Buying real estate in Spain? | The Buying Process | Diana Zuuring Lawyers
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.
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The Buying process when buying real estate in Spain

Buying Real Estate in Spain


Choosing your Real Estate Agent In Spain

You’ve finally made the decision! Congratulations. But before buying real estate in Spain, make sure that a responsible real estate agent is acting on your behalf. That way someone will be by your side who can help you to know  the area. A good real estate agent will also give you an idea of properties values in the different surrounding areas. This will allow you to compare the prices of similar properties and make informed decisions. With this information at hand, you are more likely to find the right property at the right price.  A good real estate agent will also guide you through the preliminary negotiations with the prospective seller.

We advise at this stage that you engage the services of a registered and established Lawyer. That’s why we come highly recommended and registered with the Spanish BAR association, but just as important, we are also completely independent lawyers. As we do not have any affiliation to real estate agencies you can have peace of mind knowing that we are totally dedicated to you.

Our aim is simple, and that is to protect your rights when buying real estate in Spain. As a result, we provide all the legal guarantees when buying real estate in Spain. You can rest assured that your property will be free from encumbrances, charges, liens or any other type of outstanding debt. Moreover, we will ensure that the local taxes, the payment of any contributions and the community charges are met and payment is up-to-date. That’s why we always recommend using a local lawyer rather than one from your home country. Needless to say, your legal fees will also be substantially and the buying process much quicker. 

The deposit on your home in Spain & legal procedures

Once you have found the the right property, the purchase process begins with you signing a reservation agreement.  Your property will subsequently be taken off the market and also the purchase price will be sealed.

At this stage, you will need to leave a deposit which can be anything between 3,000 and 12,000 Euros. So, before arriving and buying real estate in Spain, make sure that you have sufficient funds available.

The best way to pay your reservation fee is usually by credit card. We advise you not to pay by cheque, especially if you are drawing from a foreign bank account. Remember,  it can take approximately fourteen days for your cheque to be cleared at a Spanish bank. Such a delay could cost you the loss of your property! So, take this into account to secure your property fast. Whilst the property is reserved we will carry out all the necessary searches to give you peace of mind.

Private Sale and Purchase Agreement – your Lawyer in Marbella

Approximately 14 days after you sign the reservation agreement, you will be required to sign a private sale and purchase agreement with the seller (or their authorised representative).  So, as you wait, we will be hard at work performing an investigation and completing the relevant searches into your new real estate venture. Also, we will conduct a cancellation procedure of any outstanding debts that the seller may have.

It is usual at this stage to pay approximately 10% of the purchase price less the reservation amount. Your funds can be held in your own Spanish bank account or we can arrange for it to be held in an escrow account. As we are local lawyers in Marbella we have negotiated very competitive rates with a number of Spanish local banks on behalf of our clients. Please feel free to enquire by call us on (34) 952 906 185. We are Marbella’s leading Real Estate Lawyers.

Notary – Your Title Deed / Registration for Real Estate in Spain

Your property sale is formally completed in Spain when you sign the title deed (“Escritura de Compraventa”) before a Public Notary. Next, you will need to make the the final payment. Congratulations, you are now the new owner of the property and the keys are handed over to you. However, if you cannot be present at the completion, you can grant a Power of Attorney to us.  As your lawyers in Marbella, we can complete and fulfil all the necessary procedures on your behalf.

So now you can have the both the convenience and the security of an independent lawyer in Spain.

Once you sign the title deed, the notary will fax a copy of it to the Property Registry. As your lawyer in Spain, we will make sure to pay all the relevant transfer taxes and deal with the formalities of registration of your title deed on your behalf. It is important to note that the final registration of the title deed may take several months, so you may need to be a little patient.

Remember that as your dedicated lawyers, we can also arrange to transfer utility accounts, such as water, electricity and any other bills to your Spanish bank account by direct debit. Once again, connection to utility services may take some time, so you’ll need to factor this in when buying real estate in Spain

Buying Real Estate in Spain (New Developments)

When buying property in a new development, it can take up to 18 months before your purchase is finalised, which is what we call “Completion”. As a result, your payments structure will be different and is usually made in two to four month stages.  Payment is usually through bankers draft cheques from a Spanish bank account or by bank transfer. As your lawyer in Spain, we make sure the developer provides bank guarantees against each payment made.

Bank Guarantee and your lawyer in Spain

Many developers will offer you these bank guarantees free of charge whilst others will charge you 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, then you can expect a full reimbursement.  That’s why it’s so important that you have a good local lawyer when buying real estate in Spain. And remember, new properties come without water and electricity connection. However, we can arrange to have this done on your behalf. Under Spanish Law, the developer must provide you with a liability construction guarantee. Always remember that buying real estate in Spain can be hassle free when you choose a good lawyer or solicitor.

Your Purchasing Costs

You should keep in mind all costs & taxes involved in when buying real estate in Spain. These can add up to are approximately 10-14% of the purchase price. This increases if you place a mortgage on the property. You can expect to add another 3-4% of your mortgage amount.  So, if you want to avoid any surprises when buying real estate in Spain come and talk to us directly. We’re waiting for your call.

Your Fees are made up of:

Legal fees: Your legal fee depends on the service you require together with VAT (IVA) which us currently charged at 21%. We have a transparent fee structure with clear advice of any charges and fees. Consequently, we can give you a detailed estimate on the likely overall cost once we receive the information of your purchase.

Notary fees: Your Notary fees function on a fixed scale and it depends upon the registered value of the property. Therefore expect to pay between  €600 to €2,000 .

Property Registry fees: Your property registry fees are generally 60-80% of the notary fee.


This is what you should expect to pay when buying real estate in Spain



0 – 400.000€: 8%

10% VAT. This amount needs to be added to each instalment you pay to the developer

400.000 – 700.000 €: 9%

700.000€: 10%

Example: Let’s say you purchase real estate worth €450,000. This means you must pay 8% of the first €400,000 and then 9% of the remaining 50.000 Euros.


1.5% Stamp duty AJD*

Your payment on completion

*AJD: Is the tax conveyance of assets and documented legal procedures.

Other Costs you need to bear in mind when buying real estate in Spain

When buying real estate in Spain please bear in mind that it can be can be very bureaucratic at the best of times, but don’t forget you will also need to add other extras costs too. For example, when you change your utility contracts and set up direct debits. Perhaps you need to make a Will, or organise for a Power of Attorney. Then you have to register for a NIE number and set up a bank account. When you add all the extras it makes sense to use experienced local lawyers like us. That way, you can can enjoy your free time in your new home in Spain rather than spending that time dealing with paperwork.