Every year thousands of properties are being purchased and sold on Spanish coastal areas, this number is gradually increasing every year. Buying a house for most people is a major investment, which is complicated enough in their own country. In Spain the legal requirements associated with the property purchase may be particularly daunting, if you are a foreign resident and are unfamiliar with both, the local laws and the language.
In Spain for all property buyers – N.I.E. number is the first thing a buyer must obtain. It is a number that identify foreigners in Spain for all your transactions that they wish to undertake. You will not be able to sigh your title deeds without such number. You should be able to obtain it personally but we can also assist you if needed. DREAM HOUSE REAL ESTATE can assist to obtain this number if needed.
Getting a lawyer who speaks your language is the crucial first step. A good lawyer can assist you throughout the whole process of purchasing of your property. From ensuring that your purchasing contract is accurately written, through negotiation of payment terms, and also taking care of the title search, confirming that your house is registered in the property registry. A lawyer is a kind of security that can prevent you against future problems that may arise, and is relatively not expensive, a lawyer fee costs around 1-1.5% from the purchase price of the property, plus a VAT currently charged at 21%. It is a common practice that a lawyer will ask for a pre-payment to cover his fees and expenses, it is so called “provision de fondos”.
A professional, well-connected real estate agency like DREAM HOUSE REAL ESTATE will strive to provide you with the most up-to date market information, current trends, and future developments plans that may affect your desire place to live. We are there for you to help and to advise, as your satisfaction is our priority.
After finding the house of your dreams, the next step to be taken is to secure it by paying a deposit. The agent takes the deposit of €6.000 which is then held in clients account. Subsequently a further tranche of around 10% is paid directly to the seller within a week of reaching an agreement between the seller and the buyer.
If the property of your choice belongs to the residential complex or an urbanisation, you will then automatically become a member of that Community of Property Owners, and become responsible for general maintenance, gardening etc. Therefore, you should make sure that all fees are paid on time, and that you are aware of how much are the annual community costs.
Subsequently your lawyer shall check, if there are no outstanding mortgages or liens against the property at the local Property Registry, or whether it has been embargoed for non-payment of a mortgage or taxes. Next you will receive a copy of the entry for the property in the registry books. Such document is called “Nota Simple” and it provides detail description of who owns the property. It might occur that some properties are held in the name of an offshore company, this used to be a common practice as it avoided Spanish transfer and inheritance taxes. It might happened that you will receive two “Notas Simple”, the first one at the beginning of negotiations of the purchase contract, and the second one before you sign the contract.
Spanish properties are subject to an annual municipal tax, so called IBI, hence the seller ought to provide the buyer with up-to-date receipts, that will indicate the annual exact amount of such tax, but also the “Valor Catastral”, which is the market value of the property as assessed for the tax purposed, and essential for your annual tax return. There also might be some additional charges, for waste collection or other services.
The fee charged for notary and registry are estimated at approximately 1.5% of the purchase price. However, as the purchase price increases, the costs shall be lower, as they are not calculated as a percentage.
It is a Municipal Tax known as the Plus Valia, which is calculated on the difference in value of the property now and the last tie it was transferred. This varies according to the time elapses since the last transfer. According to Spanish law ‘Plus Valia’ should be paid by the seller. However the practice of transferring all taxes and fees to the buyer is mostly common in the resort areas as Costa del Sol. At this point your lawyer can negotiate. In any case, the purchase contract should state, whether the buyer is paying all fees and taxes. Furthermore, if you are buying for an individual. You will be charged a transfer tax, that is a subject to property purchases. If the purchase price is below € 400.000, the tax is 8%, then increases to 9% for amounts between € 400.000 and € 700.000, and 10% for amounts over € 700.000. If you are buying from a promoter (resident) the tax is VAT and equal 10%, but in these cases there is an additional 1,5% stamp duty. However, if you are purchasing from a non-resident, Spanish law requires you to withhold 3% of the purchase price and pay it to the Spanish tax department, "Hacienda" – as a guarantee of payment of the seller’s Capital Gains Tax. If the tax amount is lower than the deposit, the seller can later claim the difference from Hacienda.
Around a month from placing a deposit, the completion of the sale transaction will take place. The contract must be in Spanish, however if requested you can obtain a translation. A contract of legal property purchase in Spanish is called "Escritura de Compraventa" and is signed by both parties in the presence of a Spanish Notary Public who will keep the original copy of the contract in his files.
The contract ought to describe the property, its location in detail, as well as, the identity of the purchaser and the seller. If the purchase of the property is financed with a mortgage, then the bank representatives are present, in order to pay and sign the mortgage. The final step is to take your copy of the „Escritura” to the Property Registry and have it officially registered, at which time you will obtain your "Escritura Pública” – the title deed.
After completing all the steps mentioned above
you are now a legal owner of the property. Congratulation!
We are cooperating with Members of LPA – Leading Property Agents of Spain.
Leading Property Agents of Spain is an association of top real estate agents with time-tested reputations along the Costa del Sol. All members are professionally qualified real estate agencies and some of the longest established businesses of the coast.
DREAM HOUSE REAL ESTATE
+ 48 607 718 667
NIP: 9241889327, Regon: 365141700
+ 48 506 791 811
NIP 9730801792, REGON 081239212
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