City of Alicante

Guide to Buying Property in Spain

Browse through this simple guide to property law in spain!

Hot climate and sunny winters are tempting more and more people to buy spanish property!

Buying a property in Spain is a big decision – but it doesn´t have to be a difficult process.

Take things slowly … ask lots of questions … read up on the subject.

  • work out why you´re buying – holiday home/investment/retirement
  • choose your location
  • decide on your budget

… and you’re ready to go!

Finding a property lawyer to support you

First of all, find a lawyer/solicitor/gestor!

Lawyers usually charge 1% of the sale price of the property.

They will conduct property searches, ensure all documents are in order, with no outstanding debts attached to the property.

Estate agents may also see to this. The problem arises if the estate agent is unreliable – for there is no law in Spain regulating them!

Buying a home in Spain

Once you´ve found your dream home and a price has been agreed, a preliminary contract is signed by you and the vendor – backed up with a deposit of around 3,000 euros.

The next step is to exchange private contracts – contrato privado de compraventa.

This states the agreed price, what is to be included in the sale, and usually happens within two weeks from the offer being accepted.

In most cases, you will now be required to pay a non-returnable deposit of around 10%.

Final completion takes place when the title deeds are signed before a notario, and you pay the balance of the purchase price.

The notario is a public official who witnesses and records the transaction – it isn´t his responsibility to protect the buyer´s interests!

He holds the original escritura (deeds) and will issue a first legalised copy that is signed and stamped.

This is sent to the land registry for the name of the owner to be changed.

About a month later, the land registry issues your deeds.

Property buying fees – What to expect

As a general rule, allow 10% to cover costs when buying your property in Spain.

  • Transfer Tax is 6% of declared value on resale properties or 7% IVA (VAT) on new property.
  • Stamp duty document fee is between 0.5% and 1%.
  • Land registry fees are around 300-600 euros.
  • Notary fees of between 300-600 euros.

Checklist for buying property in Spain

Prefer to forego the services of estate agents and lawyers, and do everything yourself?

Follow this quick check list:

  • check seller´s escritura pública – deeds
  • obtain nota simple from Property Registry
  • check referencia catastral/certificado catastral
  • for new properties view plan parcial at Town Hall
  • for plots of land, check building permits
  • ensure all past bills have been paid

Related pages

Other articles of interest regarding the law in Spain …

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