- Once the buyer decides on a property and a purchase price has been agreed by seller and buyer, a reservation deposit is paid, and the property is taken of the market by the vendor. This deposit averages approximately €6000. This amount is kept by the lawyer in their lawyers’ account and is stipulated to be a “reservation deposit”. It is part of the initial private contract between the 2 parties. This payment can be refunded if, upon making all due diligence research, your lawyer finds any irregularities to the property and recommends not to go forward with the purchase. Additionally, this amount can also be refunded if the contract stipulates: “subject to obtaining a mortgage for the purchase”. If the mortgage application is rejected by the bank, the purchase is cancelled and your deposit refunded.
- At this time, the buyer’s lawyer requests the vendor, or his/her legal representative for the documents of the property, in order for the lawyer to start due diligence checks (ie. urbanistic and legal situation, charges, encumbrances, etc…). The buyer’s lawyer will also prepare a draft of the contract that will be signed in the next step. In this contract, the agreed purchase price is stated and the time frame for completion. If a completion time frame of more than 1-2 months is requested by the buyer, a 10% deposit will be requested whilst waiting for final completion of the purchase.
- Completion: In an estimated period of 4 weeks (depending on what is agreed with the vendor) the rest of the price, up to the 100%, is to be paid, and the title deed is to be signed in front of a Spanish notary. When bank financing is required for the purchase, completion will take place when the mortgage is ready. The buyer needs to sign this deed personally, or a representative can sign on his/her behalf with notarized power of attorney. You can organize this power of attorney (POA) with your lawyer at a small cost. Your lawyer can then do all the necessary steps up until handing over the keys after signing at notary.
* When the buyer is physical person his/her passport, marital status and address is required. If the buyer is foreign, he/she will need to apply for a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros)– which is a tax number for foreigners – at the police office. Every foreign buyer needs to have a NIE number. The NIE number can take up to 3 days to be obtained after the application is submitted. Again, a POA can be given to the lawyer to obtain the NIE in your absence.
If you wish to grant POA to your lawyer, you will need provide a copy of your passport and the address and profession of the buyer/buyers.
** Very important notice: Due to the Money Laundering regulations in Spain, the funds for the purchase of a property in Spain need to come from the country of origin of the person who is buying the property, and also from the bank account in the country of origin in this persons’ name.
- After completion, the lawyer takes the deeds to the Land Registry office. The registration will take approximately 2-3 weeks. This means the property is already in your name at the moment the deeds are signed at notary, payments are made and keys are received. However, registration at the Registry will take a few weeks.
- The lawyer will also prepare the water and electricity contracts for your property, and organize direct debits for the payment of the water, electricity, community fees, municipality tax and rubbish collection.
- The costs when buying a resale property are:
- Transfer (purchase) Tax
- 8% for amounts up to €400.000
- 9% for amounts between €400.000 and €700.000
- 10% for amounts higher than €700.000
- Notary and Registry fees = 1% of purchase price (+21% VAT)
- Lawyers’ fee = 1% of purchase price (+21% VAT).
- If you are using a mortgage, then add an extra 1% – Notary and Registry Fees and 1,5% – Stamp Duty on the mortgage liability.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend clients to add to the purchase price an additional 10-11% to account for costs and taxes related to the purchase.
When using financing add another 2.5% to this.
Using a lawyer when purchasing in Spain is a must and will give you complete peace of mind. They will guide you through the whole process and beyond. After completion they are available if any further queries or issues need solving. They also will recommend and assist with tax declarations, payment of taxes, community fees, making a will here in Spain etc.