The real estate purchase process

  • Last Updated on Saturday, 18 July 2020 15:31
  • Written by Maria Santos Acedo

hauskauf01The sale of real estate in Spain can be done in a private document, through a private sale contract, or in a public document, through a public deed of sale in the notary. So that there are no unwanted surprises when buying, it is advisable to observe the following points.




Purchase price and payment:

Both the purchase price and the chosen payment method have to be specified in the purchase contract. It should be noted that payments of more than €1,000 in Spain cannot be made in cash if one of the contracting parties is an entrepreneur. Even people must refrain from making cash payments and under no circumstances you should make pay without the corresponding receipt.

In practice, an advance of money is usual. The wording of the relevant clauses is crucial here; It must be considered that the initial payment is shown in the contract as a "penitential deposit", because only in this way is a true right of withdrawal constituted.

If the down payment is simply referred to as a "down payment," the buyer may have to honor the contract later despite the loss of the down payment.

Mortgages and other loads:

To ensure that the property is not encumbered by mortgages or other real rights, you can request a simple informative note from the Land Registry. In the section "cargas" all those rights that tax the property is listed.

If the house is located within an Owner’s Community, it is recommended to request from the Administration a certificate of being up to date with payment on the community receipts. If the owner who wants to sell the home has a debt with the community, the new owner may have to pay the debt after the purchase.





Notarial purchase and registration in the Land Registry:

Unlike other countries, in Spain it is not necessary to register a property to acquire it by purchase, but it is recommended that it be done. In order to register the purchase in the Land Registry, the sale has to be made in a public deed in a notary, and it is not possible to go directly to the Land Registry with a private sale contract. If said private contract was initially signed, both parties can use the other to be notarized.

It should be noted that the notary only certifies the purchase. To prepare or negotiate the purchase contract, it is always advisable to consult a lawyer specialized in the purchase of properties. As soon as the notarial purchase contract has been concluded, it is recommended to register your rights in the Land Registry without delay. Once this happens, you can assert your property against any third party and thus avoid being victims of possible fraudulent crimes such as double sale or acquisition by unauthorized people. Depending on the Autonomous Community, you have between 20 and 60 days to calculate and pay taxes and, if applicable, in the city government.

There are other incidental purchase costs:

·         Taxes and Notary and Land Registration fees are often attributed to the home buyer. If you buy from an individual, it is possible to agree who has to pay what costs. If the seller is a real estate company, some expenses cannot be transferred to the buyer, or only to a limited extent.

On the other hand, there are also purchases of special properties:

·         Real estate off-plan or under construction:

Especially in the off-plan home sales area, it should be borne in mind that the property developer must provide you with a compulsory bank guarantee or insurance, of the amounts delivered to a special account designated for this purpose, to ensure the amounts of the possible insolvency from the developer or in the event that the house is not built.

·         Shift utilization property:

If you buy part of a property to use for a certain period per year, there are important special features to consider.

·         Tourist apartments or hotel rooms:

There are significant usage and rental restrictions.

Real estate purchase process:

In summary, the process of buying a property can be divided into the following steps:

1.       Inspection of real estate (Due Diligence).

2.      Reservation or pre-contract.

3.      The notarial deed of purchase.

4.      Payment of taxes.

5.      Land Registry.

From our law firm, we will be happy to help you analyze your specific case, carry out the necessary administrative acts for you and we will also be happy to present you with the corresponding tax returns. If you are interested or have specific question on the subject, we are available by email or phone.


icon santosmMaría Santos Acedo
Lawyer & Partner
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