REAL-ESTATE PURCHASE (GUIDE FOR FOREIGN BUYERS).
In this guide we propose to offer practical information and recommendations for acquiring real estate in Spain. It is very important to be well counselled at all times by a law firm specialized in real estate law and with experience accompanying foreigners who have the intention to buy real estate in Spain .
Our firm has many years’ experience advising foreign clients so they may acquire properties in Spain, be it as an investment or for temporary or permanent residence. We accompany them over the entire purchase process and we ensure that their interests are well respected and protected so that they can enter the Spanish real-estate market without taking unnecessary risks .
The current system of guarantees offered by the Spanish judicial framework is quite complete so any foreign citizen who is looking to acquire a property in Spain may, in principle, be reassured. However, for greater security it is necessary that the seller rely on experienced professionals. .
We work with two types of foreign citizens:
For individuals not citizens of the E.U. it is mandatory to obtain a residence visa for the acquisition of real estate in Spain. This permits a foreign buyer to reside in Spain for the investment of acquiring real estate for a value greater than or equal to €500,000 .
The visa must be applied for in person or through an accredited representative.
The application must be filed with a maximum of 90 days before the planned travel date .
The residence permit authorizes the individual to reside and work throughout the national territory .
If you are a citizen of the European Union you can buy property in Spain without limitations. For the closing at the office of the public notary, the buyer must have a national ID or a valid passport and obtain a NIE (Spanish tax identification number for foreigners).
The NIE can be ordered in the country of origin at the nearest Spanish consulate or embassy. In Spain applications are processed by the Police authorities. If the application is made in Spain, we can take charge of the process.
The NIE is a unique, personal and permanent number that identifies foreign taxpayers (who logically lack national tax-identification documentation). Any foreigner with economic, professional or social interests in Spain is obligated to apply for a NIE from the competent department of the Ministry of the Interior.
The NIE must appear on all public documents that the interested party signs or are issued in Spain, so the customer will have to obtain it before signing the final sale deed.
Inmolegal, Asesores Juridico-imobiliarios offers its clients two levels of service, depending on their needs
1.-) Prospecting for the property that best suits our client’s needs.:
We have a wide portfolio of properties in Seville and in the rest of Spain. In addition to our own listings we collaborate with other real-estate professionals of our utmost confidence. We know the real estate market, and we are well skilled to be able to advise you on the properties and locations that best suit your criteria.
With this service, in addition to real-estate brokerage, we will advise you legally during the entire purchase process, ensuring you have all the legal guarantees.
For this double service we will charge 4% of the purchase price of your property.
2.-) If you have already found your preferred property without our intervention, we will provide legal advice throughout the purchase process:
We will be happy to provide an estimate for the service without obligation.
CHOOSING A PROPERTY, MAKING THE DOWN PAYMENT AND SIGNING THE SALES AGREEMENT
When you have decided to purchase a property in Spain, a private contract (down-payment contract) between the buyer and the seller is generally the first legal document generated and signed by both parties.
Once this agreement is signed and the reservation deposit is paid (usually 10% of the purchase price, although this amount is negotiable between buyer and seller), the seller must withdraw the property from the market. The deposit is usually paid in cash or by transfer.
This will ensure that the property you have selected will no longer be available to other prospective buyers through to the closing. Our office will accompany you to the public notary to close on the sale, and we will make sure that the property is registered in your name in the public registry.
IS IT COMPULSORY TO HAVE A BANK ACCOUNT IN SPAIN TO BUY A PROPERTY?
There is no legal obligation to have a local bank account. The different payments for utilities (electricity, water, gas..) or building maintenance expenses can be paid from any foreign bank account, although it is advisable to open a Spanish account, in particular if seeking financing in Spain.
If you do choose to open a bank account in Spain, we can also advise you on the banking entity that best suits your economic profile.
DESIGNATING A LAW FIRM TO ADVISE YOU ON THE PURCHASE
At Inmolegal, Asesores Juridico-imobiliarios we would be delighted to guide you through the process of acquiring your property. We are convinced that we have the best team to take care of your interests in Spain. Our goal is to build a lasting relationship with our clients and to help them over the years with their interests in Spain. We are proud to offer quality service with the collaboration of expert professionals and over 24 years of experience.
EXAMINING THE PROPERTY AND NEGOTIATING THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT.
