BUYING A PROPERTY
LEARN ABOUT THE PATH TO YOUR NEW HOME ON COSTA DEL SOL
1. INITIAL CONSULTATION
The journey to your ideal home begins with a first consultation (in whatever form you prefer). This helps us get to know you — your preferences, your needs, and how you envision your lifestyle. Our goal is to truly understand your vision for the ideal property and lifestyle around it. It’s essential to consider how each area can offer a different kind of living. We’ll also discuss the main purpose of your purchase: are you looking for a holiday home, an investment opportunity, a rental property, or a permanent residence? Of course, we will answer any questions you might have, ensuring you have all the information you need to make informed decisions.
2. PROPERTY SEARCH
Once we have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, we’ll create a list of properties that match your criteria. We’ll handpick each one based on your likes and needs that you’ve shared with us. Then, we’ll send this list to you, and you can take your time to see which ones you like and which ones you don’t (and why). If there are enough properties that you’re interested in, we’ll be ready to go and see them in person. But if it turns out you want more options, we’ll use your feedback to find more properties to choose from.
3. PROPERTY VIEWINGS
Once you’ve picked out properties from our selection, we’ll organize viewings that fit into your schedule. As we visit each location and property together, we’ll offer insights about the neighborhood, the specifics of the property, and our honest opinions to help you make the best choice. It’s important to be open with us during this process – let us know what you like and what what you don’t. This transparency is key to making the process more efficient. Following the viewings, we’ll have a thorough discussion to understand your thoughts. If one of the properties feels like it’s the one, we’ll proceed to the next step. If not, based on your feedback we will determine whether we should look at other properties, or wait for new properties to enter the market. Remember, we are here to find the best match for you – no matter how long it takes. We won’t push you into anything; your comfort and satisfaction are our top priorities.
When you’ve found the property that feels right, it’s time to make an offer. This stage is flexible, allowing you to define what’s included in the sale – like furniture and fixtures – and mention any specific terms you have in mind. Clarity is crucial: know what you want and communicate it to us openly. We will represent your interests and present your offer to the selling side, ensuring your conditions are heard. This is also the moment to discuss any seller contingencies, such as repairs or modifications you’d like to see. Remember, being reasonable with your requests can ensure smoother negotiations and help you in reaching an agreement that satisfies you.
A lawyer is an essential guide in the process of buying a home in Spain, ensuring that every legal detail is carefully checked and clear. They will verify that the property has no outstanding debts and that all necessary documents, such as licenses and registrations, are valid (this happens after the reservation contract is signed). This legal due diligence is especially valuable for non-residents. Once you’ve chosen your ideal property, we will introduce you to a seasoned lawyer from a reputable legal firm who will manage these aspects, while we continue to oversee and coordinate the process. If you plan to leave Spain after viewing properties and selecting your ideal property, we strongly recommend establishing a power of attorney for your lawyer. This legal step is typically necessary, and it’s more straightforward to arrange while you’re in Spain than to handle it from abroad.
One of the first steps usually involves the KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure, which is meant to verify your identity and the origin of your funds. Your lawyer will also take care of obtaining your N.I.E., an identification number required for any legal matters in Spain. Later, they will guide you in setting up a local bank account, which you will need for handling payments related to your new property.
6. RESERVATION CONTRACT
While signing the reservation contract, you’ll be required to pay a deposit typically between €6,000 and €10,000 – though this can vary for higher-end properties – to remove the property from the market and reserve it. Keep in mind that the deposit is not an additional fee; it is part of the purchase price and will be deducted from the total amount due when the sale is finalized. This deposit also starts the thorough due diligence process where your lawyer verifies that the property is free of debts, and that all necessary documentation, such as licenses and registrations, are current and valid. It’s important to note that if you, as the buyer, decide not to proceed after this point, the deposit is non-refundable. If the seller does not want to proceed, they are obliged to compensate you with double the deposit amount.
7. PURCHASE CONTRACT
About two weeks following the reservation contract, the next step is to sign the purchase contract. There are 3 different types:
Penitential Deposit Contract (Contrato de Arras Penintenciales):
If the seller backs out, they must pay double the deposit to the buyer. If the buyer backs out, they lose their 10-30% deposit.
Private Purchase Contract (Contrato privado de Compraventa): This contract can’t be terminated as easily. If one party fails to meet their obligations, the other can legally enforce the contract. If the seller backs out, they must pay double the deposit to the buyer. If the buyer backs out, they lose their 10-30% deposit. This is the most common. We call it PPC.
Purchase Option Contract (Contrato de Opción de Compra):
The seller can’t back out. He is giving the buyer a right, but not an obligation, to buy within a specific timeframe for a specific price. If the buyer decides not to buy, they forfeit their 10-30% payment.
Before doing so, you have the option to revisit the property for another check. This is a legally binding agreement that confirms that both parties are serious about the transaction. If you and the seller both agree, it’s possible to bypass the PPC and proceed directly to the signing of the title deed, which finalizes the sale.
8. TITLE DEED
The signing of the title deed is the final moment in the process, scheduled at a time agreed upon by both buyer and seller. Before the final signature, there’s often a last check of the property. This is usually done by your agent, you, and sometimes the lawyers, to make sure there are no new problems. The signing of title deed, which happens in front of a Spanish Notary, is the official completion of the transaction. The content of the title deed includes everything about the property: its full details, the agreed price, how the payment will be made, when the buyer will take over, any maintenance issues, the property’s exact condition, and any situations where the seller might still be responsible. Once it is signed, you or your lawyer will hand over the check to the seller for the remaining payment in exchange for the keys to the property. From the moment you step out of the notary’s office, the property is officially yours.
After buying your property in Spain, the next step is the post-sale process. Your lawyer will do most of the work here. They will change the names on the water and electricity bills, and community fees to yours, as the new owner. They also help with paying important taxes and fees. These include the transfer tax, and the fees for the notary and land registry. These fees are for the legal work done when buying your property. At this stage, your lawyer will also typically help you open a bank account, if it hasn’t been done already during the process. Although it’s not necessary, we definitely recommend it. Finally, you will pay your lawyer for their assistance throughout the entire purchase process. Lastly, you will pay your lawyer for their help during the whole buying process. This makes sure everything is done correctly and you can enjoy your new property. If you’re just considering a property purchase on the beautiful Costa del Sol, we would be delighted to be your partner and ensure a smooth process for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.