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Buying Process

A step by step guide - Spain

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. We 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 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 fees and establish a budget for your property search. We advise adding 13%* of the original listing price to cover the cost of your buying fees and taxes. If you are a cash or finance buyer we recommend you have your funds in place. Our mortgage experts are here to take the stress out of the process and save you time and money.  Mortgage example.

Notary fees (€600 – €1,000)

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 (1.5%*)

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 1.5%* of the price of the purchase, but might go up in some regions, so be sure to check on the latest rate.

Legal Expenses

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.

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 also giving you expert knowledge of the area. 

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.

Contact us

Our agents are available 7 days a week to assist you in finding your Spanish home. If you have any question or want to see us, just contact us!

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