Once the deposit is made and the sales agreement signed, the final closing will be signed and pronounced no later than on the deadline designated in the sales-agreement contract. In Spain, contrary to what happens in other countries, there is no specific legal timeline between these two stages. The period is negotiated between buyer and seller in each individual case, although a minimum of 30 days or maximum of three months are customary. However, there are no written regulations for these conditions.
During this period, the buyer prepares the necessary paperwork and acquires the necessary financing, if needed, for the purchase as designated in the sales agreement. At the same time, our office will ensure that all of the details are in place so that the final operation will go smoothly. We will prepare the public deed of sale and make certain that all of the requirements are met and fulfilled.
In addition, we will verify that the property does not come with charges, liens or limitations. For example, if the property is the subject of a guarantee, we will ensure that it is cancelled and discount the related costs from the purchase price.
At the same time, we will verify that tax obligations have been respected, that all maintenance charges are up-to-date, that all of the mandatory energy efficiency certificates are in order, etc.
SIGNING THE DEED OF SALE AND TAKING POSESSION OF THE PROPERTY
The purchase process ends with the signing of the public deed of purchase by the buyer and seller. At that time the seller presents the buyer with the title of property and the buyer remits the remainder of the agreed selling price.
Before the signing the deed the buyer will have to transfer the funds to cover the price, the taxes and the other charges related to the sale. The can be done through your Spanish bank account or by intermediary. During this process the checks necessary for the signature will be prepared, the amounts necessary to cover the debts that the property may have will be withheld.
The signature of the deed of sale is always done before a notary. This official is a civil servant and, thus, independent of both parties. The notary provides the official public certification that the two parties have agreed on the transaction and that it has been carried out according to the law. However, the notary does not deal with verifying that all is in order with the property nor does he or she negotiate anything on behalf of any of the parties.
Before the closing date and once the lawyers have sent their contract proposals so that the final document can be emitted, the notary requests continued information to the registry of the property, to verify that no charges, liens or embargos appear at the last minute. Directly after the Act is signed, the notary sends an electronic copy of the translational script to the property registry so it has an entry as to the new owners immediately.
Throughout the signing process, our clients are permanently accompanied by their attorney, who supervises the documentation and ensures that everything is in order. If the client cannot be present for the closing, we will appear in the client’s name and sign the deed. In this case it is necessary that the client grant power of attorney in advance of the date.
INSCRIPTION OF THE DEED IN THE REGISTRY OF PROPERTY, CHANGES OF OWNERSHIP AND FINALIZATION.
Once the sale is closed the next step is to ensure its registration in the corresponding property registry. Before this can happen, the buyer must pay the relevant taxes. This is usually patrimonial transmissions tax which is currently at 8% of the purchase price. There may be exceptions and this can only be determined on an individual basis. The tax is a levy that the central State has given to the Autonomous Communities. Each of these communities determine their own characteristics for this tax, although it is similar throughout the country. Specifically in Andalusia the rate is 8% of the purchase price. There are also conditions under which there is a reduced rate, notably is the buyer is under 35 and the property price does not exceed €130.000. In this case, the tax rate falls to 3.5%.
Once the tax has been paid, our lawyers will process the registration of the property at the Registry by presenting the necessary documentation (authorized copy of the deed, justification of the payment of the tax…) and paying the corresponding fee. Registration of ownership transfer usually takes about a month.
>Be that as it may, once the closing is completed and the notary has transmitted the signed agreement to the Property Registry electronically, the new owner’s name is reflected in the title of the property..
EXPENSES OF THE SALE.
The expenses of the sale are generally as follows:
For the seller:
Preliminary proposal of the notary.
Municipal capital gains to the corresponding city council.
For the buyer:
Copies of the notarial deed.
Patrimonial Transmissions Tax (ITP).
As for our professional fees we will be happy to provide you with an estimate without obligation.
Lawyers and intermediariesIntermediation with the guarantee of experience
Intermediate in all kinds of real estate transactions: buying, renting, etc.
We are expert lawyers in Real Estate Law with 25 years of experience
We advise foreigners in the acquisition of a home in Spain.
Main servicesWe create added value
Comprehensive management in the Purchase - Sale and lease of all types of properties both in promotion and second hand Houses, floors, floors and any other type of rural or urban real estate in the area of Seville and province, Western Andalusia.
Legal advice in all types of real estate operations: Acquisition or lease of properties throughout the national territory, mortgage and tax management.
Intermediation and legal advice for all foreign, community or non-EU citizens interested in investing in Spain or in acquiring real estate as a habitual residence.
Collegiate Lawyers to intervene in any litigation that is necessary in the defense of their interests.