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What does the lawyer do for you?

Acquiring a property in La Costa del Sol

When deciding to purchase a property in Spain, the logical first step is to choose a reliable real estate agency that can help you to find a property which best suits your needs.

Here you will find a basic guideline to the steps involved when purchasing a property in Spain :

  • The Reservation deposit
  • Due diligence / Searches
  • Taxes and expenses
  • Private contracts
  • Public deed of purchase
  • Utilities, rates, garbage collection, community fees
  • and taxes
  • Other costs

The Reservation deposit

In order for a property to be removed from the market, it is customary for the potential buyer to place a deposit of between 6,000 – 10,000 Euros (this amount varies depending on the property purchase price). This deposit can be paid to the Real Estate agency or to buyer’s legal representative.

Due diligence / Searches

Once the deposit has been paid, buyer’s legal representative will request the real estate agency to provide the contact details of the vendors lawyer, to notify them about her / his representation and to request from them the necessary documentation, in order to carry out the appropriate due diligence in which buyer’s legal representative will verify all relevant aspects related to the property.

However, there is some difference between purchase from a developer (off plan or new properties) and purchase from an individual (resale or second transfer).

Below you will find all things, that are done by lawyer, for both purchases.

PURCHASE FROM A DEVELOPER (OFF PLAN OR NEW PROPERTIES)

  1. The legal identity of the owner/the seller of the immovable property you intend to buy
  2. That the property under construction is legally registered in the corresponding Land Registry
  3. That the property is free from charges (mortgages, liens, encumbrances, etc.) It is customary for the developer to have finance to build which may take the shape of a mortgage.
  4. That the property has been granted the corresponding municipal building permit and habitation licence (where applicable) by the Town Hall in question, and respects local urban planning rules
  5. That the construction specification or quality specifications are made available to the buyer and included in annex to the purchase agreement
  6. That there is a Bank Guarantee or Insurance Policy in place in order to provide guarantee for all monies paid to the developer during the construction process
  7. Confirm and check the content of the mandatory 10 year insurance guarantee (Seguro Decenal) that will provide coverage for any structural defects on the property
  8. Revision of the purchase contract drafted by the developer in order to assure that its content respects the buyer’s rights and that it is fully understood by the buyer and to ensure that this document respects the buyer’s rights

PURCHASE FROM AN INDIVIDUAL (RESALE OR SECOND TRANSFER)

  1. The legal identity of the owner/the seller of the immovable property you intend to buy
  2. That the property is legally registered in the corresponding Land Registry
  3. That the property is free from charges (mortgages, liens and encumbrances, etc.)
  4. That the property has been granted the corresponding municipal building permit and habitation licence by the Town Hall in question, and respects local urban planning rules
  5. The study, preparation and signing of whatever private contracts (reservation agreement, option contract, sale contract) or public, notarial, documents (purchase/sale deed) which are deemed necessary to execute the purchase operation. The standard procedure is to first sign a private contract normally with the payment of 10% of the purchase price, and after a reasonable lapse of time, to sign the public deed of sale/purchase

Lawyer will also cover the following important aspects :

  • Obtaining your NIE number. The NIE number is a tax number in Spain for foreigners. You need this number in order to be able to register your purchase in the land registry office and pay your taxes. This number is also needed to arrange your contract with service suppliers such as water, electricity, telephone, and other services
  • Verification of existing debts on the property, such as Council Tax Rates (IBI), horizontal property (community) charges, outstanding utility bills…
  • Opening bank account…

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