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Conveyancing In Spain

Stages of Buying a Property in Spain

If you are thinking of buy a property in spain or investing in a house we are pleased to say that this is a good time. Currently, there is a slight decrease in the prices of single-family homes which causes the rise in opportunities in the real estate sector. We recommend that before launching the search for a property, you should establish the characteristics that your new home should include.

As a summary of this entry, we will advance you that for the process of buying or selling a property to be successful, we must make the right decisions throughout the process. That is why, a good planning from the beginning of the proceedings, using the services of an independent and reliable Spanish lawyer, is a guarantee of success.

1. Search for a real estate property in Spain

In the area of the Costa Blanca you will find a great offer, many of them, with decades of experience in the sector. A real estate agency will do for you the detailed work of discarding and you will be filtered those properties that fit your profile. That is why it is important, before contacting the agency or real estate agent to buy a property, to fix the characteristics.

The agency or real estate agent’s fee for the purchase of a property, usually from the seller. Therefore, hiring their services saves time and money. The real estate agencies know the locations well, have agents of different nationalities or who speak several languages and can provide you with all the information you need. For example, about the services of interest around the property: supermarket, beaches, health centers….

Another important point to consider is the purpose for which you want to buy: first residence, second residence, vacation home or investment. This decision will help you choose the house that best suits each circumstance.

When searching to buy a real estate property, it will be able to inform you about the state of the property and its route. In addition, it would be convenient to hire the services of an architect to determine the state of construction of the house.

2. Reservation of the chosen property: payment of the deposit and signature of the reservation document

Once the property has been chosen, the buyer will have to pay a small amount of money (between 3,000 – 5,000 euros). This amount is called Reserve to block the property from the market and serves to freeze the agreed price. The deposit, once paid by the buyer, will not be recoverable in case of withdrawal of the offer without objective cause. Unless it has been specified in writing indicating cases such as not obtaining financing or unexpected urban planning irregularities.

The deposit can be paid in cash, by bank transfer or by credit/debit card. After the payment is made, our office will collect all the legal information of the property in order to elaborate the contract of sale. We strongly recommend that before making the deposit or signing any document prior to the purchase contract contact a lawyer specializing in real estate to review the document and thus protect their interests on the purchase of the property.

In our office, once the price and the amount of the reservation have been fixed, we will start with the formalities of the sales contract. This contract will stipulate the description of the property, the economic conditions of the purchase-sale, the amount fixed as a deposit and the duties and obligations of the parties, as well as the deadlines. This document will protect you from any unforeseen event until the contract of sale is signed.

3. Criteria to take into account when choosing a local real estate lawyer

  • Demonstrable experience in the real estate sector
  • Specialized in real estate and/or tax law
  • Speak in a language you can communicate with fluently
  •  Independence from the sales process (not involved with the seller or intermediary)
  • Knowledge of the environment
  • Listen to recommendations, but make your own final decision. Use common sense and apply the criteria you would apply in your home country.

Savloir Law Firm will be happy to assist you and listen to your needs and priorities when purchasing your property in SpainWe are used to working with European and international clients. We speak French, English and German, and we have experts in the real estate sector of various nationalities in our office. We will look after your interests for your and your family’s peace of mind.

4. Indispensable requierement for the purchase of a property in Spain: obtaining the NIE

With the house already booked and all legal documentation checked, at Savloir we offer you the processing for obtaining the N.I.E. (identification number for foreigners). This identification document is totally necessary to carry out any legal business in Spain, and will be a valid and unique number for the whole life of the client.

To obtain the N.I.E., we can obtain it in person or through a power of attorney. In Savloir Legal Advisor we take care of the processing by either of the two ways:

  • In person: we will help you to apply for your NIE at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence or at the Police Station in the Spanish city where you live, work or intend to buy a house.
  •  Through Powers of Attorney: we will take care of all the paperwork on your behalf.

5. Opening a bank account in Spain

With the obtaining of the N.I.E. we can already open the bank account in Spain. The opening of an account is not an indispensable requirement for the purchase of the property in our country. However, it is very useful and practical to link the taxes and annual expenses of the house in Spain in a bank account also Spanish.

If you do not wish to open an account in Spain because, for example, you will only use the house as a holiday destination in our office, we will give you the option of transferring the expenses and taxes derived from the sale to the client account that the office has for this type of transaction. All these monetary movements will be correctly accredited to comply with the requirements of investment control, as well as the origin and destination of the funds before the competent bodies.

6. Study of the property and negotiation

The legal representative you have chosen to supervise the entire procedure will be responsible for analyzing the property that is the subject of the purchase contract.

The controls and investigations that are carried out at this point are to check the legality of the property and to collect the necessary documents to be able to carry out the procedures. The most common procedures in this step by your lawyer’s office are: checking if the property has any charges; checking certificate of correspondence of addresses; license of first occupation; the existence of charges, urban irregularities, works carried out and not declared, last receipts paid of IBI, waste collection, water and light; and finally, obtaining the identification documents of the sellers and deed of the property.

7. Signing of the contract of sale and delivery of possession of the property

conveyancing solicitor in spainOnce the NIE has been obtained by any of the above mentioned ways and after collecting all the legal information of the property for the elaboration of the contract of sale, and if all the documentation is correct, the contract will be signed with the corresponding payment of 10% or 15% of the price of the property.

This signature of the contract can be done via email to speed up the deadlines.

The possession of the property will be made at the time of payment of the final price. This will be the moment of the signature of the sale and purchase before a Notary. In this act the keys are given to the buyer and the rest of the payment is made to the seller.


8. Registration in the property register and change of ownership

After the notarial signature, we will have a term of 30 days to make the payment of the taxes generated by the purchase of the real estate and the inscription of the property in the corresponding Property Registry, thus making the change of ownership.

9. Contracting of services around the house or villa

At Savloir we offer to carry out all the necessary procedures for the change of name or new contract of the supplies of the house. The most common are the contracting of water, electricity, internet and gas. Although you may also need others such as pool maintenance, hiring a construction company for home reforms, gardening service,…

The change of name of essential supplies such as water and electricity will be carried out after the signature of the purchase before a notary and a pro-rata of the consumption of the services will be made between buyer and seller.

10. Taxes and expenses derived from the sale of a property in Spain

After the notarial signature, we will have a term of 30 days to make the payment of the taxes generated by the purchase of the real estate and the inscription of the property in the corresponding Property Registry, thus making the change of ownership.

The summary of the expenses that a buyer may be involved in is about 12% of the price of the house.

  • Notary fees
  • Property Registry fees
  • Purchase tax.
  • Lawyer’s fees
  • Hiring fees and housing supply costs

11. Forecast of expenses and taxes

The annual expenses after buying a real estate property in Spain are very similar to the expenses that the house will have in its country of origin: expenses of light, water, internet, gardening, etc.

The annual taxes that you will have to pay once the purchase of the property is formalized are:

  • The Non-Resident Income Tax (or if you obtain the residence in Spain the equivalent tax is the Personal Income Tax)
  • The Property Tax (IBI) and the garbage collection fee. These taxes will be paid at the town hall where your property belongs.


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