Buying a Spanish property
The process of buying a property in Spain usually runs as follows. First, the buyer makes an offer, usually through the seller's estate agent. If this is accepted, then the buyer and seller sign a preliminary contract (contrato privado de compravento) and the buyer pays a reservation, followed by a deposit typically 10 percent of the purchase price.
The buyer lawyer has 7-10 days to conduct due diligence before signing the title deed (escritura de compraventa) this is signed in front of a notary, at which point the full sale price, taxes and other costs become due.
Are foreigners allowed to buy property in Spain?
Yes. There are no restrictions on buying property in Spain, whether it's commercial, residential or land. In fact, Spain encourages investment by foreigners, both resident and non-resident. You will require a financial number which can acquire by visiting a police station with your passport. This is typically done on the day for Spanish or EU citizens but may take a few weeks for others.
As you don't need to be resident to purchase a property, it is possible to buy a home before you arrive and move in directly. However, this naturally comes with certain risks and we strongly recommend that you view the property you are considering and don't cut corners on the process, even if this means spending some weeks in a hotel when you arrive.
The services of a lawyer are not legally required to complete the sale, but it is advisable and is required by many mortgage companies.
Paying the costs and taxes associated with buying a home can be completed by the buyer or their lawyer. It is the buyer's responsibility, however, to ensure taxes are paid.
The buyer is also responsible for registering the property. The notary may provide this service for a fee, and/or may notify the registry office that the sale has taken place, without completing full registration.
Fees and charges
Costs are primarily paid by the buyer, and vary from region to region. In Andalucia costs paid by the buyer are typically around 11 percent of the property value and include:
- Property transfer tax 8–10 percent (existing properties);
- VAT (or IVA) at 10 percent (new properties);
- Notary costs, title deed tax and land registration fee 1–2.5 percent;
- Legal fees 1–2 percent (including VAT).
The estate agent's fees are paid by the seller, and this is typically their only cost.