You must first obtain an NIE number. This is a number issued to foreigners in Spain and must be obtained from the local police station. Opening a bank account is recommended so that money can be easily ready should an offer be accepted and a deposit is required. All you need is a passport and home address to open an account here.
JamesCastile always recommends that you use a qualified solicitor in Spain to represent you throughout your property purchase. You may have your own lawyer or we can direct you to our company lawyer, but either way you must ensure they are qualified and that you trust them to act on your behalf.
And of course, a good agent will also be very helpful to you when negotiating the purchase of a property you are interested in buying. Your lawyer can also be consulted during this negotiation to ensure that the terms of the offer meet your legal requirements.
Normally, unless an immediate payment of the full purchase price is made, a private contract of purchase is drawn up. This contract would contain the details of both seller and buyer, the legal description of the property, purchase price, completion date, possession date and payment dates. At the time of signing the private contract, a payment on account of the purchase price is always made which is generally 10% of the agreed purchase price (this can vary according to the terms of the sale).
When the purchase is complete and price is paid entirely, the seller will give the public deed of conveyance (Escritura) to the buyer, free of all debt and charges. This deed is issued before a Spanish Notary and is passed from the notary to the tax office to be assessed for Transfer Tax if the property is a resale or second hand property. If the property is a new build then it will be assessed for Stamp Duty. It is then given to the Land Registry to insert the new owners details.
New properties which are purchased off plan are paid for over the construction period, and all payments on account before finishing must be guaranteed by a bank or insurance company. If the property is not finished by a certain date, a buyer has the right to reclaim the monies paid, plus interest. Additionally, the law here ensures the property developer must arrange a ten year insurance policy with respect to any basic building defects with the buyer as beneficiaries.
- Transfer tax approx. 8% of purchase price
- Stamp duty approx 1%
- Legal fees approx 1%
- Notary and land registry fees between 1000€ and 3000€
- IVA 10% on residential properties, 21% on land or commercial