How to purchase a property in Spain

With more than 1000 real estate transactions executed by the partners and senior partner lawyers LAWYERS & AUDITORS is one of the leading law and audit firms in Europe in this sector. Whether you are looking to purchase a home or a building for your business, real estate is a substantial investment that has become increasingly complex. Here you can apply for your individual offer.

The procedures

Once you decided to buy a property we will care for all proofs and procedures (due diligence).

Technical Property approval

In some cases, we recommend to commission a technical report to avoid future problems. A property approval report will be issued by an architect-surveyor to ensure that the property has no hidden defects or construction flaws. If you plan to do renovations or re-constructions it's indispensable to engage an expert before purchasing. We will care for all technical approval procedures.

Negotiating of the Purchase

Some negotiations not only involve the property price, as in the bargaining stage other issues could form part of the negotiations such as completion dates, methods of payment, fixtures, fittings or determining who will pay the taxes resulting from the property transaction (Plus Valia).

Land Registry check

We research the legal situation of the property in the Land Registry, in order to verify if it is encumbered or if there are any limitations to the property or difficulties attached to its purchase.

Reservation Contract and Deposit

We draft the private sale agreement or Reservation Contract (“Contrato de Reserva”) this document will formalize the purchasing terms and conditions and should be signed by both the purchaser and the seller. It usually includes the form of payment and completion dates. Once this contract is signed it is a binding agreement.

Usually in Spain this reservation also includes the payment of certain amount of money to demonstrate to the seller the definite intention to purchase. This is known as "SeƱal de Reserva", which is a reservation deposit which can be between 3,000 and 5,000 Euro. After paying the deposit the property is taken off the market, respecting the selling price for the agreed period of time, usually around 30 days. This deposit will serve as guarantee to the seller in the case the buyer backs off from the agreement. On the other hand, if it is the seller who withdraws their wish to sell the property, the deposit must be returned to the buyer.

We strongly recommend never sign a purchase option agreement and never pay any amount to anybody without a legal assistance!

Private Purchase Contract (purchase option contract)

Also known as "contrato privado de compraventa" or "opcion de compra", it creates a binding agreement between the parties and sets a completion date as well as the terms and conditions of the sale. It is usually signed between 2 and 4 weeks after the Deposito or reservation contract. During that period of time our firm will obtain the certificate from the Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) to control relevant information like: name of the property owner, encumbrances on the land and registered mortgages.

We make sure that no outstanding payments are left on the property (owners community, electricity and water supply) by establishing a formal agreement on the cancellation of these debts before proceeding to completion. Thus protecting the buyer in the case the seller breaches that agreement, by allowing the purchaser to withdraw from the sale and claim for damages incurred or deduct the debts from the sale price along with any related expenses. It is usual practice in Spain to pay a percentage of the purchase price.

Power of Attorney (if necessary)

Granting a power of attorney, formally allows another person (either the lawyer or another person that you trust) to sign on your behalf. You can have the POA prepared while you are in Spain, just by making an appointment with the Notary and he will oversee al, the formalities. As an alternative, a POA can be prepared by a Public Notary in your country of residence, it will have to be legalized with The Hague Convention Apostille.

Spanish Bank Account

If you do not have a bank account in Spain, we open bank account for our clients, and if they need finance, we provide advice on mortgages as well.

Completion, Closing

A property purchase reaches formal completion when the Purchase contract (Escritura de Compraventa) is signed by both parties (seller and buyer) in the presence of a Public Notary. The Notary is a public official who certifies if all the legal formalities of the contract have been complied with. In the completion of the Deed the agreed amount is paid and possession of the property is handed over the purchaser.

The Sales contract states that the property is free from all charges and encumbrances, with no outstanding payments related to the property as well as free of occupants or tenants (vacant possession) unless agreed otherwise between the parties.

Registration of the title deeds

We inform the Property Registry to begin the formal registration of the title deeds, once the Sales contract has been signed, this is done to advance in the registration process. We will deliver a notarized copy of the title deeds, the so called "Copia Simple".

Once the registration has been completed the Property Registry will contact us, and inform that the Title Deed (Escritura Publica) is ready to be collected.

Our services also include overseeing the registration of your Title Deed, arranging all the payments arising from the purchase, as well as making the contracts with water and electricity supplies and setting up the direct debit payments from your Spanish bank account. We allso will check that the seller fills his payment obligations.

After the purchase

Also after the purchase we will assist you in all issues regarding your property (insurances, finding tenants, renting contracts, property management, selling, finding a buyer...)

Please don't hesitate to contact us for any further question regarding real estate purchase procedures in Spain and all Europe.

Please contact us for further information.
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