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The process of buying a property in Spain

When buying a property in Spain research is key.  It is very easy to be caught out by the unfamiliar system and language and so if you equip yourself with sufficient knowledge before embarking upon your project to buy a home in Spain, then you will be protecting yourself against the pitfalls of buying property in Spain.

The process of buying a resale property in Spain can be broken down into four stages.  These are as set out below.  Please note that if you are buying a property off-plan the process is slightly different - you will find more information here.  
 

Buying a property in Spain - Stage One

The first stage of buying a property in Spain is to agree a price and carry out enquiries.  At this stage you will view the property and make an offer.  For more information on this stage, including making the offer when buying a property in Spain, take a look at our video guide.
 
At this stage you should not sign anything or make any payment to the estate agent or to the seller.  You should instruct your independent Spanish lawyer to commence making enquiries in relation to the property.  
 

This stage usually takes two or three days although if you are buying a rural property or non standard property such as a barn conversion then you may find that the enquiries take a little longer.  

Only when the enquiries have been carried out should you proceed to the next stage of buying a property in Spain.  

For more information on why it is important to avoid committing to the property before enquiries have been made, please read our page on the pitfalls of buying property in Spain.

Buying a property in Spain - Stage Two

Once enquiries have been made and your lawyer has advised you in relation to the results and any risks that arise as a result, you need to decide whether you wish to proceed.  In the event that you do, the next stage of buying a property in Spain is for your independent Spanish lawyer to prepare a private agreement in relation to the sale of the property.   
 
The agreement can be very simple or it can be more complex depending upon the results of the enquiries made into the property.  In any event at its most basic level the agreement will provide that you are agreeing to buy the property and the seller is agreeing to sell.  The latest possible date for completion will also be set within the contract.  
 
At this time you will also sign a power of attorney in which you authorise your independent Spanish lawyer to apply for your NIE, open your bank account and attend the completion meeting and pay purchase tax on your behalf.  
 

This stage will usually take no more than a week or so, depending upon how complex the contract needs to be.  

Buying a property in Spain - Stage Three

Once the contract has been signed and the deposit paid it is time to make preparations for stage three of the buying process, completion.
 
Documents will be prepared in relation to the completion and an appointment will be arranged for the signature of the completion before a Notary in Spain.  You will not be required to attend the completion meeting as you will have signed a power of attorney during stage two.  
 

At the completion meeting the buyer will receive your funds, less any retentions for their liabilities, and you will receive the keys.  Once the documentation is signed you become the owner of the property and can begin using the property that day.  

For more information about completion, please watch our video guide.

Buying a property in Spain - Stage Four

After the completion meeting there are some further administrative steps that must be taken.  The first is the payment of the purchase tax.  Your independent Spanish lawyer should arrange this on your behalf.  
 
The final step taken when buying a property in Spain is the registration of the property in your name.  
 

Buying bank repossessed properties in Spain

One point to note regarding buying bank repossessed properties in Spain is that you must be very careful to ensure that the correct purchase tax is paid.  It is also vital that you ensure that you will be able to arrange for a water adn electricity supply to be connected.  For more information please see our article on buying a bank repossessed property in Spain

Taking the next steps toward buying a property in Spain

You may wish to familiarise yourself with the costs of buying property in Spain by reading our page on that subject.  
 
If you are considering buying a property in Spain contact us for a free initial consultation.  You can contact us by email at info@solicitorsinspain.com, by telephone on 020 3478 1420 or by completing our contact form.

Testimonials

The most beneficial aspect of working with E&G Solicitors in Spain was that I did not have to be present in Spain to complete any of the processes. This saved me time and money. E&G Solicitors in Spain’s staff were courteous and respectful at all stages of the buying process which helped my wife and me relax and have confidence in a successful outcome.

Phil, Camberley