Buying property in Spain need
not be a daunting prospect, as long as you follow some
simple rules. In this guide we will show you the procedures
that are necessary to enable you to purchase a property
in Spain legally, cost-effective, and with peace of
this step-by-step guide we will help you to understand
the whole process of buying a property in Spain. We
will go through the process with you from the beginning
to the end.
of your understanding, whether you have experience or
not it is advisable that you use the services of a local
English speaking solicitor or “Gestor” to
deal with the purchase of your property. He will deal
with all the legal paperwork on your behalf as well
as speaking to all the relevant Authorities involved.
by step guide.
Find a property/make a offer.
before you can purchase a property, you need to find
one. There are two ways in which this can be done. An
organised “whistle stop tour” or a house
hunting holiday. We highly recommend the second option
because this will allow you more time in a specific
area. From our experience, it is generally a good idea
to rent a property in the area in which you are thinking
of buying, to ensure that you are making the right decision.
you decide which property you are interested in you
then need to make an offer. Once the offer has been
accepted, you will need to find a Solicitor or “Gestor”.
He will guide you through the legal formalities and
answer any questions that you may have. Our company
can provide you with the names of local English speaking
solicitors in the area. You can however choose to enlist
the services of a solicitor or “Gestor”
of your own choice.
very important to ask the solicitor for the cost of
buying a property in Spain. We will explain later, but
on average the property price will increase by 8%.
purchasing a property.
you have decided you wish to purchase a property your
“Gestor” will contact the land registry
to ensure that the property is available for sale, and
if there are no problems you will be asked to put down
a deposit (normally 10% of the asking price). This deposit
then forms the contract between buyer and seller. You
will be asked to sign the contract which includes the
buyers and sellers details, the property details, the
price and the title deeds signing date. If you subsequently
decide to pull out of the deal, you will lose your deposit.
If the seller reneges on the deal, he has to refund
double the deposit. This is normal practice in spanish
law designed to ensure that the buyer and seller are
you have paid your deposit, under normal circumstances
the house will be yours. Your solicitor or Gestor will
organise everything on your behalf to ensure that the
purchase will be completed successfully.
Title deeds signing process
signing the title deeds it is necessary to discuss with
the solicitor the method of payment. In Spain the remaining
balance on a property is divided into two categories,
declared and undeclared value. Normally you will pay
between 50 to 60 percent of the property value by cheque
or bankers draft: this money is then declarable and
subject to a 7 % tax levy. The remainder of the balance
is then paid in cash, this reduces the amount of tax
payable and is widely practised in Spain when buying
fees payable are notary fees, approximately 1% of the
declared value, land registration fees, approximately
0,5 % of the declared value, and the solicitor or Gestor
fees, between 600 and 1800 € (depending on area).
all these fees are payable after completion, it is normal
practise to leave a deposit with the solicitor or the
Gestor in advance, he can then pay any fees due without
any unnecessary delays.
the details have been finalised, an appointment will
be arranged for you to visit the office of the notary
to sign the title deeds. your solicitor or Gestor will
have already checked the following details for you:
mentioned land registry information
- Former utility bills are paid and up to date.
- The Council tax is paid
- The Catastro information. Catastro is a Council Department
responsible for all land and planning archives. It is
advisable to check that the Catastro information agrees
with the land registry information.
you will proceed with the signing of the title deeds.
Present will be the notary. He is responsible for ensuring
that the title deeds are in order and once signed in
his presence they become a legally binding document.
with a mortgage.
are purchasing a property using a bank loan or a mortgage,
the situation is very similar to buying a property in
England. The bank will arrange for someone to view the
property and value it. Then an official from the bank
will accompany you to the notary office. If you have
purchased your property using a mortgage, you will incur
separate fees, for example a valuation fee (appr. 250
€), and duplicate document fees (appr. 500 €)
plus a 0.5% stamp duty on money borrowed.
signing title deeds.
signing the title deeds, the house is now yours. You
will receive your keys on the day of signing in the
notary´s office. You are now free to move in whenever
you choose. Your solicitor or Gestor will now carry
out the following:
the transfer tax.
-pay the notary fees. This includes a copy of the title
deeds (escritura). The original copy remains in the
office of the notary.
-ask for the Land Registry registration. This can take
between two weeks and two months depending on how busy
-notify the utilities companies.
-change the ownership of the finca in the “Catastro”.
a plot of land to build your own house.
are intending to buy a plot of land, it is highly recommended
that you use a solicitor to check the boundary details,
as these are not always very clear when viewing the
your solicitor or Gestor are happy with the details,
and the purchase of the land has gone through, you will
need to employ an architect. then he will draw the plans
up and if you are happy with the final draft he will
send them to the “Colegio de Arquitectos”
for approval. This normally takes approximately one
month. Once the plans are returned to the architect
he will then submit them to the local authority (Ayuntamiento)
who issue the building license. This normally takes
six weeks. When the license has been issued you can
then start building (It is common sense to use only
approved builders and to get more than one quote. Feel
free to ask them to show you previous projects. ).
charged by architects in Spain are between five and
nine thousand euros, on top of which you need to pay
for the building license ( appr. 3% of the building
the house is built you will need to register it with
the “Ayuntamiento” who will inspect the
property and issue the “cédula de habitabilidad”
(certificate of approval).
the notary will issue you with your house title deeds
(escritura) and this house will be submitted into the
Official Land Registry, the cost of which is as follows:
house value ( stamp duty).
- Approx. 400 € notary fee.
- Approx. 350 € land registry fee.
with, buying a house or a plot of land is a very easy
process if you use professionally qualified people at
all stages of the procedure. In Spain there are very
good estate agents, solicitors and building companies,
so it is often a very good idea to enlist the help of
someone local who has had prior dealings with them.
guide is compiled by Pedro M. García Belmonte
(Spanish solicitor). For any suggestions, comments or
enquiries about this guide or other legal questions
please e-mail to email@example.com.
All rights reserved. No part of this guide may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior
permission from the author)