Buying a property in Spain – A step by step guide
At Elisa Properties, we understand that the idea of buying a property in Spain can be a exhausting one. How long will it take? How much will it cost? Who should be involved? What can you do to ensure that you protected when you buy?
Buying in Spain is safe and secure and VERY straight forward. Elisa Properties are here to help every step of the way. Buying in Spain is very similar to buying in the UK and we will guide you through the entire process, advising where necessary, resolving any issues and supporting you when needed.
The buying process can take anywhere from 1 week to a few months depending on where you are in the process. However, it takes an average of 4 weeks to complete if you are able to visit Spain to view properties promptly.
Step 1: Understanding the fees and establishing your budget
It is essential to understand the buying process, the fees and establish a budget for your property search. For new build properties, we advise adding 13.5%* of the original listing price to cover the cost of your buying fees.
Notary fees: 1%* of the listing price
All property transactions in Spain must be approved by a registered Notary (a legal representative of the Spanish government). They must witness the signing of the deeds before registering you as the property owner in the Land Registry.
If you are a non-resident in Spain, you will need an NIE (Fiscal Identification Number). The fees vary, through Elisa Properties we can help you with this for free, however using a lawyer can cost between €150 – €200*.
VAT (10%*) & Stamp duty (1%*)
VAT, or IVA in Spain, is 10%* of the purchase price of residential properties and 21% for commercial properties and plots of land.The Stamp duty (known as AJD) is 1%* of the price of the purchase, but might go up in some regions, so be sure to check on the latest rate.
You are strongly advised to hire a lawyer to aid you in the buying process, usually lawyers’ fees are 1.5%* of the property price. If you require help finding a Spanish or an English lawyer, please let us know.
If you are buying with a mortgage, costs will be slightly higher than if buying with cash.
Step 2: The property search
Having secured a maximum budget, you can start the process by discussing your preferred search criteria with us.
- What type of property are you looking for?
- In what area?
- At what price?
- What features are essential to you?
Understanding your preferences will ensure we conduct the correct property search and provide you with a wide range of relevant properties to view.
Step 3: Viewing the property
Having picked the properties that you wish to view, the next step is to visit Spain. Our specialised agents will be able to pick you up from the airport, or your hotel/villa, and show you properties chosen prior to flying out. If you require us to organise a viewing trip, please let us know.
Step 4: Reserving your new home
Having found your dream home, the next step is to make an offer and secure the purchase by signing a reservation contract. The fees depend entirely on the property but can range between €2,500 – €20,000* and forms part of the price paid for the property.
At this stage, your lawyer will perform due diligence on the property and advise you accordingly.
Step 5: Signing the private contract
If your lawyer has given you the green light to move on with the purchase of your new home, you will need to sign the private contract. Typically, when a buyer signs this contract, they pay a deposit of between 20% – 30%* if the property is off plan, or the complete price if the property is key ready.
If the buyer breaks the contract they will lose the deposit. However, if the vendor breaks the contract the buyer will be entitled to twice the amount of the deposit as compensation by law, unless written differently in the contract.
Step 6: Obtaining an NIE
The Número de Identificación de Extranjeros means that you are registered with the Spanish Tax Authorities. It must be applied for personally at the Foreigner’s Office or National Police Station. At Elisa Properties we offer guidance on this service for free.
Step 7: Signing the Title Deed
The Title Deed needs to be signed at the Notary’s office. At this stage you will also make the final payment and receive the keys to your new home.
Step 8: Registering at the Land Registry
Following the signing of the Title Deed, the property will be registered at the Land Registry and the utility companies will need to be informed of the change of name.
Step 9: Paying your Taxes
Once you have the keys to your dream home, you will need to pay annual council tax, known as IBI and a tax for rubbish collection. You will also need to consider electricity and water bills and community fees if you are living in a complex.
Step 10: Enjoying your new home
Having paid your taxes and any outstanding bills, you can relax and enjoy your new home! At Elisa Properties we offer various after sale services, we can help in furnishing your property, advising on taxes and bills, property management whilst you’re at home or sourcing tenants if you are looking to rent.
*All prices and percentages are an approximate, real amounts may be higher or lower than those stated.