Buying your Dream House in Spain
In spite of the existence of the European Union there are still differences between the countries. And in the case of buying a house in Spain it’s certain that the process varies from your home country. Let us explain how it all works here in Andalusia. We may not be able to answer all of your questions but you can always contact us to help you further. In general, the steps are as follows:
Step 1: Finding the house of your dreams
When you have decided to have your own dream home in the beautiful Andalusia region, it is important to think upfront about what kind of property would be ideal for you. Would you like to live on the coast, in the countryside, in a typical white village and is it villa or finca that you prefer or is an apartment or a townhouse more appropriate? We advise you to fill out our wish list. But there are also important aspects that are not clear or visible until your first viewing on the spot.
Based on your wishes and requirements, we start searching for you. Together with you we’ll come to a selection of interesting properties after which we will make a visit plan and arrange the viewings in the desired areas and accompany you to the properties as many times as you like. We will support you and do our utmost to give you the answers to all your questions.
Step 2: Negotiate the appropriate price
Once you have chosen the house of your dreams, we will start negotiating the price and the conditions for you with the vendor.
When there is an agreement on the selling price, both parties sign the reservation contract and the buyer pays a deposit between € 3.000 and € 6.000, depending on the price of the property. This amount will normally be paid to a clients account of your solicitor or to us. The reservation contract gives the buyer the formal option to buy the house at the negotiated price and with the agreed conditions. After signing and the payment of the deposit, the property will be taken off of the market and we can organise the finalisation of the sale.
From this moment on it is good to get in touch with a solicitor who offers you the legal guarantees that the sale is following all the requirements of the Spanish law, who can ensure that the property is free of charges, the paperwork is up to date and there’s no arrears in the payment of the local real estate tax, payments of utility bills and community fees, etc.
Step 3. Legal check
Now the solicitor will do the necessary legal checks of the property to make sure that all the paperwork is in order, that it is free of charges and debts and has no other problems. Once this has been carried out and all the lights are green, the solicitor will prepare the private contract (see Step 4) between the buyer and the vendor.
When the solicitor does find something that is in the way of buying the property, he will do the utmost to try to solve these issues so that the sale can still proceed. In the rare case that the issues found are impossible to repair, the deposit that is paid will be returned to the buyer.
Together with the solicitor we will also arrange the following necessities:
- N.I.E number: The identification number for foreigners. The solicitor goes on your behalf to the police station with a copy of your passport and the N.I.E application form. This has to be arranged preferably before the completion date.
- a Spanish bank account that you will need for the utilities contracts and payments.
Step 4: Private Contract
The solicitor will now draft a private contract that both parties will sign. This document contains all the details of the agreements, the payment form and the date of completion. During this phase you, as being the buyer, have to pay 10% of the agreed price of the property (including the deposit you already paid).
Step 5: Signing of title deeds
At the completion of the sale in the notary office, the signing of the title deeds finalises the handing over of the property from the vendor to the buyer. This document includes all the important information about the property and/or the plot. The actual signing of this document has to take place before a Spanish notary, and both the buyer and the vendor sign it.
The notary is the state official whose assignment is to certify that the contract has been signed before him and that the vendor and the buyer have been advised on the payment of their taxes. This is the person that assures you that the legality has been fulfilled.
Step 6: The registry of the property and utilities
The property registry is an official public body where you register, for general acknowledgement, the rights and description of a property. The property registry takes precedence over the cadastral registry (see below). Once the sale has completed and you are the owner of the property, the solicitor will go ahead and register this with the property registry to confirm that you are the new owner. Your solicitor will notify you as soon as the title deeds are ready for you. This will take at least 3 to 6 months after the signing.
The Catastro is the global registry of all properties in the province of Málàga. Your solicitor will take care of registering your property here. This process takes between 1 and 3 years.
Your solicitor will make arrangements that the water, electricity, etc. will be registered in your name and that the payments are made via your Spanish bank account.
Costs and Rates
In general, you should add to your expenditures between 11% to 13% of the sales price which contains:
- The fees for the solicitor, the notary and the registration of the property in various organizations.
- The taxes, such as VAT and transfer tax, which is between 8% and 10%, depending on the sales price of the house and if you buy on one or more names.