contract or “Escritura”

Approximately a month after you have made your deposit, you can expect the completion of the sale to take place. The contract must be in Spanish, although you can obtain a translation if necessary. A legal property purchase contract in Spanish is called “Escritura de Compraventa” and is signed by both parties in the presence of a Spanish Notary Public who will keep the original copy of the contract in his files.

The contract should describe the property and its location in detail, as well as the identity of the purchaser and seller.

If the purchase is financed with a mortgage, bank representatives will be present in order to pay and sign the mortgage.

The final step is to take the copy of the “Escritura” to the Property Registry and have it officially registered, at which time you will obtain your “Escritura Pública”, the title deed.

escritura

If you have any questions, or would like to arrange a viewing, contact us today.