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The process of purchasing your home in Spain can be quite different to many other countries, particularly UK and Northern European countries. So, for most buyers the whole experience may appear new and rather unfamiliar. However, the conveyancing system in Spain (while working differently) really does work, albeit slightly differently. Here are some basic guidelines on the buyer journey..
We’ll always arrange to have a brief meeting with you (before) we start viewing. This will ensure that we now completely understand your property requirements. We’ll also outline to you all of the associated costs involved with your purchase, as well as explaining some of the legal aspects of your buying process ahead.
We’ll arrange for you to view as many properties as is required. If we don’t have the most suitable property for you, we’ll then also search our other partner agent property listings on your behalf. This expands your search for a suitable property.
We’ll negotiate the offer on your behalf. Assuming that an offer is accepted, you can then choose your legal representative. We can provide a list of some locally based bi-lingual solicitors / legal representatives whom you can meet personally, deciding which one may be best to represent your interests quite independently.
Once your offer is accepted, we’ll ask you for a (to hold on behalf of the buyer) €3,000 reservation holding deposit (this can be more for properties of €600,000 and above) This will reserve the property for a period of approximately 4 weeks. It will also prevent any other agent/s from marketing that property. During this 4 week period the buyer/s liaises with their bank / legal representative/s, who will prepare all the necessary paperwork for their imminent exchange of contracts.
At the end of the 4 week period contracts are exchanged whereby the buyer will pay 10% of the agreed purchase price (minus the reservation holding deposit) directly to the vendor/s and further confirmation that the balance of 90% will be paid within the agreed timescale. Typically it’s about 6 – 8 weeks after exchange. Both buyer/s and seller/s sign a private contract in addition to an inventory of all furniture included (if applicable) in the sale price. Note; the exchange can always take place without the (buyer/s or seller/s) even needing to be present in Spain.
Either (or both) parties can assign a ‘Power of Attorney’ to their lawyer/s or legal representative/s to act on their behalf for them. If this is not the case, then both buyer/s and seller/s are required in person to sign the title deeds at the Public Notary in Spain. This is where the final balance of funds is paid to the vendor/s.
We’ll also ensure that your property has a certified EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) which is now a legal requirement when selling any property in Spain.
The buyer/s lawyer/s or legal representative/s are also responsible for changing over the utilities (water and electricity) into the name/s of the new buyer/s. It is always advised that all buyer/s use their own independent legal representative/s.
Approximate costs when purchasing any property in Spain will always include-
Transfer tax: Can range from 8% – 10% (dependent on the value of the property)
Legal fees: Around 1% of the purchase price (dependent on cost of legal advisor)
Land Registration / Notary Fees: Around 0.25% or less (dependent on values)