Spain is a beautiful country and many foreigners and expats are looking to buy a dream property, whether in a large city or along the coast. Foreigners have the same rights as locals when buying a home and need to observe the same main regulations related to purchasing a property in Spain. In this article, we highlight the main steps for property purchase and offer a short guide for anyone interested in buying an apartment or a house in Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga or in other regions.
- Select the property
Buying a property starts with a thorough property search. This can be easily done by using one of the Spanish property websites, where houses and apartments are either sold directly by the owner or through an estate agent. Foreigners might find easier to work with an agent, however, it is advisable to contact only licensed agents. It is important to know that as a foreigner you will need to acquire a provisional tax identification number in Spain, the NIF, before being able to buy a property.
- Make an offer
Once you have found your desired Spanish property, the first step is to make an initial offer to the seller. This can be done directly or through the real estate agent. Once the offer is accepted, you can sign a preliminary property purchase agreement.
- Make the deposit
As a buyer, you will have to make a deposit (a common percentage is 10% calculated on the total amount) and then secure the mortgage (if this is the case).
- Sign the sale contract
It is highly advisable to perform a due diligence before signing the contract in order to see if there are any other mortgages on the house, if the landlord is the one who is also listed in the Land Registry and whether or not any rent agreements are still in force for the property. We recommend seeking out legal assistance from a team of local lawyers who specialize in real estate matters before signing the final sale-purchase agreement.
Once the final agreement is signed, it is time to pay the rest of the purchase price as well as the property taxes. A property transfer tax, as well as legal and notary fees, will apply for a property purchase in Spain.
Buying a property, whether it is your new vacation home or a permanent residence is an exciting and important step. This short guide presents only the basic steps to make sure that you do seek proper assistance whenever needed.