Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent and Lawyer
An established Real Estate Agent should be appointed to act for you. He will assist you in getting acquainted with the area and of comparable values of properties with similar characteristics in different locations. He will help locate the right property and to guide you through the preliminary negotiations with the prospective seller.
It is advisable to engage the services of a registered and established Lawyer of a BAR association based in Spain. As registered Lawyers we are protecting yours rights and are a law firm independent from any agency. We will provide the legal guarantees for the purchase of the property ensuring that Spanish legal requirements are met and that the property is bought free of encumbrances, charges, liens or any whatsoever debts and up-to-date in the payment of any local contributions and community charges. To use a Lawyer from your home country may increase substantially your legal fees and most certainly will delay the buying process.
Reservation Deposit / Due Diligence Process
Once the right property found, the purchase process begins with a reservation agreement, that will take the property off the market and also will “freeze” the purchase price.
The deposit to be paid at this stage shall be between 3,000 and 12,000 Euros. Before arriving in Spain, make sure that you have sufficient funds available.
The best way to pay the reservation fee is by credit card. It is not advisable to pay by cheque, especially if drawn on a foreign bank account, as it can take approximately 14 days to be cleared at a Spanish bank. Such delay could cost you the loss of your property. Whilst the property is reserved we will carry out all the necessary searches required by the property and that may vary depending on the kind of property you have decided to acquire.
Private Sale and Purchase Agreement
Within approximately 14 days of the signing the reservation agreement, a private sale and purchase agreement is to be signed between the buyer and the seller (or their authorized representatives). During this time, the lawyer should have completed the investigations and searches in relation to the property and arranged with the seller the procedure for cancellation of any outstanding debts. It is a customary practice at this stage to pay approximately 10% of the purchase Price minus the reservation amount. Funds can be lodged in your own Spanish bank account and we can arrange for an account to be opened for you or in your lawyer´s escrow account. Zuuring Lawyers have negotiated very competitive rates for their clients with a number of Spanish local banks.
Notary – Title Deed / Registration
A property sale is formally completed in Spain when the title deed (“Escritura de Compraventa”) is signed before a Public Notary in Spain, the final payment has to be effected and the keys of the property are handed over to the new owner. If you cannot be present at the completion, you can grant a Power of Attorney to your lawyer so that all necessary procedures can be completed on your behalf.
Once the title deed is signed, the notary will fax a copy of it to the Property Registry. Your lawyer will pay on your behalf all the relevant transfer taxes and will deal with the formalities of registration of your title deed. Final registration of the title deed may take several months.
We will arrange for the transfer of the utility service accounts, such as water and electricity, and arrange that all other bills be charged by direct debit to your Spanish bank account. Connection to such provision services may take some time. Therefore, we suggest that you confirm this with your lawyer before making any plans to move into the property.
Purchasing a Property in a New Development
In the case of new constructions, it can take up to 18 months before completion and usually payments are in stages of two to four months, for example by bankers draft cheques from a Spanish bank account or bank transfer. When purchasing a property in a new development, the developer should provide bank guarantees against each payment made on account of the purchase price.
Many developers offer these bank guarantees free of charge while others charge a percentage. A bank guarantee protects your payments. In the unlikely event that the developer fails to complete the property, goes into liquidation or fails to complete on time and you do not wish to wait, all the sums paid by you will be returned in full. New properties are handed over without water and electricity connection. However, this can be arranged by your lawyer. Under Spanish Law, the developer must provide you with a liability construction guarantee.
It must be kept in mind that all the costs & taxes involved to a property purchase transaction are approximately 10-14% of the purchase price. If you place a mortgage on the property there is an additional cost of approximately 3-4% of the mortgage amount.
Legal fees: The legal fee depends on the service you require, plus VAT (IVA) currently charged at 21%. We have a transparent fee structure with clear advice of any charges and fees. We will give you a detailed estimate on the likely overall cost once we receive the information of your purchase.
Notary fees: The Notary fees are charged according to a fixed scale, depending upon the registered value of the property. The charges may range from 600 to 2.000 Euros.
Property Registry fees: Generally 60-80% of the notary fee.
Other Costs to Bear in Mind:
Water and electricity connection charges / Change of utility contracts and organizing their payment by direct debit / Wills / NIE number / Power of Attorney / Open Spanish Bank Account.